When Rosa Holston began working as a cashier in Davenport Dining Hall, she used a hole-punch on the meal cards instead of a scanner. Holston is more than a working woman; she is also a wife, mother of three, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of two.
She can be seen everyday scanning cards at Davenport and most students know that nothing gets past her.
However, there are not many who can say that they actually know 67-year-old Rosa Holston, the soft-spoken, San Dimas resident with a heart of gold and the patience of a saint, who celebrated 35 years of service to Davenport Dining Hall on March 1.
“I’ve been pretty happy working here,” Holston said. “I doubt that I’d still be sitting here after 35 years if I wasn’t happy; it’s such a great atmosphere.”
Holston speaks of her anniversary with humility, showing that her service to the University of La Verne is not for her own benefit, but for the students that she encounters everyday.
Her optimism and love of service is echoed through her ability to say only nice things about her job and the people she comes in contact with.
Holston, who grew up in Florida as the youngest of 11 siblings, was taught early on that family and service were the most important aspects of life.
She does her best to uphold these traditions through service to her church community as well as the ULV community.
“I think Rosa has one of the hardest jobs on this campus,” Aaron Neilson, Sodexho general manager, said. “Sometimes students will be a little rough on her, but despite that she never complains, and she really cares about what she does for the students.”
Although Holston may be quiet and reserved, what many students may not know is that she sees everything.
Not only does she know every trick in the book when it comes to students “forgetting” their cards, but she also pays attention to each card she scans and the name that is on it.
“She will remember students from years ago when they come back to visit and she is able to ask them about their jobs and their boyfriends or girlfriends that are now their spouses of 20 years,” Neilson said.
Students expect to see Holston everyday and say that it is nice to see a familiar face that makes them feel at home.
It is her consistency and dedication to her job that allows Holston to invest her time in the students.
“She really keeps this place flowing, and she takes everything with such patience and never once complains,” Richard Nakai a senior history major said.
Another characteristic of Holston that makes her such an asset to ULV is her flexibility as a worker and her willingness to always try something new and never give up.
“I think what makes Rosa such a great worker is her positive can-do attitude,” Neilson said.”I can throw anything new at her, like all the new technology she has to deal with, and she’ll take it and run with it.”
When Holston first started, she recalled having to punch holes in cards and later learned how to scan them after being promoted from pot-washer.
Although students may not like that Holston enforces the rules, she sees it as her duty to enforce strict policies that Davenport lays down, once again showing her commitment to her job and the Sodexho Company.
This no-nonsense attitude often causes people to take Holston at face value and many students go through the ULV system never actually seeing the hard-working, caring Holston for who she really is.
“If I could tell the students one thing about Rosa, I would tell them to not be afraid to get to know her,” Neilson said. “If you do, you will see that heart of gold that so many students take a while to discover.”
As if all of this wasn’t proof enough of her true loyalty and love of serving students, Holston says that her favorite part of working at ULV is the students and that they inspire her everyday.
“I hope that when all is said and done, they will remember me as a person who cares and has genuine love for people,” Holston said.
With her patience and flexibility, Holston is on her way to being remembered for so much more, namely her unwavering commitment.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment that she’s worked here for so long,” Dylan Haro, sophomore psychology major said. “Now that’s dedication.”
Natalie Croyt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.