Richards named USD employee of the month An upbeat attitude, sense of humor and sincere concern for student residents and co-workers have earned Ron Richards of Yankton the September Career Service Employee of the Month Award at The University of South Dakota.
Richards, a custodian for Residential Life since 1995, was honored during a ceremony in Julian Hall. USD Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Dahlin presented Richards with a plaque and a check.
"I enjoy the interaction and inter-relationships with the graduate students, and the ability of all the co-workers to get along. I was a homicide detective for the Los Angeles Police Department for 25 years, retired and moved to South Dakota in 1993, but retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be," said Richards. "The banter with the kids in graduate school and students getting their doctorates, that's the fun part of it."
Co-worker Rachel DeLosier nominated Richards based on his positive attitude and dependability. "Ron makes life for the student residents more like home," said DeLosier. "He knows their names and he takes the time to get to know them. We all realize the residents are our customers and if they're happy, we're happy.
"The students ask his advice. He's like a big brother to them. Some of them come back to live here because of him. He's the only custodian who received a 100 percent in the Quality of Life survey the residents do each February," DeLosier added. "With his co-workers, he's a pretty straightforward guy, which we appreciate. If things get a little stressed, he's got a sense of humor and he makes work more fun. He was here when I started and he made me feel right at home. He's always more concerned about how we're doing than himself," she said.
According to DeLosier, Richards also shares his experiences as an LAPD detective and gives talks about safety and related issues with residents of other dorms.
Richards, formerly of Alta Loma, CA began working at USD in August 1995. He and his wife, Linda, have two daughters, Trisha of Vermillion and Lisa of Chicago, IL.