When the historic Hurricane Irene devastated much of the East Coast, Ursinus College was left without power. Students had moved in, however, and expected their meals, and Dining Services, under Sodexo, was ready to feed them as a state of emergency was in effect. Many Sodexo employees reply on public transportation, which was canceled during the state of emergency.
One of these employees who relied on public transportation reported to work, Helen Wade, a dining room supervisor. She contacted a taxi company and despite many detours, found a route to Ursinus College.
When college administrators, through an anonymous source, learned of Helen’s determination in getting to work, President Bobby Fong reimbursed the cab expenses. Because of the extra effort by Helen, and the staff, team was able to ensure that the 1,600 students were able to get their meals, even though the operation was completely without power.
“Helen always makes the extra effort to uphold her responsibilities as a supervisor, as well as doing everything she can to make sure our customers are taken care of,” said General Manager Ron Wood. “She sets the example for the rest of the staff when it comes to dependability.”
Wood says that Helen, of Norristown, Pa., has worked at Ursinus since 2003 where she began as a salad bar attendant as was promoted to dining room supervisor in 2007. Helen has been previously nominated for the Star of Circle of Customer Excellence Award and has been recognized in both the district and the region.
In recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of Ursinus students during Hurricane Irene, she was given a unit Star of Circle of Customer Excellence Award in Wismer Dining Room, and is nominated for a District Award, and eventually, a Mid-Atlantic Award. She was also applauded in her efforts by Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Debbie Nolan, who attended. Ursinus appreciates her efforts.