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.
As Regina Shellenberger, housekeeping supervisor, gracefully says, “I have worked at Mount Union for 23 years. This is not my first job, but I came here because it allowed me the time I needed to spend with my family and raise my three children: Jannelle, Becky and Susan, as a single parent. Initially, before starting, I heard that it was a great place to work in, so I applied, and I got the job. It still is a beautiful place to work in. I have never felt more complete.”
Regina Shellenberger joined Mount Union on June 1, 1998 and has moved up into her current role.
“It was a sales representative, Bill, who told us ladies about housekeepers’ week a few years ago,” she jokingly said. “It did not happen every year. It is nice how students truly appreciate us and recognize us for our hard work. They leave little notes around. I think back in the day the role of housekeeping was kept invisible, but this has changed. I’ve worked in the same dorm for over 10 years and watched many students grow. They enter as freshmen, stay four years and graduate. They’ve left, but I’m still here!”
Shellenberger graciously highlighted that the inclusion of housekeepers into the academic setting has changed and that being acknowledged, being able to attend luncheons and to participate in events within the community has offered her a sense of gratification and has touched her profoundly.
“Now I have a great staff who are doing a great job, and they go above and beyond,” she said, smiling. “They are great team players because they are in a great place.”
Since being at Mount Union for the last 23 years, Shellenberger proclaimed, “This is a prestigious university and offers an extended family feeling. Everybody knows everybody. People here support each other and help each other, and this is important.”
She humbly shared her life’s journey and said that her dad, who was a U.S. Marine, was the most influential person in her life and offered her strength in times when she needed it the most. Her happiest moment in her life was being able to see all her ten grandchildren being born and when she headed out to Maine with her husband, Aaron to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
“We went out to camp at Porpoise Cove outside Kennebunkport, Maine. We had fresh cooked lobster delivered to our camp, and I was happy as a lark. One day I’d like to go to Hawaii with him. He’s my soulmate, very patient with me which sometimes he needs to be. Bless him.”
Shellenberger emphasized that education is important and expressed that in many ways it is a fulfillment in one’s life, if this is what the person wants to do. When she was asked about what advice she could offer to all students, she modestly smiled, “When you can be in a great place like Mount Union, don’t give this up. Don’t overstress and don’t worry and remember when life throws you a curve ball, you learn to swerve and keep going.”