May 20, 2021

Miss Cookie“Miss Willie” Joyner, customer service ambassador in the Eatery restaurant at the Pryzbyla Center, was recognized by Food Management as one of 48 food service heroes who have made a difference this year. 

Those who know her, however, may argue she’s been making a difference at CatholicU for close to 50 years. 

Miss Willie works to skillfully address student concerns when they visit the Eatery. Her nomination states that she is proactive in problem solving, and she ensures students receive a high-level experience. 

“When Miss Willie returned to work this fall semester, her additional responsibilities included making sure the students feel safe in the dining space,” said Morgan Mantell Kearney, digital content and communications manager for Chartwells Higher Ed, who nominated her. Miss Willie was tasked with completing Dining Services’ high-touch COVID cleaning protocol every 30 minutes, directing students to always use hand sanitizer prior to entering the dining space, ensuring all customers and associates were wearing masks, and making sure they maintained proper social distancing at all times.

“It is no surprise that almost every student who walks into the space greets Miss Willie by name and she warmly calls them all her ‘babies,’” Kearney said. “During our spring semester focus group, when we surveyed students and faculty about dining on campus. Miss Willie was called out by name, more than any other employee, as being a tremendously important and appreciated part of the dining team.”