The Western Illinois University Council of Administrative Personnel (COAP) employee featured in this month’s COAP Spotlight is usually the individual at the other end of Col. Rock III “Rocky‘s” leash…
In his day job, Joe Roselieb serves as the director of residential facilities for University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS). But at night—and at Western Illinois Athletics‘ games, and in parades, and at WIU Admissions‘ Discover Western open house events, and at many, many student activities, and at alumni events—his main job is to serve as Rocky’s person.
Rocky joined the WIU family in May 2010 as a 10-week-old pup. Since then, Joe has been providing him with a loving home, teaching him tricks, making sure he’s healthy and chauffeuring him to numerous WIU and community events each year.
“It’s been a terrific experience taking care of WIU’s mascot,” Joe noted. “My day-to-day job isn’t always that glamorous, so it’s a real treat to get to be able to take Rocky around and see the positive impact around both the campus and community.”
Joe took time out his (and Rocky’s) busy schedule to provide a little bit of background about himself and he how strives for “paw”fection in his role at UHDS.
Q. Tell me a bit about your background. How did you end up working at Western Illinois University?
Joe: I’m originally from Prophetstown (IL). I came to WIU in 2003 to attend for my undergraduate degree and graduated in 2007 with my bachelor’s degree. All through college I worked in UHDS as a student worker and was offered an assistantship in housing following graduation, which I accepted and did for one year. In 2008, I had the rare opportunity to apply for an assistant director position for facilities and was selected, and I started my full-time career that July. I finished my master’s later that spring in 2009. In 2012, I was promoted to director of residential facilities.
Q. What does a typical day at work at Western look like for you?
Joe: Every day is a little different and that is what makes it exciting. Most days start at 8 a.m. or a little before and are filled with meetings, walk-throughs of facilities, and a lot of planning. In my area, looking forward is essential, so I spend a lot of time working with members of Facilities Management, University Technology, and other campus entities mapping out things for the future.
Q. What is your favorite on-the-job memory?
Joe: My favorite job memory is probably finishing up renovation Corbin and Olson after three years of planning and construction. It taught me a lot about construction, communication, and just the overall process. When you have a project that big, there is a lot to keep track of and it was a great feeling when it was all done and completed.
Q. What has been your most rewarding professional experience in your career so far?
Joe: My most rewarding professional experience has been being selected as the 2011 Administrator of the Year from Western’s Division of Student Services.
Q. How do you juggle Rocky’s busy appearance schedule?
Joe: It can be very difficult at times, but we try to attend as much as possible. I’m pretty selective of the events we choose to attend, and I always make sure it coincides with the mission and values of the institution. Looking back at the last five years of the live-mascot program, it has been a gratifying experience to see how far it’s come and the amount of people it has impacted.
Q. Tell me a little about your favorite activities outside of your job (e.g., hobbies, family or friend activities, etc.).
Joe: I enjoy music and sports. I try to attend at least one or two Chicago Bears’ games a year, even though this year I think I’ll save my money. I also purchased a new house last March and work on it when I can. I also became an uncle for the first time on Sept. 28… to a niece.
Q. What is your favorite quote?
Joe: “Don’t let your failures define you, let them refine you.”