"I enjoy the daily contact and working with people," admitted Collins, who accepted the award at a reception in her honor at the atrium of the Lee Medical Building on The U's campus. "It's not always easy being a supervisor and telling people what to do doesn't always make you a popular person. But if you are fair and treat everyone the same, most people will understand that I am here to do a job just like they are."

Collins was nominated for the award by Harry St. Peter, a former custodial worker at USD who’s now retired. St. Peter noted Collins’ dedication as well as her professionalism and organizational skills in managing employees within the facilities management department.

"Susie is a very fair person to work for," St. Peter stated in his nomination of Collins, who has been an employee at The U since 1982. "She has shoveled snow when help was scarce, mopped up when water pipes broke and is there when other needs arise. She’s not afraid to say 'thank you' for a job well done."

Collins began working as a custodian at USD more than 25 years ago. Although she and the department seem to operate at a non-stop pace year-round, it doesn't keep her from taking note of the changes on USD's campus in more than two-and-a-half decades as an employee.

She described the campus as "growing and expanding" and "getting bigger all the time."

"The continuing improvement in the technology of the equipment and the cleaning products we use makes it easier to maintain our buildings," she added, "especially a new building. That's definitely a plus as campus continues to grow."

Collins and her husband, J.C. currently reside in Jefferson, S.D. Married for 36 years, their daughter, Beverly, lives in Vermillion. A photo of Collins receiving her award from Diane Zak, director of human resources at USD, is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Susie_Collins.jpg.

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