Risley — a place filled with fun, laughter, character, a range of dining options and smiles. Some of those smiles are caused by Tina Andrews, who has greeted students with a smile as she swipes them into Risley Dining Hall every day for the past three years. Now, she’s leaving her role at Risley to work in facilities at Hans Bethe House on West Campus.
Tina began her time at Cornell working in the convenience store in the old Noyes building and, since then, has worked multiple roles on campus.
After returning from a work-related injury a few years ago, she worked at Goldie’s in the Physical Sciences Building at various positions for two years. After that, she was transferred to Risley’s dining hall, which is gluten-free and an exact replica of the Christ Church Refractory at Oxford University.
As one of the first people students see when they walk into the dining hall, Andrews has made an impact on hundreds of new students every year as they are met by her memorable greetings and a smile.
“I like this position because you see the freshman come in and they’re so unsure, you know,” Andrews told The Sun. “Then the next year when you see them, they’re in power and they got this down pat.”
Andrews said her favorite part of her job is being able to talk to everyone who comes through the door and being able to make their dining experience as best as she can.
“A lot of people are really quiet,” she said. “I try to get them out of their shell by remembering their name.”
In addition to students, Andrews has also developed connections with fellow coworkers who have been with her through the years and have become an “extended family,” she said.
Andrews said this family was disappointed when they found out that she was transferring to West Campus as she has been a part of their community experience for quite some time.
She recalled that while working on West Campus this past summer, she climbed the flight of steps in the Gothics of Hans Bethe House multiple times with one of her coworkers, despite the heat. They had a fun and brought laughter into each other’s day.
“She’s worked here forever and I’ve never seen her smile so much as she did last summer,” Andrews said of that co-worker. “We just kept her laughing.”
While Andrews may be leaving Risley dining hall, her smiles and greetings will continue to be shared with students, faculty and coworkers at Cornell.
“I’m a happy person and I try to be positive,” she said. “I get to spread the light and love on West Campus.”