Getting to know you

January 18 was the university’s annual staff recognition luncheon, an event we always look forward to not just for the free food (served by the faculty!) and door prizes but because we always learn something new about our co-workers by reading in the event program the bios of staff who are celebrating 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year anniversaries of their employment. Among interesting facts gleaned from this year’s edition:

  • Science Stores Coordinator Michael Hottott, a 30-year man at UPS, is a frequent and dedicated backpacker who has been stalked by cougars, caught in electrical storms while dangling from rock faces, and confronted by a black bear who insisted that Michael share his chocolate chip cookies.
  • Web Developer Jean Huskamp, a 25-year employee, has an Internet radio station with 17 hours of American and Celtic folk music streaming online (
  • Boiler Operator Richard Mairs (20 years) blows off steam by building model trains. His current project: a 1/8-scale steam locomotive that when finished will be 19 feet long and weigh 3,000 pounds.
  • Campus Safety Officer Brian Wong (5 years) was in the film Throw Mama from the Train. He was in a marketplace scene, “on screen for less than one second,” he says.
  • Costume Shop Manager Mishka Navarre (5 years) is a former competitive figure skater and now a competitive fencer. “I’m a vicious swordswoman,” she says, rather, er, pointedly.