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Meet the people who make Safer Badgers work, part 3

February 10, 2021 By Corissa Runde

It’s a big job to help keep campus safe through the pandemic.

As part of UW–Madison’s Safer Badgers effort, people are needed to answer questions over phone and email, staff the testing sites, support the app, manage building access and more.

Meet some of the people who make this effort work and help keep our whole campus community safe.

Ryan, front desk supervisor at Sellery Hall

As a front desk supervisor at Sellery Hall, Ryan takes pride in helping create a warm, friendly environment at one of the largest dorms on campus, with over 1,100 students who call Sellery home.

“I like to think my co-supervisor and I work to make sure residents feel like they can come to the front desk for anything, and they’ll be met with a smiling face—even if it’s under a mask,” says the junior accounting major from Saukville.

In his first year as a desk supervisor, Ryan has been grateful to play a role in making Sellery residents’ time in the dorm as normal and safe as possible throughout the pandemic, doing his part to preserve that “quintessential college dorm experience.” These days, those duties might include helping residents get their packages while in quarantine, or serving as a resource for residents and their families when they have questions about COVID-19 testing requirements.

“I take pride in being able to give residents comfort in a time that is so challenging,” Ryan says. “It’s so important to be there for other people right now, and it’s my hope that the desk staff and residents feel supported and comforted in Sellery.”

When he’s not busy helping dorm residents or studying cost management systems in his accounting classes, Ryan likes to unwind by watching reality TV with his roommates (their current escape: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City). And with UW–Madison’s testing and safety measures paving the way, Ryan hopes to soon get back to some of those signature real-life Badger experiences.

“I’m definitely most excited to go to the Terrace with my friends,” Ryan says. “And to just see Madison alive again.”

Lance, Badger Wellness Ambassador

As a sound and light engineer who is passionate about trends in audiovisual gear and design, Lance can’t wait to get back to working live events at the Terrace, Der Rathskeller and The Sett.

Lance, center, at a (pre-pandemic) live band event on the Terrace, with two student staff members.

That’s why he’s optimistic about his new part-time role as a Badger Wellness Ambassador on campus—and the role the new university COVID-19 testing requirements play in re-introducing vibrant elements of “normal” campus life.

“Is there anything better than a warm evening with a beautiful sunset over the lake and a great band playing on the Terrace at Memorial Union?” asks Lance, who has worked for UW–Madison for over 11 years. “I miss this a ton. The sooner we can all start to return to somewhat normal of ‘the before times,’ the happier we will all be.”

Until then, you’ll find Lance and a team of Badger Wellness Ambassadors stationed at many building entrances across campus to check for the green checkmark your Badger Badge—helping to ensure that those entering university facilities are doing so safely, staying in compliance with the new campus regulations.

And when we can safely return to holding more live events on campus, Lance looks forward to once again working with and mentoring the student staff at the Wisconsin Union.

“It’s great to see their transformation from when they first start with us to when they graduate,” Lance said.  “They become great sound and light techs with a passion for live events, music and production.”

While some students go on to work in the industry, others are well-equipped for different career paths, Lance says, having honed their skills in troubleshooting, prioritization and staying cool under pressure in time-crunched, stressful situations.

When Lance isn’t working on campus or serving on the University Staff Congress, you might find this avid board/tabletop gamer playing one of the 250-plus games in his collection, or binge watching a sci-fi series and Netflix food shows like Ugly Delicious or Chef’s Table: BBQ.

Home life, in fact, is pretty purrfect—with 11 rescue cats keeping things interesting: Zion, Abbie, Bonkers, Munchkin, Smokey, Luci, Mommy, Normy, Twoey, Mo and Posey.

“We are crazy cat people and it’s challenging at times, but the rewards outweigh any downsides,” Lance says. “It’s very interesting with 11 very different little personalities in the house.”

Meet more of the people who make Safer Badgers work, here and here.