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July 16, 1999
Volume 36, No. 18


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Staff Celebration Day daws a crowd to Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Services Group booths at Staff Celebration Day, safety engineer David Ozolins demonstrates the equipment used by Iowa’s emergency rescue team to extract people who are trapped in enclosed spaces. Photo by Meghan Nichols.

Information. Awards. Free pens. Refrigerator magnets. Bratwurst. What more do you need on a late spring afternoon?

These were some of the items handed out to an estimated 800 participants in the third annual Staff Celebration Day, held on June 14 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In her opening remarks, President Mary Sue Coleman called the event "A day when everybody can share what they do and educate us on the complexities of everyday life at the University."

It was difficult to make one’s way around the circle of 94 booths that rimmed the upper floor of the arena without being struck by the huge variety of activities that go on at Iowa. There were demonstrations of how the campus water supply is purified, maps of grounds-keeping areas, slices of meteorites, displays of archaeology, and information on how to avoid back injury on the job.

Ever wonder what happens to the University’s blackboard erasers at night? Julie Tomash of Facilities Services Group had the answer on display in her Weber-Costello "Little Giant" Electric Eraser Cleaner. There’s one in the custodial closet of every classroom building on campus. The machine brushes the surface of the erasers with hard bristles while a vacuum sucks out the loosened chalk dust. (So that’s why there are no rectangular white chalk marks against the outside brick walls like there were in grade school.)

At the Cash Cube, UI staff members were invited to grab as much play money as they could in one hand, redeemable for t-shirts, apples, potted flowers, and other prizes. Photo by Meghan Nichols.

Facts and figures were tempered with food and fun. Nine hundred bratwursts were eaten, and participants enjoyed grabbing "funny money" as it whirled about their heads in the phone-booth-sized Cash Cube. Also included was the Improve Our Workplace Awards (IOWA) ceremony, honoring three individuals and four teams. (For a list of the award winners, see page 6.)

"It was very successful," said Janice Quinn, chair of the Staff Celebration Day committee. "Our first year, we had 50 booths. The second year, there were 70. This year we had 94. People learned a lot, and the quality of the booths was high. We want to express our appreciation to all those who participated."

Article by Sam Samuels


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