Alton Campbell is a Hasbrouck employee by day, graphic novelist by night. He disguises himself with a blue or orange shirt and matching visor. He quietly serves students salad, and refreshes cheese by the panini machines. When he goes home, he enters a new world—a post-apocalyptic world—where a hero with super-human powers is desperately needed.
“No, really, actual super-human powers,” he said.
Behind every Hasbrouck meal, there is a staff of numerous employees who work to prepare it. Underneath every employee uniform, there is an individual with a unique story. Students may not realize it, but they encounter people like Campbell every day: paintball fanatics, first generation immigrants and motor hobbyists.
About 40 percent of the dining hall’s employees are students enrolled in classes at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, according to Director of Resident Dining Nancy Feldsine.
Patricia Cronin, an elementary education major, performs with SUNY New Paltz’s Absolute Acapella organization in her spare time.
“The remaining employees must have substantial experience and knowledge of the food service industry,” she said.
Feldsine is a familiar face in the Hasbrouck Dining Hall. Students recognize her work attire and conferencing assembly. However, students may be unaware that Feldsine’s father was a stamp collector who traveled around the world judging stamp contests. He would even take his her with him.
“I’ve been to almost every place in the world, excluding China and South America,” Feldsine said. “Though I took it for granted as a child, this has helped me to excel in our diverse environment here at the hall.”
Lee Wright, full-time pizza chef, expressed how the diversity of the Hasbrouck community has helped him grow as an employee in America.
“I’m actually learning eight other languages right now, including Arabic, Turkish, Talago-Indian and Japanese,” said Wright.
Feldsine said she wanted to express her appreciation of Darold Thompson and his knack for interacting with the students. When one writes a comment on a card and pins it up to the tack board, Thompson replies with humorous remarks.
“He’s such a cool guy,” said Kimberly Shannon, second-year creative writing major.
Rosie Resavento, a cashier, enjoys her Hasbrouck family and her connection with employees and students.
“Students always come in and share their stories on Saturday mornings,” she said. “It keeps my spirits up.”
Feldsine said the most valuable aspect of her employees is the kindred-like community they’ve created.
“We’re like a little family even though we fight all the time,” she said. “It’s nice to be around a group of people who are having such a good time in life.”
Video by Kevin Paige