At Marquette, we talk about being “men and women for others;” it’s one of the university’s catch phrases. You can find these words emblazoned on signs in the Alumni Memorial Union, written on banners on the light posts and being spoken by faculty, administration and students alike. One of the best examples of this phrase, however, can be found in the caring smile behind the counter of the dining hall in Straz Tower and at the Campus Kitchen at Marquette.
You see, Sharon Hope is that caring smile. During the school year, you can find Sharon at Straz, serving healthful food to the students. Because of the dietary needs of some of the students, she works closely with the chef managers to develop delicious vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and other options that they need. And she knows her students – if you watch her during meal service, she is quick to point out the appropriate options based on their specific needs.
When she’s not at work, you will probably find Sharon at the Campus Kitchen at Marquette. During her time off on the weekends and over school breaks, Sharon shares her gifts with the greater Milwaukee community. She will spend 18-30 hours each week with CKMU over the summer break, planning menus for and preparing as many as 500 meals per week. Even though Sharon rarely goes on delivery to meet our guests, she prepares food with great love as though each guest was her own child, grandchild or mother. Sharon is an integral part of CKMU’s program, and we are so lucky that she shares her time with us.
Sharon truly lives the words of Marquette – she is a woman for others. Others have taken notice – Sharon was nominated for and won the district Sodexo Experience award for her work with CKMU. Her nomination moved forward, and she won the regional award as well. At the national level, Sharon’s caring smile was judged against over 35,000 employees at nearly 1,000 universities, and she won the Campus Services Segment Award for the entire country!
Recently, Sharon was recognized for her achievement with a reception at Straz Tower. After the cake was cut, she kept urging her co-workers to have another piece, making sure they had enough. And at the end of her shift that afternoon, she brought the leftovers to CKMU. Even in her own celebration, she just wanted to get into the kitchen to prepare the next day’s meal. It is an honor to have her in our kitchen. She is a role model living the words of Marquette – Men and Women for Others.