Any parent of a teenager can appreciate the daily challenges that Ralph Giese, director, Resident Life and Housing, faces.
But imagine being responsible for the 900 young adults who call UCCS home and appreciation quickly becomes respect. On any given day, Giese and staff respond to complaints about rooms that are “too hot,” or “too cold,” challenges with roommates, or updates on a waitlist that stretched to more than 100 last year.
Those qualities and many more led to Giese being named UCCS Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter 2012.
“There is no such thing as an eight-to-five day for Ralph,” Stephanie Hanenberg, director, StudentHealthCenter, and Giese’s nominator, wrote. “Ralph works tirelessly to keep his staff upbeat and his encouragement for them to feel like an integral part of this community is admired.”
In her nomination, Hanenberg cited Giese’s ability to collaborate with other departments to create programs for resident students, his ability to draft university leaders to play celebrity waiter roles and his willingness to volunteer for jobs ranging from search committee chair to the Professional Exempt Staff Association. He also worked on plans to expand university housing and the two new towers that are underway.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a meeting when a volunteer was asked for that Ralph wasn’t the first one to raise his hand,” Hanenberg said.
This summer’sWaldoCanyonfire was also a challenge for campus housing as evacuees, firefighters, and members of the National Guard called UCCS housing home for several days. Giese worked 14 and 16 hour days during the emergency to ensure that rooms were ready and that UCCS presented a safe haven.
Giese, a UCCS employee since 2007, said: “I am completely surprised and humbled by the my nomination and win. It has been an amazing experience working with so many caring and dedicated individuals.”
“Ralph is a stellar example of what it means to be dedicated to helping others along with one of the strongest worth ethics I have ever encountered,” Hanenberg said. “He also takes time to laugh and joke with others which helps everyone’s morale and job satisfaction.”
For his efforts, Giese will receive a $100 stipend, a certificate, one day administrative leave and three months free, reserved campus parking.
To nominate a UCCS staff member for Employee of the Quarter Honors, contact Shannon Cable, student employment manager, Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, [email protected], or Deanna Ely, program assistant, Facilities Services, [email protected].