Center for Excellence Honoree: Lisa JonesThe motherly care custodian Lisa Jones provides for students in Perlroth Residence Hall involves more than just making sure their Quinnipiac home sparkles.
She calls the students "my kids" and notices when something isn't right. When junior Stephanie K. Annunziata wasn't feeling well, Jones asked one of the guys in Perlroth to walk Annunziata to class. That small act of kindness left a memorable impression.
"Lisa looks out for our welfare," Annunziata wrote in the form to nominate Jones for the Excellence in Service to Students Award. "She's been there to lend an ear to me when I have a problem. She's listened to me rant and rave about my bad days, and she's been part of my celebrations when I've had great days. Everyone in the building loves Lisa. On days when she is off, which is rare, the residents of Perlroth notice."
Annunziata is one of 23 people to nominate Jones for the award. Kristin Gabriel wrote, "She knows us by name, is never in a bad mood, always laughing and is just a great person. I would nominate her over and over again."
Jones knows the power of a few simple kind words. "You can make a person's day by saying, 'Hi, good morning. How are you?'" Jones said. "That's just my personality."
Students notice how Jones is trying to make them feel. "She is always doing her job with a smile on and never passes up an opportunity to say hi," wrote junior Colin Wilkinson.
Jones dances with students in the hallway when a good song comes on, talks with them about life and hosted a welcome back party after winter break. "I woke up one morning and said, 'I'm going to throw a party, and we're going to have fun,'" Jones said.
A table full of heart-shaped cookies, brownies, candy, a sheet cake and three sweet-potato pies made by Jones' mother greeted students as they awakened one morning. "My kids are excellent to me, so I did it to show my appreciation," Jones said. "I love my job, because I love the kids."
Students have shown their appreciation also. "One girl waited for me to come in one morning just so we could talk, and then she started cleaning the bathroom with me," Jones said. "And some days I need them to cheer me up and they do."
Jones extends the same kindness to her colleagues. "I can recall numerous situations in which not only did she tend to our building, but also covered for fellow workers who were sick or absent," wrote junior Catherine Twarowski.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Jones was raised in New Haven and graduated from West Haven High School. After working as a server for Chartwells in Quinnipiac's dining hall, Jones joined Quinnipiac's facilities staff in 2003. "I decided I wanted to do something different," she said.
Jones is proof that a custodian can impact a student's life. "Her wonderful personality brightens Perlroth and makes it a home instead of a residence hall," wrote junior Leslie Crichlow.
Junior Victoria Pagano wrote, "Lisa is someone I look forward to seeing on days when I feel down, because I know she can brighten my day with a smile and a wave."