Familiar Faces of Canisius: Anna Wisniewski

By Caitlin McHugh

Features Contributor

Having worked at Canisius College for 27 years, Anna Wisniewski of the Facilities Management Department brings light to the campus with her optimism and can-do attitude. You may know her as the ‘Warden of the Tower,’ and may have seen her patrolling each floor with a facilities cart, familiar smile, and friendly attitude. She is the facilities worker designated to keeping the Tower in tip-top shape from top to bottom.

When she started working at Canisius, Wisniewski was working at the physical plant where she worked part-time and had to work night shifts. She didn’t particularly enjoy this, so when the position for a full-time job during the day opened up, she happily jumped on the opportunity. She then was moved to the library for some time until finally being transferred to her current location in Churchill Tower.

As a member of the management team, her responsibilities include a variety of tasks ranging from taking out the garbage, cleaning the classrooms on the second floor, cleaning all of the office rooms, and taking care of all of the floors of the building.

Prior to Canisius, Wisniewski lived in Poland, where she attended high school and planned on staying until she came to the States for what she thought would be only a visit. While she was visiting, she met her husband and decided when they got married that she would like to stay in the United States, rather than following her plans to move back home and attend college.

Wisniewski is fluent in three languages: Polish, Russian, and English, the last of which she had to learn when she moved here.

When she isn’t working, Wisniewski enjoys reading books, cooking for her sons, and is particularly fond of Facebook, which she mainly accesses from her smartphone and tablet.

She shared that her favorite part about working at Canisius is that she finds excitement in her ability to interact with so many great people, including the occasional students she sees passing through between classes and the professors that work in the Tower on a daily basis.

The feeling of excitement is reciprocated by those around her that with whom she works. Deanna Pavone, Department Secretary for both English and Philosophy, shared her appreciation for all of the free hugs Wisniewski gives out. The two see each other very frequently, both working in Churchill, and have developed a very personal friendship. “She can tell when you’re having a bad day and she doesn’t like when that happens, so that’s when she always asks, ‘What’s wrong?’ and gives you a big hug,” Pavone said.

Wisniewski comes to work at five o’clock every morning, and although some days she finds it particularly difficult to wake up so early, she doesn’t ever think twice about doing it. She shared that all of her hard work and dedication to working at Canisius is all worth it because it is for her family.

She has donated to the school library on multiple occasions and said, “No matter what I am doing at Canisius, I am happy with it.”

The positive attitude and compassion for others that Wisniewski displays while she is doing her job is a major factor in why she is such a positive asset to the campus. “She’s a very compassionate person and she has a can-do attitude that, whatever anybody throws at her, she doesn’t complain. She just takes care of it and you can rely on her for anything,” Pavone said.

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