Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Employee of the week: Shaw ‘Shawnie’ Harris

How did you wind up working as a custodian for Whitman?

I was born here in Walla Walla, moved when I was 9, and proceeded to go to 12 different schools in the next five years all over California and Idaho. I went to a culinary arts school in Spokane and got an AA degree in Culinary Arts. I like cookin’ anything and everything.

I was working at Walla Walla Community College before I started working here. I worked for five years at Eastern Washington University. When I moved down here, I was looking for something similar. I love being around the kids – my kids. I always call them “my little sweetheart” and they say, “Oh, we’re all your little sweethearts.”

What do you love about working in Lyman?

I love all the students that come in this building. I learn almost every one of their names. I’m going on 500 names now! I make an effort and usually have them all down by winter break, although it’s a little more difficult now that we have another custodian.

I love working in Lyman because it’s a little bit smaller, plus it’s got all 4 years mixed all over the building. Also, it’s boys and girls, which makes it really nice for the freshmen, to have upperclassmen to turn to.

What is the craziest thing you’ve seen in the residence hall?

Well, on April Fools’ day a few years’ back, when I came in on Monday, the kids had taken one of the stalls apart upstairs and placed it in front of the RD’s apartment. Plus, they took the door handle to the D and E section so that nobody could get in or out. They’ve stacked furniture to the ceiling. There were two couches and two chairs missing –– but I got ’em back. I don’t know who took ’em, I don’t care who took ’em, but I got ’em back.

What do you enjoy about being a part of the Walla Walla and Whitman community?

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for those students who got left behind. I like going to all of the sporting events. I’m a club sports coach: a glorified chaperone. I have gone on trips with the Tae Kwon Do Club, gone to Lewiston with the triathletes, and to Spokane with the Hockey Team.

Some of the students here are in Theatre, so I go to some of the Theatre things when they’re acting in it. Dragfest is fun – I always show up for a half an hour to see how everybody looks.

I like talking to the kids and seeing how their vacations were and how they’re doing in classes. Being able to be around the kids 8 hours a day is great – I don’t think I could work the midnight shift over in the academic buildings.

Is there any interesting talents students don’t know you have?

I won a horseshoe competition once in California –– I was the only girl that was playing. Nobody knows how to play horseshoes anymore, I don’t think. I played Powder-puff football in high school, and I was on the drill team. That was a long time ago, though. I still like to dance. I love seventies’ music, but I like country music. I like to do the country swing, too.

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