At the heart of Southwestern, two employees are quietly working their magic to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are nourished by food and the warmth of their service. Their names are Sheri Clayton and Ella Sedwick, and their dedication has earned them the title of Foodservice Heroes.

Clayton, a cashier and greeter in the Commons dining hall, possesses a unique gift. She has the uncanny ability to connect with each person she encounters. Her genuine approach leaves everyone feeling like a cherished guest. Her passion for customer service goes beyond the ordinary; it is a deep-seated commitment to caring for each visitor, fostering relationships, and crafting exceptional experiences. Cheyonne Granmayeh, the marketing coordinator at Aramark, nominated Clayton for this recognition and said, “Above all, Sheri has an unparalleled work ethic that is noted by both co-workers, students, and guests.” She isn’t just an employee; she is a beacon of hospitality in the dining hall, brightening the day of anyone who crosses her path.

“I’m excited and very appreciative of this nomination,” Clayton expressed. “It’s my second year at Southwestern, and I love it so much. I love working with my coworkers and the students; I’m always smiling.”

Then there is Ella Sedwick, affectionately known by the Southwestern community as Ms. Ella. She is a food service worker who has been a fixture at the University for over 24 years. Ms. Ella embodies the very essence of the campus. She is caring, thoughtful, and tirelessly hardworking. For her, every day is an opportunity to make someone’s day a little better. She treats everyone who walks into the Servery as someone special and deserving of a warm welcome. And each Friday, guests are treated to her infectious joy with a resounding “It’s Fri-yay!” declaration. She has become a cherished institution, a symbol of the University’s values, and a source of inspiration for all. Granmayeh, who also nominated Sedwick, shared these heartfelt words: “She should be the 2023 Foodservice Hero for her dedication to creating a greater Southwestern.”

“I love Southwestern so much, and I thanked God when I won this award,” Sedwick shared. “This is my 25th year here, and there are students that have graduated, and they come back to see me, and I get to meet their kids and everything. I love the students here.”

As Foodservice Heroes, Clayton and Sedwick have shaped the culture of Southwestern. Their unwavering commitment to service has made the campus a better place, with warm smiles and one hearty meal at a time. In honoring them, the community celebrates their work and the values that make Southwestern a home away from home for its students, faculty, and staff. These women serve as a reminder of the power of kindness and dedication in transforming a simple meal into a memorable experience.