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Employee Recognition

Keeping Local Creeks Pollutant Free

The Environmental Health and Safety Department is very grateful for the work Joe LaPalombara did to after a leak in the CUP chilled water system turned a local creek green:

In September, the sand filter in the CUP chilled water system had a leak at the sand filter. The leak made its way to the basement sumps and was pumped out to the stormwater system causing Cool Run Creek to turn bright green and leading to an investigation of the incident by DNREC.

In response to this incident, Joe was able to revise the basement drainage system so that any future leaks in the basement area will be pumped to the sanitary sewer system. This involved installing larger sump pumps with new sensors and control panels. New piping was run with shutoff valves and back flow preventers to an existing tank so that any spills can slowly be drained to the sanitary sewer system. All stormwater piping in the basement area has been capped off.

This innovative approach in using the existing tank will insure that the waste water treatment plant is not subject to a sudden high volume discharge from the basement sumps which could upset treatment operations while allowing for time to notify waste treatment operators . This arrangement also permitted Joe to save money by avoiding the need to install larger pumps and underground piping that would have been needed had the sump been discharged to an exterior manhole, resulting in a low cost job of approximately $30,000. Most importantly, this arrangement prevents spills in the basement from entering the stormwater sewer, thus eliminating potential environmental incidents

On behalf of the EHS Department, Bill Harris and Jennifer Pyle would like to thank Joe LaPalombara and Facilities in their proactive efforts to keep the local creeks pollutant free.


Nancy Deputy of Transportation Services received these words of thanks on behalf of the 2012 Middle East Partnership Initiative's (MEPI) Institute of American Studies and Leadership:

"We would like to sincerely thank you for your invaluable contributions to fulfilling the many important objectives of the program. In particular, your accommodation of our group at the motor pool was paramount in bolstering the overall experience of the students and positively contributing to another successful and distinctive MEPI program at UD. Your contributions to the program are greatly appreciated."


Colburn Lab manager George Whitmyre gave thanks on behalf of the "faculty, staff, scholars, and students" in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dept. to Pat Brock for "expert and professional" help he gave during a recent equipment transition in the lab. Whitmyre says he looks forward to working with Pat again throughout the semester. 


On one of the warmer days of fall semester, the Office of Human Development and Family Studies became uncomfortably warm. Workers in the office were especially appreciative of Wayne Burke, who they say helped cools things down. 

To all who dealt with the "Towering Dilemma" that occurred over move-in weekend, Building Maintenance and Operations director Ken Grablewski writes:

"Thank you and all the staff that worked on this well into the morning hours all after working every night in excess of 20 to 30 hours overtime already this week due to move in response. I can't say enough about you and the staff that came back in last night to support our students. Truly above and beyond the call of duty. The fact that we once again have staff coming in today to start the drywall repair portion takes it to another level of response and dedication. Truly a tribute to the overall dedication of our managers and in house staff."

Vice President David Singleton adds:

"Yes indeed! Thanks for the extra efforts that went into taking care of this. I appreciate the excellent response to this annoying problem."


Kudos to custodial technician Harry Gibbs from Dept. of Biological Sciences Facility Coordinator Jim Farmer: "Harry does a wonderful job and all of us at this end appreciate his efforts!"

Successful Conclusion to a Big Project

The following letter came from Susan Brynsteson, Vice Provost and May Morris University Librarian, in regards to the completion of the Morris Library's new roof:

I am writing on behalf of the University of Delaware Library to say thank you for all you did on the Morris Library roof project. The Library is delighted with the new roof.

For years the Morris Library experienced numerous and persistent leaks after heavy rains. In fact, there were a dozen or so face sections of shelving on the third floor that had to be kept draped with plastic in order to protect the books just in case there was a storm.

Now, I am pleased to report tremendous improvement and I thank Facilities Planning and Construction for their leadership in bringing such a big project to a successful conclusion.

Larry McGuire did a great job of on-site management of this very complex project. In response to problems with fumes from roofing adhesives getting into the Library, he arranged for air handlers to be shut down in the afternoon when roofing materials were being applied. The air handlers were then returned to operation in the early evening so that the building would be comfortable for those using the Library through the evening and into the next day.

I understand from those at the Library who work most closely with Facilities, that the roof looks great with new flashing, a vast new roof surface, improvements in drainage, the removal of obsolete equipment, the replacement of problem door thresholds and the application of new caulking along the atrium.

All of this was completed on time and, just as importantly, with an excellent record of safety.

Congratulations to everyone involved and again, thank you.

-Susan Brynteson


When the College of Education and Human Development hosted a reception for parents weekend, assistant dean Kristine Ritz-Coll says custodial technician Dwayne Griffin was fantastic. Ritz-Coll says Dwayne was "attentive and very helpful, and the building looked and smelled great."

James Gordon, Shawn Alexander  and Paul Glenn have been recognized by the work they've done outside of McDowell Hall. Delaware Health Sciences Alliance program coordinator Gina Porter says, "They've done great work in creating a wonderful first impression of the building with the clean up and new plantings. Possibly even more important than their hard work, their interaction with others is always friendly and positive. They are great ambassadors for...the University."

Blue and Golden Saturday Follow-up

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions wants to thank all of the Facilities employees who made Blue and Golden Saturday a success. Senior associate director Faye M. Duffy writes:

Thank you for your help in making Blue and Golden Saturdays successful. Between both programs, we accommodated over 1,760 high school students and more than 4,500 total people. Historically, well over 70% of these students will apply to UD and of those approximately 60% will be admitted. Of those admitted, over 40% will eventually enroll.

The campus couldn’t have looked any better! If our guests didn’t fall in love with our campus on these two days, they never would.

Those of you and your staff members who helped Admissions with catering, tables and chairs, media services, grounds, room set ups, parking, printing, bus transportation were instrumental in allowing our programs to run smoothly and effortlessly. We couldn’t do it without your support. Best wishes for the remainder of the fall semester.


The Vita Nova team wants to recognize 3 custodial technicians they say "feel like family." They say they love working with Willie Howze, Christian Lorca and Dustin Sargable, and appreciate all their hard work. 
Conference technician Dennis McBrearty thanks Randy McCardell and Ken Davis for helping out on last-minute notice at a Student Centers event. 
Kudos to Dan Coyle and Harry Dudlek from the Graduate and Executive Programs for helping make the Horn Entrepreneurship Initiative kick-off event a success!