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Carlisle Fletcher, lead housekeeper

        Carlisle Fletcher
         

Do you remember the first day you walked onto this campus?
Absolutely. It was Labor Day, 1985. Now I’ve worked here for 30 years, going on 31. I started out working in the OR, then I went to day surgery and then the ER – those were whirlwind experiences. Now, I’m into functions, so daily set ups and break downs for different events all over campus. It could be for our Chancellor, for the Governor, or seminars for the faculty in any of the buildings.

So, on a daily basis you interact with everybody from the most senior faculty and guests to the newest students?
That’s the wonderful thing about the place – the people. There are such great people. It’s like a family here. If you didn’t know something I would say there are many co-workers that you could call to find the answer, and vice versa. It’s also a special joy to see the students graduate and become great doctors. I think they find a home when they come here, because it’s not just the doctors, the fellow employees, workers like myself, we embrace them, make them feel welcome, make them feel safe, and encourage them to go on. I kind of try to motivate the students even if I didn’t do it myself, I advise them to hang on and don’t give up. They’ll say they’re nervous about a test and I’ll tell them, ‘Well, I know you’re going to ace it. Remember, you had to be chosen to be here. Just put your head to it.” They’ll come back later on and say, ‘It went alright!’ That is a lot of joy.

Why have you committed to staying?
When I started here I was really in to music. Even today, I still write songs and love it when I get the chance to perform, even just for small groups. But life happens, and over the years I found out how wonderful the place is, too. I would say we have come a long way and I feel like we are at the top of our game now. UMass Medical School is a great place.