Five Questions with Amy Alves
Amy Alves is a “Jackie O. of all trades.”
Name: Amy Alves
Position: Facilities coordinator, Facilities Office
Time at the Gillings School: Five months (I’ve been in the UNC system for 10 years, though! I started working at UNC-Greensboro and then came to UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 to work in Facilities Services. Since then, I have transferred between recycling and building services.)
What I do at UNC Gillings (and why I love it): Basically, if you ask me about it, we do it in the Facilities Office. I work on set-up for events, I grant building access, I handle maintenance issues, and I help with a range of other – sometimes surprising! – things that pop up.
I like a lot of things about my job. I’m really happy here! I enjoy the variety, as no day is ever the same, and I like being able to move around a lot instead of being tied to a desk. I also appreciate working with Brent Wishart, the facilities manager. He lets me take full ownership of the tasks I take on and gives me chances to be creative in my work. Two fun projects I’ve done are revamping the Facilities Office webpages and starting the Facilities Fix blog.
A memorable day at work for me: was definitely commencement weekend this May. It’s been a long time since I worked around students in the Department of Romance Languages at UNC-Greensboro, and they provide a different level of energy for sure! Also, that weekend is so full of excitement for the students and their families. I’d only been in this role for three weeks when we hosted our 2016 commencement celebration, but I already felt such pride in having our facilities in tip-top condition when students showed their parents where they studied.
To start a conversation with me, as about: dogs! I currently have two dogs. Monti is a 16-year-old terrier mix, and Henry is an eight-year-old Jack Russell. I absolutely love dogs, and I work at a dog grooming shop on the weekends. I’ve been doing that for about five years, but it’s only since I took this role in the Gillings School that I realized how many of our regulars have jobs at UNC. Let’s see… You could also talk to me about fashion. I do love my girly stuff when it comes to hair and makeup. I’m also really into do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and I like experimenting with essential oils, so I’ve been known to make my own lotions and body scrubs.
If I won $5 million in the lottery, I would: be really boring and save most of it. I figure I can do more with it later than I can right now, and meanwhile it’ll build up interest! I would donate some to an animal rescue organization, though, and I’d do some things to help out my family.
If I had to summarize myself, I’d say: that I’m a Jackie O. of all trades.
What I mean by that is I know a little about a lot of things, and I prefer it that way! I’ve been through emergency medical technician training and law enforcement training; I also completed the Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management through the Gillings School’s health policy and management department.
It makes me happy to learn new skills and always have at least a little something to offer in any situation. For example, I love learning from other members of the facilities staff about how our buildings function beneath the surface, because it makes me better at my job when I really understand how different systems operate. That said, I call myself a “Jackie O. of all trades” because she was so emblematic of grace and femininity, and I have that side as well. I love to take classes, and some that I’m looking at now are on massage therapy and creating more DIY natural beauty products. I treat myself to regular massages and facials, and I’d like to be able to offer other people that feeling of serenity.
Amy was nominated by Marcia Gretsinger, security guard for the Gillings School, who said, “Amy is fairly new at UNC Gillings. I think this would be a nice way to introduce a great person.”