April 2021 Campus Conversations - Nancy Vazquez, Building Services Crew Leader

Get to know Nancy Vazquez, a crew leader for Building Services on campus. Over her 27 years of experience at Notre Dame, Nancy has worked in every residence hall except Flaherty and Johnson, and has plenty of touching and funny stories to share.

Campus Conversations - Nancy Vazquez, Building Services Crew Leader

by Maura Boston '17 and Jessie Wurzer ‘17

Nancy and her children

We’ve gotta ask...North Quad or South Quad?
South Quad

What’s your role? 
I’m a Crew Leader for Building Services. I work with a supervisor to cover about seven buildings with a team of 17 employees. I work the 7:00 am-3:30 pm shift covering the Southwest side of campus including Ryan and Baumer Halls. Two people are assigned to each building. When those people aren’t there, we have “travelers” that cover the building. I am a traveler and I place people to fill those spots.

How long have you worked at ND? 
I have worked at the University for 27 years in every dorm except Flaherty and Johnson. My first jobs on campus were with Food Services at The Huddle and then North Dining Hall. Twenty years ago I shifted over to Building Services, working the dorms, the Presbytery behind the Grotto, and Corby Hall, where I served for 14 years.

For many years, I also worked as a “Matron (Host)” or “Regional attendant” during Commencement Weekend. Matrons are the hostesses of the buildings which become hotels during commencement. Regional attendants are responsible for a subset of those buildings. When I first started as a Regional, I was responsible for all the dorms used for housing parents. I went to every single dorm to make sure everything was going smoothly and to handle any issues that arose. Both positions require you to sleep over at the university during commencement. 

Can you give us a glimpse into your day to day?
I start my day by making sure all buildings are covered. My job consists of many things including sanitizing buildings, ordering supplies, completing work orders, and problem solving. Another responsibility I have is keeping the main supply closets in all seven buildings in my area organized and stocked. I also hold training sessions and instruct people on the equipment we have. I do a lot of different things, which I like because it keeps my day busy. I like the variety.
Favorite spot on campus?
The Basilica and the lakes - I walk them all the time.

Favorite spot in South Bend?
Howard Park - they even have an ice skating rink and fire pits there now! Also the River Walk from South Bend to Mishawaka.

Nancy Vasquez and family at the Howard Park Rink

 Can you tell us a bit about how COVID has affected your work?
When the pandemic first hit, we really had to take things day by day. Our building assignments changed daily so that we could cover all the buildings where people were working. I ended up spending my time at Corby Hall, Grace Hall, and a lot of other buildings. When the students came back, we became the sanitizing group. Not only are we cleaning the dorms and academic buildings, but also have disinfecting sprayers and are disinfecting everything. Our work changed a lot. Our daily routine now is to go through the dorms and spray all the door handles, all the common areas, and everything in sight that people may touch. We continue to spray throughout the day. I encourage my team to spray all the toilets and all the sinks before they even clean them, so it’s double time! Building Service has definitely stepped up this past year to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In one sentence, what do you think makes Notre Dame special?
The people that work there and the students.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time with building services?
I have a lot of memories with Fr. Dunne. I cleaned his room every day and we would always talk. After a new process started, where rooms were cleaned once per week instead of daily, Fr. Dunne requested that his room continue to be cleaned daily because he enjoyed my company and our conversations. It was very touching. He was one of my favorite priests that I took care of in Corby Hall.
If you could have any other job on campus for a day, what would it be?
Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Head Coach.
Do you have any funny stories from your time on the job? 
Once, while working commencement, I was driving around in my golf cart and I noticed a couple looking very confused. I offered my help and they said they were looking for their car. I gave them a ride to the parking lot near the football stadium, but they had no idea where they parked. We drove around and around trying to find their vehicle. It was absolutely hilarious. We searched for quite a while before they found it!
I also had another experience where we had just arrived before our shift started in the morning, and a priest was leaving to go preside over mass. His car got stuck in a pile of snow. We went and got the shovels, shoveled him out, and he went on his way. It turned out that, due to the snow, his mass was cancelled anyway!
Who is someone who inspires you?
My younger sister, Sonia. She is my go-to sounding board and always gives great advice, love, support, and encouragement. She inspires me to be the best I can be. Two other people who inspire me are Jim Kavanaugh (Manager of Corby Hall) and Andre Bowman (Building Services Supervisor) here at Notre Dame. Both have really believed in me and inspired me, often commenting on how much I pay attention to details and how I approach my work with pride, integrity, and a ‘can do’ attitude.

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