Mikayla Walton, Contributing Writer
Featured image: Facebook/ Kaylyn Ruiz
Many students here at McKendree know Kaylyn Ruiz as the woman who works while delivering fantastic customer service with a smile in Ames or chatting with students and faculty alike as she helps in 1828. However, you may not actually know her.
Kaylyn, or KK for short, is a middle child of four from Belleville, Illinois. She had been working at Mckendree for five years before deciding to attend classes.
“I was hired in the 1828 Cafe to be a cashier,” Ruiz said. “I never really thought about higher education until I got to Mckendree and was around college students and professors all day.”
KK attends classes for a degree in Business Management and is a part-time student here when she isn’t working. Though, when she is at work she sees her job as more than a job.
KK has a way with people. It is evident to anyone who has had the pleasure of coming into contact with her. She knows so many people on campus, and if her name is brought up, almost everyone knows her or knows of her. This is because she is just a very social person.
“I love people and talking and being friendly. I’ll talk to anyone and be anyone’s friend,” KK explains. “There are days when I walk around campus and people say hi to me and call me by name, and it surprises me how many people know me!”
The energy KK gives off is amazing, and she is just someone who makes you feel good. It’s like talking to an old friend. She goes out of her way to remember names and details of people’s lives just to ask about them and that shows a real love for people.
“I think it’s important for people to feel important, so I try really hard to remember names so they know that I care about them, because I truly do.”
Don’t worry folks, KK isn’t planning to up and leave anytime soon.
She plans to stay working at Mckendree for as long as possible.
“I really love it here, though, so I’ll stay with Sodexo at McKendree for as long as they’ll let me!”
In fact, she wants to stay here and hopes to one day be on the board of trustees even if that is a long term goal. She is certainly on her way there.
When she isn’t on campus working or in classes, KK likes to wind down with activities such as playing video games like Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League, writing poetry, and spending time with her loved ones
“Just sitting around a meal enjoying each other’s company: that’s my happy place. I love my family so much.” KK isn’t just a people person when she’s at work. She’s a person that is happy around people and enjoys connecting with them. “I like to think I make them smile.”
So, next time you’re on campus, stop by Ames or 1828 to see KK. Tell her how appreciative you are of her work.
And KK? Keep making them smile.