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Leading by Example and Deed

Teamwork and Collaboration Award Recognizes Custodial Leads

July 7, 2014

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Isaias Hernandez, a custodial lead that oversees the teams that clean Langsdorf and Mihaylo halls, was honored as one of this year's Outstanding Staff Member Award recipients.

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Seven staff members were honored this year with the Teamwork and Collaboration Award for a job that often goes unnoticed, yet has its value in making it easier for students and faculty to focus on teaching and learning.

For their diligence to overseeing the crews of custodians who keep classrooms, offices, hallways and restrooms clean, Cal State Fullerton has honored custodian leads Yick Chan of Fountain Valley, Mark Courtis of La Habra, Barrien Crudup of Downey, Isaias Hernandez of Los Alamitos, Valentin Lagunes of Orange, Maria McCray of Placentia and Edith Wilkins of Fullerton.

"Despite budget cuts and limited staffing, they have demonstrated outstanding leadership and collaboration, helping Custodial Services manage to provide the best possible level of cleaning," said Terri Thompson, manager of custodial services, in her nomination of the team.

Their workdays start at 3 a.m. and each member works with teams of custodians in different campus buildings. During the academic year, custodians under their direction empty trashcans, sweep and mop floors, dust and clean. Then during the summer months, custodial crews scrub and wax all the classroom floors, deep clean office carpets and scrub and detail the bathrooms when its easier to work about class schedules and office hours.

"We have to fill in where the work is needed, reassign workers to fill gaps that may come up when there is a vacancy, vacation, illness or emergency," said Isaias Hernandez, who has served as a lead custodian for eight years.

"They step up and volunteer for special projects, work special events and work overtime assignments as necessary," Thompson said of the team members. "In short, they do whatever is needed to ensure the highest level of cleaning possible for the campus."

"I don't like to stand around; I like keeping busy," said Hernandez, who has served on search committees, led new custodian orientation and training on new equipment.

A member of the campus community since 2002, Hernandez oversees a crew of 10 custodians working in Langsdorf and Mihaylo halls and was one of two recipients of this year's Outstanding Staff Member Awards.

The team not only leads custodial staff, the team works to motivate their staff, said Thompson. Yick Chan, who oversees crews in the Clayes Performing Arts and Visual Arts centers, agrees.

Chan has served on campus for 22 years and been a lead for eight. Barrien Crudup has served 17 years and is lead for the computer science, engineering and humanities-social sciences buildings, as well as the Ruby Gerontology Center. Valentin Lagunes has been a member of custodial services for 10 years and lead for two years, overseeing the crews that cover the kinesiology, health center, public safety and physical plant facilities, as well as the Golleher Alumni House.

"It is the best place to work," said Maria McCray, who has worked on campus for 17 years, including 14 as lead in the Pollak Library. "We're like a family."

"This is a phenomenal place to work," said Mark Courtis, who has worked on campus for seven years. "It's the one place where you feel you make an impact every day."

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