The Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus is constantly buzzing with happy, smiling faces, and I’m not just referring to the faces of students. The university’s various dining halls, markets, and eateries are filled with warm-hearted and fun-loving staff. While these men and women have the ability to drastically enhance so many students’ moods on a day-to-day basis (and definitely do so), they often don’t receive the recognition they deserve.
These employees (ranging from campus security guards to staff at off-campus buildings) comprise a large portion of the people that I see on my daily pit stops. Whether I’m grabbing a quick cup of coffee at Einstein Bros Bagels or I’m searching for off-campus housing, the staff that works on and around The Johns Hopkins University is vitally important to my life at school.
There’s a certain degree of trust that we, as students, must put in these people. For example, those who monitor our dorms are responsible for ensuring our safety as we go to sleep each night; security guards sit at the turnstiles of each on-campus dorm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This blog is dedicated to those people and so many more.
Yesterday, I walked around campus and asked some of my favorite employees if they’d mind being featured in my blog on the JHU admissions website. I told them that, although the blog’s goal would be to show prospective students how great JHU and Charles Village employees are, my personal goal is to thank them for all they do. Here is a little bit more about some of the people I spoke with.
It’s only fitting that I begin with Gladys—the first on-campus employee I met as a freshman at Hopkins. Gladys works in the Fresh Food Café (the FFC) and has been with The Johns Hopkins University since 1971. She is a kind-hearted woman who greeted me every morning of freshman year with, “Hi, baby, how are you?” Her smile is absolutely contagious and her hugs are warm and special. When she met my parents during visiting weekend, she told them, “Don’t worry, I’ll look out for your daughters.” Since I live further from the FFC this year, I don’t see Gladys daily anymore. Still, at any chance we get, my twin sister and I run over to the FFC to catch up with her. When I asked her to tell me a fun fact about herself, she responded with, “My personality is a fun fact.”
I see Juanita and Marvel every day. These women work the registers at the Charles Street Market (CharMar), which puts them in contact with JHU students all day every day. It’s no wonder they were chosen for those positions—they are two of the funniest and most personable women in Maryland. Both have worked at Hopkins for 21 years and absolutely love being around people. Juanita loves making the students laugh, but says the students make her laugh each day as well. Marvel playfully agreed, adding how much she loves the market’s convenient location and the wide range of students that come through each day.
Joan works in the leasing office of an off-campus apartment. I say “off-campus” because The Charles is not technically owned by JHU. It is, however, directly in between Charles Commons and CharMar and is, without a doubt, on campus. My sister and I will be living in The Charles next year, so for the past few weeks we’ve been in and out of the leasing office meeting with Joan! She’s worked there for only about a year and a half so far, but she’s already made an effort to meet and form relationships with almost all of the students currently living in The Charles. She has twins of her own, which allowed her to bond with my twin sister and I quite well from the start.
Wendell, Brenda, and Hana are a hoot! These employees at Einstein Bros Bagels feed off of one another, making each trip to Einstein’s (which is located right inside of CharMar) a hilarious funfest. Wendell calls everybody “Baby” and “Sweetheart.” She has worked on the Homewood campus for 38 years and says she loves playing jokes on people. Brenda, who has worked here for almost 14 years, loves the sound of laughter—when she’s not making others laugh, she’s making herself laugh. The sound is contagious and can be heard from the other side of CharMar. Hana is relatively new to campus. She’s been working here for 3 years, and while she was too shy to admit it, Wendell let me in on a little secret—Hana’s a dancer!
I could go on and on forever, appreciating each individual staff member for his or her personal contributions to the university and its students. I hope that my recognition of these few people can represent my sincere gratitude towards everybody.
Prospective students–leaving home and going to college is hard. It’s difficult being away from your parents and guardians who have raised you and sheltered you for your entire lives. Know, however, that at Hopkins, the employees will become your companions and, above all, your family. These people will brighten your day; their warm, friendly, welcoming personalities will touch you with each encounter, and you will be in very good hands.