KU announces July 2017 Employees of the Month

Fri, 10/27/2017

Name: Tom Prescott 
Title: Senior painter, Facilities Services 

What that means: Tom Prescott is an expert when it comes to paint and painting. He is very detail-oriented and always has the customer’s satisfaction as his No. 1 priority. Prescott does the job right the first time so there are no call backs. When there is a project that requires a very professional worker who knows how to deal with students and communicate with the custodial staff, Prescott’s supervisor knows Prescott can be trusted to handle the project. 

Prescott has a notebook he keeps track of every work order he and his team work on. He writes down everything from the work order number, building room number, what they did and when they did it along with the paint color. After each year is over, he gives a copy to his supervisor to show what he and his team have done for that year. This notebook allows his supervisor to be able to go back and check and see what building and where in that building has been painted and with that information, decide the next area that needs to be worked on.

Notable: As an example to Prescott’s dedication to his job, recently the “30 minute” parking spots and accessible parking spots at the Visitor Center needed the curb painted, and the accessible parking sign in the actual parking spot needed painted. The problem was that there was always people in and out of the spot throughout the normal workday. Prescott volunteered to come in and work on Sunday to get the curb and spot painted. He cares about the university and wanted people coming to the Visitor Center to see those nice fresh painted curbs and accessible parking spots.

Outside of work duties, Prescott and a few others provide the coffee for everyone. Prescott shows up early and makes sure coffee is ready for everyone every morning by 6:45 a.m. He works well with others, is always helpful, is a true professional and a master of his job. 

Name: Susan Rendall
Title: Costume shop manager, Department of Theatre

What that means: In her role, Susan Rendall coordinates the work of the costume shop, which may have two or three different shows under various stages of completion at any one time.  Not only does she participate hands-on in the creation of costumes for the 10-show season, she is in charge of ordering all materials, buying or renting costume pieces, arranging for the maintenance of equipment and planning the work schedule of the student employees. Rendall keeps the University Theatre shop running smoothly. All in all, the costume shop, under her guidance, creates several hundred costumes per year.  

Rendall communicates with all the costume designers, often students, to ensure that their concepts are correctly interpreted as realized costumes on the stage. Costumes are created on time, with great quality, and the designers are delighted with the result. E

Rendall works with each designer, getting the job done, and making everyone feel appreciated. The beautifully costumed shows in KU Theatre’s 10-show season is a wonderful illustration of Rendall’s dedication and interest in getting the job done and done right. 

Notable: In addition to her work for KU Theatre, Rendall frequently designs and builds the costumes for productions of the University Dance Company. Working alone on weekends and evenings, she builds dozens of costumes in a relatively short amount of time. 

As much as the department may attempt to control the work required of the costume shop, inevitably situations arise. Sometimes extra costumes are added to a show, sometimes whole shows are substituted for others at the last moment and sometimes designers change in midstream. In every case Rendall takes the extra work in stride and presents the university community with theater productions that are beautifully costumed. 

Her strengths are amazing organization, a proactive attitude and the ability to work with students no matter their experience, and treat them as professionals. Student workers typically work their entire work-study career in the shop and are more than happy to do so. Many graduates have gone on to careers in stage and television costuming. This is due in no small part to Rendall, who provides them with practical experience above and beyond the design fundamentals that they learn in the classroom. 

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