Staff Spotlights: The Tate Facilities Team

Greg Albanese

Associate Director of the Tate Student Center for Facilities and Operations

Discipline – Consistency – Analytical – Deliberative – Relator

Travis Brown

Senior Coordinator of Facilities and Operations

Achiever – Context – Deliberative – Relator – Futuristic

Whitney Cain

Assistant Director for Tate Facilities and Operations

Maximizer – Communication – Competition – Developer – Input

Joshua Hudson

Facilities and Operations Specialist

Strategic – Connectedness – Developer – Achiever – Arranger


The Tate Facilities Team was nominated by a colleague, who had the following to say:

If possible, I would love to take a moment to nominate our entire Tate Student Center Facilities Team. Tate Student Center Facilities Team consists of Greg Albanese (Associate Director), Whitney Cain (Assistant Director), Travis Brown (Senior Coordinator), and Joshua Hudson (Specialist) and these humans are incredible! In a time of such unprecedented challenges, they have amazed me with their ability to work as such a cohesive unit all in an effort to ensure students, staff, and visitors are safe during a pandemic.

 

The list continues to grow, but they have helped coordinate getting new department spaces online, moving furniture to ensure spaces meet guidelines, addressing signage concerns, and so much more. They are incredible campus partners that work to make sure our spaces are ready to go for all of our students, staff, and visitors for whatever the next day or even month brings. I am incredibly proud to work with folks like this and appreciate that, in a time of uncertainty, at least one thing is for certain: these people are amazing!


 

Are you from Georgia? If not, where are you from? (i.e., where do you call “home”?)

 

Greg: I am from Georgia. Grew up in Elberton.

Travis: I’m from Woodbine, GA (I’m sure you have not heard of it).

Whitney: I’m from a small town in South Carolina called Swansea. I named my basset hound after my hometown – she’s loud and a little rough around the edges. Bless her heart.

Josh: I am from Chatsworth, GA, which is a small, rural town in the northwest Georgia mountains, near Dalton.

 

 

How long have you worked at UGA?

Greg: I started working in Tate when I was an undergrad student in 1995. I started working full-time in 1998.

Travis: I’ve worked for UGA almost 4 years.

Whitney: I have been with UGA for a little over four years now. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Josh: I started full-time almost a year ago, but worked part-time for Rec Sports for around four years while I completed my undergraduate degree.

 

 

What does a “day in the life” look like for you at work?

Greg: It usually doesn’t go as planned. I can come into work wanting to accomplish certain things. Other issues will come up that take up most of my day.

Travis: Ensuring safety of building and visitors are taken care of. Also putting out various “fires.”

Whitney: A good portion can be spent reacting to the problems of the day, talk about a laundry list. These days keep me on my toes and they are never repetitive.   

Josh: My normal work hours of 2-11 p.m. differ from the other members of my department to provide support to the Tate Student Center and Memorial Hall during the evening and night hours. I supervise a student staff of building managers who oversee Tate and Memorial in the afternoon, night, and weekend hours. We are the main “problem-solvers” for facility-related issues and leaders during emergency situations.

 

 

What are three things you love most about your job?

Greg: The people I work with. Hands on nature of the work we do. Getting to work with all the different departments in our facilities.

Travis: The students, the atmosphere, [and] the visitors.

Whitney: I work with wonderful folks. We supervise and learn alongside amazing students. I am often humbled by the impact these buildings have on the student experience.

Josh: I love the opportunity to be a hands-on mentor to a small student staff. I love being able to have positive, supportive relationships with my coworkers. I love having supervisors who encourage growth and allow for independence.

 

 

Who do you look up to/ admire?

Greg: I have an uncle that lives up North. He’s 92. Still travels all over the US and occasionally overseas. I always enjoy talking to him. He always gives me good advice about life. Last year he bought a brand new car because he plans to keep driving for many more years.

Travis: My mother.

Whitney: I’m fortunate to say that that list would be very long. Lucky me.

Josh: I focus on admiring specific aspects of people because no one infallible. I’m fortunate to have had good parents and to have developed a strong network of mentors in the Athens/UGA community, who I look up to in different ways.

 

 

What are things that you do for fun/hobbies?

Greg: Work on or restore older cars. Build car motors.

Travis: A little reading and working on my programming skills.

Whitney: I spend a lot of time with plants. During quarantine, my home office was set up on our patio, I find a lot of comfort in moments outside. I’ve recently taken up golf, I was told, “if you play bad, play fast.” I play fast, but I’m having fun with it.

Josh: For fun, I enjoy hiking, gaming, music, politics, Netflix, traveling, and food.

 

 

Do you have a favorite location or spot on campus or in Athens? Where is it? Tell us about why you like that spot the most!

Greg: I’ve always enjoyed going to the mall. I have very early memories of going there with my family. I would always stick with my grandfather because he would buy me lots of candy. We’ve taken my oldest son there a lot. He likes to ride the train and motorized animals. He also likes to eat pretzels and jump in the bouncy houses. It saddens me to see the mall decline.

Travis: Tate, because this is the hub of campus.

Whitney: The Trial Gardens are such a vibrant and creative space. Be on the lookout for the annual Plantapalooza where UGA host a three stop plant sale on a Saturday morning in April. Pro-tip, always make the Trial Gardens your first start of that day.

Josh: I worked for UGA football and was able to be on the Sanford Stadium sidelines for a few games. The first game-day, I had a personally-significant moment. My dad passed away earlier that year and being on the sideline amidst all the cheers, I felt some form of connection to him. It was a goal that I’d worked towards for several months and I’d been using work as a grief-outlet, so the payoff is a special memory.

 

 

What might be something that you would like other staff to know about your job?

Greg: When the power goes out on campus, there is nothing I can do about it.

Travis: No day is the same.

Whitney: We know a little about a lot of things.

Josh: We’re always open to ideas about how we can make our spaces better.

 

 

What might be some ways that staff could collaborate or partner with you?

Greg: Because of the work we do, we already work with and collaborate with everyone.

Travis: Just by making sure to help in ensuring the building stays clean.

Whitney: The more the merrier when it comes to caring for and tending to physical spaces.

Josh: Beyond attending courses on the PEP with me, they could email me to discuss the facilities or student-staff.

 

 

Anything you would like to share that you would like other staff to know about you?

Greg: My wife and I have two beautiful children. Herrin is 6 years old and Callum is 7 months old.

Travis: No.

Whitney: I never intended my career path to lead to Student Affairs, but now I would be hard-pressed to imagine it going differently.

Josh: Once things are safe, everyone is welcome to say “hello”! Also, don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can do to make our facilities better. We want everyone to feel comfortable with the new normal of social-distancing in our spaces.

 

 

What advice would you have for new staff joining UGA Student Affairs?

Greg: Learn as much as possible about all the different departments. That information can be very beneficial later on.

Travis: Take advantage of the many professional development opportunities.

Whitney: Though times are different, make an effort to meet folks and attend events. Buy-in to your job and be convinced in the impact you make.

Josh: Don’t be afraid. Most of the people you work around can likely help and empathize with you.

 

 

What is one question you wished we asked and what is the answer?

Greg: Do you have any family that works at UGA? My lovely wife Mandi works in the School of Social Work.

Travis: None that I can think of.

Whitney: I believe we’ve covered it here. I was waiting to give my social security number and mother’s maiden name. This has been really fun!

Josh: What’s been my favorite flavor of ice cream during quarantine? Chocolate chip cookie dough.

 

 

What is the coolest thing you have ever done and why?

Greg: I drove in 20 demolition derbies over seven years. Won 11 times. I enjoyed tearing cars up and driving a car to its absolute limit.

Travis: Something recently that I have done that is personally cool is graduate with my Masters because I was not even planning to go back to school after undergrad.

Whitney: It was actually done for me; I was raised by the best group of people. Now talk about a good time.

Josh: My Costa Rica study abroad had a lot of cool moments. It was an awesome experience that expanded my perspective a lot.

Staff Spotlights: Sharing the stories of staff in UGA Student Affairs

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