University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

April 2, 2004


Johnson Receives Chancellor's Recognition Award

Lurene Johnson, a shipping and mailing clerk at UW-River Falls, has been named as one of this year's recipients of the Chancellor's Recognition Award to Classified Staff.

The award is presented annually to a non-instructional staff member who successfully fulfills the responsibilities of his or her position, participates in university service projects and has an excellent attitude. Nominations come from faculty, students and staff.

Tom Weiss, director of purchasing services and Johnson's supervisor, nominated Johnson because of her upbeat attitude.

"Lurene shows what we used to call in the U.S. Army a 'can do attitude.' Whatever the task, whatever the job, whatever the project, her response seems to indicate 'I can do it,' " Weiss said.

Nathan Beeman of housekeeping services said Johnson has one of the most physically demanding positions on campus, but is always smiling.

"Often times I have seen her moving items with a hand truck that must weigh twice her weight, yet she never asks for assistance," Beeman said.

Johnson has worked at UW-RF for three years. She delivers mail, packages and freight to every department on campus, rain or shine.

Johnson said the most rewarding aspect of her job is seeing people as she makes her deliveries. She also loves working outdoors.

When Chancellor Lydecker, who died March 25 in a car accident, told Johnson she had received the award, she was stunned.

"I just started shaking and crying and the Chancellor started crying. We were all crying. I was very, very happy and very, very shocked," Johnson said.

Johnson's favorite memory of her time at UW-RF involves Lydecker. She said she was pushing a cartload of paper once when the Chancellor approached her and asked if she could try.

"It had to weigh 300 pounds. She pushed it for a while and said 'I think I'll keep my job,' " Johnson said.

Johnson resides outside of Ellsworth with her husband Brian and son Benjamin. She emphasizes how lucky she is to have Weiss for a supervisor.

"I'm lucky to have the boss I've got. He's a nice guy and treats me with respect. That means so much," Johnson said.

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