Job Title: Parking Services Coordinator, UNK Police Department
Years at UNK: 35; Started in 1982
Career Path: Started in 1982 as a part-time security guard and escorted students who came in after hours from Ludden Hall to their residence halls. Hired as a full-time police officer and, after graduating from the Law Enforcement Center in Gran Island, took on parking duties. I eventually became a supervisor and then transitioned to supervising parking only.
Family: Husband, Leo; Daughter, Tammy Carroll, Mississippi; Son, Craig Budden, Lincoln; Daughter, Carey Rupp of Front Royal, Va.; Son, Josh Budden, Kearney. Nine grandchildren.
Hobbies/Interests: Bow and rifle deer hunting, fishing in the sandhills, gardening and reading. Just started quilting.
Three words that describe your personality? Humorous (If not, I wouldn’t have been able to do parking this long). Energetic (I’m always on the go). Courteous (I hope. I want to treat people the way I want to be treated).
Share something about yourself that few people know? Probably the fact that I like to hunt, and that when I do so I am out there by myself. I started hunting in my late 40s, so I haven’t really been doing it all that long. My first deer that I got – a 5×5 that green scored 155 – made it to Field and Stream magazine’s 2008 whitetail issue. … I also like people, and it just kills me to say, ‘No, I can’t void that for you.’
What do you like most about your job? People! Getting to meet and talk to people from all over. Hopefully taking a negative occurrence and turning it around to an understanding and acceptance.
Biggest change you’ve seen at UNK since you started? I think seeing the police side change, from being glorified security guards to an actual police department. The change has been slow, but it is happening. Aside from the police change, I think the changes going on right now with University Village, the Budget Response Team, etc. These are changes that are all positive and will lead to some great opportunities.
What is your favorite thing about UNK? I always go back to the people. They are who make UNK such a great place to work, and my family away from family.
Where is your favorite place to visit on campus? Depends on the day. The old buildings such as West Center and Men’s Hall, because of the history.
Biggest challenge you faced in your time at UNK? I think during the time I was both police officer/supervisor and parking coordinator. I always felt like I wasn’t giving enough to do each job correctly.
What qualities make someone successful in your position? Good customer service skills and being very diplomatic.
How do you measure success, in terms of your career? The people who I know and have met, the smiles when I see them. The opportunity to have served on Staff Senate.
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? Take advantage of the tuition remission and get my master’s degree.
What is your fondest memory of UNK? As a police officer, patrolling the residence halls on foot and getting to know the students. I still have past students who say ‘remember when’? Those stories I can’t repeat.