By Lynn Reutens '23
International Housekeepers and Environmental Services Week is held every year during the second week in September. In recognition of this week, the University of Mount Union is proud to celebrate and thank the professional staff members who work behind the scenes on campus. I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to three remarkable women who have played an integral part in this campus setting.
Kirah Zelenak, a bubbly and charismatic young lady, joined Mount Union in September 2020. She happily said, “I know I’m the youngest here being only 22, but I was looking for a more stable job, and I’m thinking of going back to college one day to study psychology. So, it’ll be great if I could study and work at Mount.”
Zelenak graduated high school through ECOT in 2017 and admitted that education is important and getting a degree would be significant to have for better job opportunities. Her brother Chance, graduated from Mount Union in 2017, earning a business degree.
“I remember that he looked really happy here because I could see that happiness in him,” she said. “There’s something good about this place. Maybe it’s how the buildings are arranged in a pretty way, and the lakes give that soothing feeling. So, maybe I could start courses here one day.”
Her beautiful smile indicated that it is wonderful to be remembered when a person works hard, and she recalls being given chocolates and a thank you card for her hard work here.
“I feel that every day is a learning day for me at Mount Union, and I’m still wondering and adapting to everything,” she said with humility. “It is hard at times, because I see students all around me and wonder if I should switch places and be like them, but I don’t think I’m ready right now. I’m happy doing what I do and to be recognized this week for all our hard work means a lot to us. Not many places can do this, but Mount Union is special.”
Zelenak admitted that she is still searching for that passion in life and hopes she can find it in Mount Union as she carries out her daily duties in Miller Hall.
“I think it’s ok not to know what to do right away, and I think it is important not to be stressed out on the first year,” she said. “I know I haven’t started my studies yet, but I see what’s happening right in front of me as I clean the dorms. These students are lucky to be here because I couldn’t think of a better place to graduate. Maybe once I graduate, I could visit Italy and have an authentic bowl of pasta.”
I could not agree more with her. As a famous Italian saying goes, Al Cuore Non Si Comanda — “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”