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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Partly Cloudy, 77 °F

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Chris Caldwell with Classified Senate

(L-R): Jan Haynes, Chris Caldwell, Bonnie Behm-Geddes, Serena McCollum

Photo courtesy of: Classified Senate

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Meet Chris Caldwell, the January Classified Employee of the Month

Great job Chris!


Compass features a Q&A with the non-bargaining Classified Employee of the Month. Each month, Classified Senate selects an employee to acknowledge and recognize as someone who is setting high standards for excellence and innovation. The monthly feature, titled "Great Job," provides a glimpse into the honoree's life on and off campus.


How surprised were you to win the Employee of the Month award?

Wildly so. I knew that I had been nominated a few times over the last few years but I know plenty of deserving peers. I thought one of my teammates was getting the award that morning.

What is your job title and how long have you worked it?

I am the administrative specialist for the Department of African American Studies. I also provide administrative support to Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Political Science, and Classics & World Religions. I have worked at Ohio University for almost three years.

What are the most enjoyable things about your job?

I love my faculty, peers and friends, and student employees. These folks make my life easy, exciting and rewarding. Every day I know that I have a series of opportunities to make their professional/academic/personal lives better.

What is your hometown and where do you live now?

My hometown is a magical place called Puyallup, Washington. Named for the Spuyalepabs Tribe (the concept is roughly “genours and welcoming behavior to all people [friends and strangers] who enter our lands). Puyallup rests in the shadow of Mt. Rainer in Western Washington. Now I live in Athens.

What are your long-term goals?

I would tell you. But wouldn’t it be more interesting to watch them play out?

What was the last good book you read?

I only read good books. If I don’t like it, I tend to put the book down. The last three things I have read that were good were Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower,” Robin Hobb’s “Royal Assassin” trilogy, and Margaret Attwood’s “Oryx and Crake.”

If you weren’t in your present job, you would be working as a ______.

I would love to work at a Shinto temple in Japan, sweeping, meditating, conducting daily chores and advancing my sense of inner calm. Japan is awesome, Shinto is awesome and if a temple would accept me and my services, why not?

What things in life are the most important to you?

My wife, family, cat and the people who enrich my life are the most important to me. I am also pretty big on current affairs, global politics, and making sure African-American students, faculty and staff get the support they need to progress professionally or academically.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

This last summer, after two years of saving, my wife and I hiked 70 miles of the 94 mile West Highland Way in Scotland. It was an absolutely phenomenal experience. At the end of the hike we stayed in a palatial bed and breakfast in the town of Fort William. I want all of that again but with more time to stop, relax and rest at the end.

What are your hobbies?

I play board games, Dungeons & Dragons and video games. I read, I write science fiction, and from time to time I write poetry. I love painting miniature models, crafting Halloween costumes, and working with my hands on building projects. I do Tae Kwon Do, triathlons and I love to do long hiking trips. Basically, I have yet to meet a hobby I didn’t enjoy.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Most people don’t know that I walk around my office space with my shoes off. That always surprises people. I spend more time in my office than I do with my loved ones (awake) over the course of a year. I deserve to be comfortable.

What are your favorite TV shows?

Sci-Fi: Star Trek, Comedy: The Office, Drama: Mad Men, Action: Breaking Bad, American Animation: Adventure Time, Japanese Animation: Cowboy Bebop, Netflix show: Voltron, Amazon Prime Show: Man in the High Castle. I really could go on.

Who are your favorite musicians?

The Heavy, Led Zeppelin, Nora Jones, Otis Redding, Charles Bradley, Gnarls Barkley, The Gorillaz, Boston.

What is the next big event you can't wait for?

I can’t wait for my wife’s graduation! She is awesome and she has worked very hard to get her Ph.D.

Who are your favorite celebrities?

I am a big fan of Bryan Cranston and Zoe Saldana because I think they are great actors. I try to refrain from liking celebrities. They are just people who are one or two public shaming incidents away from being infamous.

Who are the most annoying celebrities?

Basically any professional athlete who has committed a crime and gotten away with it. You know who they are. Also the sports commentators who use the same old “blame-the-victim” argument to excuse the earlier stated behaviors.

What is your dream car?

My dream vehicle is a spaceship capable of interstellar travel. It doesn’t even have to be able to travel at the speed of light, 20 percent of the speed of light would be more than adequate. Superfast speeds with the capacity to get humanity away from this rock. I would take that over a car/truck/SUV any day.

What are your favorite sayings or quotes?

“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.” – Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

“A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode."
 -- Aeronautics, issue 38, October 1937.

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein.