Update - The newsletter for the University of Memphis
More September Features:

Research aided by Fellows program
Professors introduce local election
U of M tailgaters recycle
Theatrical group
Cash builds a firm foundation
Chando sees 'different' side of U of M
Lockhart locks in honor
Wright-Savage lauded
Adopt an Angel
Names in the news


September 2010 Briefs

Washington Monthly magazine has listed the University of Memphis among the top 100 schools in its 2010 universities rankings. The U of M comes in at No. 100, right behind the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Connecticut, and ahead of the University of Massachusetts, Boston University and the University of Tennessee. 

Dr. Joan Thomas, associate professor in the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg School of Nursing, has received a grant of $787,696 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prepare future nurse executives. The three-year award is one of the largest HRSA grants ever received at the U of M. 

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Chando sees 'different' side of U of M

By Greg Russell

It might be said that John Chando experiences the wild side of life at the University of Memphis. Deer, snakes, hawks – even a couple of big cats – it is all in a day’s work for the U of M employee.

Chando is a general maintenance mechanic at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, which is run by the U of M. For his diligent work, he was honored with a Distinguished Employee of the Year Award in June during Employee Recognition Day. He has been at the University for four years.

“Working in the middle of T. O. Fuller State Park has its benefits,” Chando said. “We have many different types of wildlife.”

He is also keenly aware of the region’s history.

“Working at Chucalissa is amazing. Sometimes, like with anywhere, you take for granted what was going on here hundreds and even thousands of years ago. It is exciting to think that I am working on the same grounds where Native Americans settled years ago and developed their own culture and way of life. All the work that the archaeologists, past and present, have put in to discover and preserve the history of Chucalissa is also very impressive.”

John Chando (far right) with his family after he received a Distinguished Employee of the Year Award. (photo by Susan Prater)
John Chando (far right) with his family after he received a Distinguished Employee of the Year Award. (photo by Susan Prater)

Chucalissa director Dr. Robert Connolly said Chando’s work is equally as noteworthy.

“John consistently works beyond his official responsibilities,” Connolly said. “He is proactive in the oversight of all aspects of the physical plant operation at the Nash Museum. He regularly monitors and oversees the entire operation at Chucalissa, is mindful of future needs and addresses small problems before they become big problems. He is the epitome of a team player.”

“Team” comes to mind often when Chando describes his job.

“We have a tremendous staff here, which consists of a few full- and part-time employees, graduate assistants and interns. The museum’s director, Robert Connolly, utilizes many different resources, always comes in with new ideas. He has really transformed the museum into one of the premiere attractions in the region.

“Being the only full-time maintenance person taking care of such a large facility can at times be overwhelming especially during special events like the Native American Festival and 5k Relic Run,” continued Chando. “Usually the museum runs very smoothly and we do have a part-time seasonal employee, John Hesse, who knows the museum like the back of his hand and is a great help to everyone at Chucalissa.”

Chando said the Nash Museum is also sometimes aided by the maintenance staff from the University's physical plant who are “very efficient employees,” he said.

In his free time, Chando likes to take to the open road.

“When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. We love to go downtown and take daytrips to the many different places our area has to offer. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle on the back roads of Tennessee.”

Chando, who received $500 as part of the award, was very humble in describing his honor.

“Just knowing that someone appreciates my work enough to nominate me for the award is very flattering, but being one of the recipients is a very special honor,” he said.


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