Mitchell Canak, custodial worker in Facilities Maintenance Services, was named May's Employee of the Month by the Staff Employees Council.
Canak, who has worked in the Custodial Department for the last five years, was praised by nominator Michael Averett for his willingness to "always help his fellow team members with their work" and for a steady, upbeat personality that is welcomed by all those around Canak.
"I see Mr. Canak as a good example of all of the Facilities employees, by continually showing us his great attitude for others and devotion to his work to get the job done," Averett, assistant director for Building Services, said. "Mr. Canak's dedication to his work and his willingness to always help his fellow team members with their work has helped our Custodial Department to improve the conditions in our buildings.
"He is usually one of the first people to volunteer for extra assignments such as football games, volleyball games, and overtime events that need custodial coverage. He projects a very positive image of our department to students, faculty, and staff that he meets daily. We benefit greatly by being able to work with him."
Canak said he relaxes away from work by "going out with my wife for at least a few hours. It's important to spend quality time together doing something relaxing, like taking a walk, eating out, or seeing a movie." He also said he's a fan of the "classic" comedy of Hollywood - stand-up stylings from Johnny Carson, and the slapstick mayhem of legends such as Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges. "The humor back then was more slapstick, and clever," Canak said.
Perhaps it is because of this fact that Canak, according Averett, always seems to be enjoying his work, his co-workers, and his interactions with faculty, students and staff.
"Mr. Canak is a very positive person to be around," Averett said. "Doing custodial work can be very challenging at times. You get very little credit when things look good on a day-to-day basis, and receive a lot of criticism if something is missed. Mr. Canak never lets things get him down and uplifts his co-workers each day by his hard work. During the last year Mr. Canak has received excellent building inspection reports for each area that has been assigned."
In addition, Canak always shows a knack for positive suggestions that help create efficiencies and improved work flow.
"Mr. Canak shows all of us during our tool box and monthly safety meetings that he is actively listening to the topic being presented," Averett said. "Mr. Canak's follow-up questions make me pause and say to myself, 'Wow, I didn't even think of that.' It makes me want to be a better listener so that I can understand the topics better also.
"I always say to myself that I am glad that Mr. Canak asked the questions."