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Staff profile: Bobcat spirit at work

For nearly six years, Wanda Smith has exemplified the Bobcat spirit. With a firm grasp of the Georgia College mantra —reason, respect and responsibility—the custodian implements ethics like these in her daily interactions with others.  

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of GC is the love that I have and share for the students and faculty,” Smith said. “I also take pride in my job every day.” 

Wanda Smith, custodian I

She uses her attention to detail not only when cleaning, but also when working with others.

“Sometimes students tell me they’re not having a good day because they miss their parents. They say, ‘Miss Wanda, you came in and brightened up my spirits.’ That made me cry,” Smith said. “I feel like it’s my job to keep up their spirits, to give them motivation and love. Sometimes it’s just the little things you say and do for the students that can impact their lives in a positive way.”

It’s that positivity that makes Smith a bright spot in the day for everyone she interacts with.

“Students say, ‘Well, Miss Wanda, you may have had a bad day, but we can never tell it because you’re always in the same spirit, and we love that about you,’” she said. “I’d rather for the students’ and faculty’s day to be greater than mine.”

Smith credits her success to the support she receives from management, especially Assistant Director of Building Services Sylvia White, for creating a positive work environment.

“She has stuck by her open-door policy,” said Smith. “When I needed to talk with her, she would say, ‘Come on in and speak with me.’ She also had us write down our concerns and went out of her way to meet most of them. I am very inspired by her. She’s part of the Georgia College family.”

After Smith worked in Adams Hall for only two weeks, a student nominated her for a high-achiever award for putting her duties aside to assist new students who were moving into the dorms on move-in day.

“I took initiative to put my job to the side to help the parents get their students moved in,” said Smith. “If I had to assist the students 10 or 15 times, it didn’t matter to me.”

Her good works don’t stop there. A student’s father, who is in the custodial profession, attended the spring graduation and sent a letter to President Dr. Steve Dorman noting the cleanliness of the facility and the friendliness of the staff.

“It made me feel so good that someone recognized our work,” said Smith, who was assigned to the graduation site at that time.

And, everyday—from the moment she clocks in at 6 a.m. at Terrell Hall—she is ready to make a difference with everyone she comes in contact with.

“To be greeted by faculty with, ‘You’re awesome.’ What more can a person ask for?” asked Smith. “I get told that just about every day. When students and faculty compliment me, it just makes my day.”

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