Meet KU's January employees of the month

Tue, 03/01/2016

Name: Jeremy Mills
Title: Carpenter senior for Facilities Zone Maintenance
Start date: 2007

What that means: In his role as a carpenter senior, Mills installs doors, floors, ceilings, puts up walls and finishes plaster on the interior and exterior of buildings on campus. In his more than eight years of experience, Mills is undoubtedly an outstanding example of what it means to be a carpenter for Facilities Services. 

Notable: Mills’ supervisor, who has a lifetime of work experience, stated he has never seen a carpenter as good as Mills. Mills can build anything, given the right tools. He is frequently utilized for historical and difficult projects involving wood, plaster, and complex ceilings. Examples of his work include the newer display cases in Dyche Hall he built by hand, hand rails around the Watkins Home he hand-built, and plaster walls in Bailey and Strong that he repaired beautifully.

The reason Mills is assigned to such difficult tasks is because he always produces the best quality work he is capable of. When Mills is assigned a task, he thinks not just about the job on hand, but he thinks about what the purpose and reason for the job. As an example, if he gets a job for damaged plaster, he doesn’t just fix the plaster, he goes up on the roof to find the leak that caused the damage in the first place and repairs that as well to prevent further issues. Customers in Mills’ zone ask for him by name because of his demeanor and quality work.

Mills has talent beyond his years and amazes those he works with with his talent and skill for his trade. He is counted upon by those he works with and the management in his department. He is very knowledgeable and always willing to step in and assist others. Mills has an outstanding work ethic, and he is a true asset to his team.


Name: Andrew Danby
Title: Research associate, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis
Start date at CEBC: 2006

What that means: Danby provides guidance to postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduate students, and he writes and contributes to scientific grants. Danby also manages and maintains some of CEBC’s scientific equipment. He is a critical component to two separate research groups who rely on his expertise for completion of objectives. 

Notable: Danby can frequently be found working weekends, holidays and late into the evening. His work is described as “impeccable” as he requires perfection of himself. If equipment does not work like new, he works to fix it properly. If experimental data cannot withstand the toughest scrutiny or meet the most exacting standards, he rejects it and keeps working. Danby is the type of person who can solve a problem even in new circumstances or involving new equipment. He is a skilled troubleshooter.

Beyond the requirements of his position, Danby has taken a leadership role in developing and implementing safe laboratory practices at CEBC. He drafted a safety manual, procured and installed safety glass boxes for the labs, and is a founding member of the center’s safety committee. Danby additionally set up the online chemical inventory system, a system that allows for students and post-doctoral researchers to effectively store and manage chemicals. The inventory system prevents material from being ordered if it is already available in another lab, saving both time and money for the center. 

Danby is never willing to turn anyone away for help, regardless if it requires more responsibility from him. He has been known on many occasions to spend his personal time assisting new graduate students or post-doctoral researchers of foreign nationality with finding housing, learning to drive and going through the process of purchasing a car after arriving in Lawrence. His dedication to the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and to those he works with is evident through his safety initiatives and his personal investment in the success of his colleagues. 

“The start of classes and the return of students to campus are a great time for us to reaffirm how essential these…

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