Name: Thomas Droge
Title: IT technician, Information Technology
What that means: Droge is responsible for installing and supporting network cabling and equipment at both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. In addition to his core responsibilities, Droge has helped other technicians with training new employees, assisting on difficult or high-profile projects, fiber optic installations, switch upgrades and many other tasks that support the various projects across campus.
Droge demonstrates amazing flexibility to accommodate many last minute requests or to respond to immediate support requests and major projects with stringent timeframes. He is able to provide service quickly and does not hesitate to get it done right the first time.
Droge goes out of his way to make sure that each customer he comes in contact with gets exceptional service. Droge has a unique ability to break down complex technical details to make sure that all of his customers understand what he is doing and why.
Notable: When the university experienced a network outage, Droge stayed until 10 p.m. that day working to correct the outage and put interim measures in place. He was then called at midnight and provided additional help and support, then was back in the next day at 7 a.m. Droge created an IT emergency response team, and he serves as the lead on the team. He is the first to get the call of an emergency and loads up the van with the proper equipment to take to the crisis point to meet with the other workers. Droge has been the emergency contact on other contracting work, and the network outage was not the first time he has worked through the night to repair and restore service to areas of campus. In addition to his abilities to correct outages, Droge has also served as the point person on both the School of Business building and the LEEP buildings, installing all switches and terminals.
Name: Caleb Cook
Title: Steamfitter for Facilities Services Zone Maintenance.
What that means: Cook started with Facilities Services in 2013 as a plumber and in the time he has been with the university, he has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn and help others with their trades. He performs routine work that involves repairing, installing and maintaining pipes that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. Work he does also involves inspecting, troubleshooting, repairing or replacing pipes and systems.
Notable: Cook has the ability to look at a specific issue and determine where the problem is and what led to the problem. He is eager to work and learn, and when he is assigned a job, he wants to get started. While Cook is currently a steamfitter, because he wants to continue to learn and improve, he is also working to get additional training to hone his plumbing skills and also attending training to enhance his knowledge and skills as a leader. Cook stands out in his department because he always works to the best of his ability and strives to do a good job.
Co-workers attest that when they work with Cook, he always answers questions. He takes the time to explain what he is doing, why, and does so in a way that anyone can understand. A letter from a customer on campus described Cook as “patient, friendly, kind and conversational” in addition to providing high-quality work.
Cook routinely asks his supervisor, “What do you need me to do today, and how can I help?” or, “Whatever you need me to learn, just send me and I will do it.” These questions demonstrate Cook’s willingness to learn and help and is an attitude that KU can never have enough of.