It’s Monday morning: you hit snooze on your alarm one too many times and sprint to the Dining Commons before your dreaded 8 a.m. class. In the midst of a hectic beginning to the week, it’s always uplifting to know that there will be a friendly face to greet you as you start your morning; that person is none other than Sharee (pronounced Share–ee) Schenck. While she goes by Sharee, she shares that her Islamic name is Sophia. Even if you have not formally met her, she has swiped you into the Dining Commons in the mornings and afternoons throughout the school week. Like all of Eastern’s employees, Sharee has plenty of incredible stories to share, whether it be about her job or her life outside the university.
Throughout her entire life, Sharee has lived in Philadelphia, Pa. Although it might feel like she has always been at Eastern, she began working for the school only two years ago. Before coming to Eastern, she was employed at Manor Care in Devon, Pa. for 19 years. Manor Care is an assisted living center, where Sharee primarily worked in the rehab facility and helped patients with their dietary needs.
In her free time, Sharee says she enjoys sewing as well as bowling. When asked if she has bowled for a long time, she replies, “I picked it up spare of the moment” (no pun intended).
In addition, Sharee adds that she loves getting to spend time with her relatives.
It is no surprise that Sharee values time with her family, for her story shows that they are an important part of her life. She has five kids total, aged thirty-two, thirty, twenty-eight, twenty-seven, and twelve. Not only is she a wonderful mother, but a grandmother of five as well! However, not all of her family lives in the area. Her eldest son lives in Scranton, Pa. with his wife and their three children, but her eldest daughter lives with her.
Sharee and her family have also had their share of struggles; her 28-year-old son has been terminally ill since his youth. When he was just 14 years old, he was bitten by a dog, which Sharee says triggered a genetic illness. After the incident, he began to lose basic motor skills, and Sharee has continued to take care of him ever since. She says with great passion, “My son is my life.” While she has faced much pain and difficulty, Sharee states that her son’s situation taught her how to be strong day by day.
While Sharee has a lot going on outside of her job, she still finds joy in her work at Eastern. Her favorite part of the job? “Talking to students!” she immediately responds as her face lights up with a smile. Sharee loves getting to know everyone that comes to the Dining Commons, and it’s easy to tell that students feel the same way about her. Even as I interviewed Sharee for this article, she never missed an opportunity to say hello to a student that swiped in for lunch, and she wishes everyone well as they leave for their afternoon ahead. They were all quick to ask her how she was and evidently pleased to see her.
This community that Sharee provides is just one of the many ways Eastern University is so unique. Unlike other schools, we are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful faculty, staff, and administrators who genuinely care about our education and well-being. As students, we should be grateful for all that they do for us, and learn to care for them in return.
To share your appreciation for Sharee and other Dining Commons employees, go to https://easterndining.sodexomyway.com/people/feedback.html.