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Staff responsibilities at PSU are many and varied, but all have one goal in common: providing students with the best possible experience while attending Plymouth State University. Two members of the PSU staff were recognized for their commitment to excellence in their work: Roberta Mayhew, a groundskeeper with Facilities Services, and Rodney Ekstrom, assistant director of Student Activities.
Mayhew was honored with the Distinguished Operating Staff (OS) Award for her outstanding work in maintaining the beauty and safety of the PSU campus throughout the year. Her responsibilities include snow and ice removal, mowing lawns, ensuring that the sidewalks are clean and safe to walk on, and much more. While many might find working outdoors in all kinds of weather grueling, Mayhew enjoys the fact that, for her, a day at the “office” means fresh air, nature, and interacting with a wide variety of people, including students, parents, faculty, and fellow staff members.
Over the past five years that she has been at PSU, Mayhew has integrated herself into the University community in a variety of ways. She’s a member of the Campus Parking Committee, a group composed of students, faculty, and staff that recommends changes in parking policy and rules to the administration; and the OS Senate, an organization that gives PSU operating staff a voice in the governance of the University. Mayhew also volunteers at the Silver Center for the Arts, where you can find her running the concession stand or working as an usher. She’s also a business management major at PSU, taking courses in the evening and online.
For Mayhew, one of the biggest rewards of both working and being a student at Plymouth State is the interaction she has with other students, for whom she has a great deal of respect. “We have students who help out with the grounds, and they work really hard and do a great job,” she said. “And it’s nice to have my classmates come up and say hello when I’m working.”
As assistant director for Student Activities at PSU, Rodney Ekstrom’s goal is to provide students with leadership experience, avenues to serve the University as well as the surrounding community, and opportunities to explore and pursue academic interests outside of the classroom. His dedication to PSU students garnered him the Distinguished Professional, Administrative, and Technical (PAT) Staff Award.
Among Ekstrom’s duties is advising a wide variety of student organizations, including PACE (Programming Activities in a Campus Environment), the student programming board, as well as the Spring Fling Committee, the Conning Tower yearbook, and the Outing Club.
In addition to working with students and student organizations, Ekstrom has served the University by participating on the President’s Commission on Diversity, the University Environmental Committee, the Brennan Hart Scholarship Selection Committee, and the Plymouth Holiday Parade Committee. He was recently chosen to serve as the speaker-elect of the PAT Staff Senate and was appointed to serve on the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability at PSU, a group charged with steering the campus to carbon neutrality.
With his wide variety of interests and commitment to serving PSU, Ekstrom is a strong role model for students looking for a well-rounded college experience. “We want the students to be independent thinkers, with a skill set to make their own mark on the world,” Ekstrom noted. “If I have done my job, they need me less and less.