Enhancing Students Lives

This story is featured in the Spring 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU staff member, Curtis Giles, provides students with a safe and comfortable environment. 

Curtis Giles is part of a team that ensures students live in an inspiring environment.

When Curtis Giles arrives on HPU’s campus at 3 p.m., he dons his tool belt and begins his busy afternoon of responding to maintenance requests.

But really, Giles does much more than that.

He’s the leader of a team that ensures students are living in a happy, safe environment so they can thrive at HPU, where the culture of caring for students extends from the professor in the classroom to the employee who fixes a leaky faucet.

“A lot of these kids have never been away from home or lived without a parent before,” said Giles. “I like to tell my staff, ‘Think of these students as your own kids.’ If their air conditioning breaks, I wouldn’t want my kids living in 90-degree heat in the middle of summer. I’d want them to be comfortable. By ensuring that our students have the support they need in their home away from home, they can focus on the importance of getting an education.”

Helping students isn’t just work for him— he sees it as a chance to teach students practical skills so they can live successfully on their own after graduation. Besides maintaining the university, Giles is one example of the many leaders on campus who model values outside the classroom.

“I like to do something I call ‘Life Lesson of the Day,’” Giles says. “When I go to fulfill a student maintenance request, rather than just solving the problem, I try to show the student how to prevent it from happening again in the future so they know what to do when they’re on their own.”

And HPU students are extremely grateful for Giles and his staff.

“Without Curtis and Campus Enhancement, we wouldn’t be as free to focus on our studies as we are,” says junior Symaira Bolden. “By ensuring we don’t need to worry about what would happen if the air conditioning broke or if a drain is clogged, they allow us to feel safe, cared for and ready to tackle the world.”

Giles’ connection to HPU runs deep as he’s gotten to see the university’s development, and he’s embraced the university’s growth mindset here at HPU.

His appreciation for HPU’s culture began with his mother, who worked here and retired in 2005.

He remembers meeting her in the Slane Student Center for lunch and seeing how she interacted with the students. Thanks to his mom, he got to learn firsthand what it means to care for the students as his own, whether it’s a friendly smile and a greeting or taking the time to hear about their day.

“I constantly strive to go above and beyond to ensure that students succeed, from the time they arrive on campus to the day they walk into their first job after graduation,” says Giles. “From 1924 Prime to Cottrell Hall’s sales labs, it’s part of the culture here, and it’s something I’m proud to be a part of.”

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