University of Vermont

Physical Plant Department

Staff Profile: Mary Ann Burlingame

A Quarter Century of Great Customer Service

Mary Ann in her office that she calls her walk in photo album.

Before coming to UVM, Mary Ann was employed at many companies and held many positions: hardware stockroom, store supervisor, cash office, police dispatcher, data entry, Free Press carrier, store clerk and even cocktail waitress. She had worn many hats, and came to UVM for better opportunities. Now, 24 years later, she still takes pride in serving the University community and has seen many changes over the years.

Mary Ann's UVM career started in PPD's "work control" unit which at the time was housed in the 622 Main Street building. The unit was later renamed "Service Operations" when Physical Plant  relocated to 284 East Avenue (and eventually 622 Main was torn down to make way for the Davis Center). Throughout the 1990's, Mary Ann was "the voice" of Physical Plant because back in the day --long before FAMIS-- customers had to phone in all their work requests. In 1998, Mary Ann was honored as the UVM Employee of the Year from UVM's Staff Council.  

In the 2000's, when the Physical Plant was reorganized into maintenance "zones", Mary Ann stepped into a new role as the Office Program Support Generalist for the Medplex Zone, and for a while split her time to serve the Davis Zone as well. From her office in the basement of the Given Building, she supports the work of the maintenance crew in processing payroll entries, credit card entries, work orders, room reservations, and still provides customer service, except now she gets to interact with customers in person and not just on the telephone. Medical complex customers tell her that she’s very helpful. Mary Ann prides herself on her efficiency and knowing that she can help customers in need. According to Zone manager Dennis Coakley, "Mary Ann has always gone above and beyond her duties and always goes the extra mile. She is a great help to me. The Medplex staff and I would be at a loss without her. We are fortunate to have her, and she is appreciated by all."

When not working at UVM, you can find her driving the roads as "MOM" taxi or helping her parents.  She has a knack for planning parties. Her unofficial title is Social Director. Mary Ann grew up in Winooski, Vermont and went to St. Francis Xavier School and Winooski High School.  Mary Ann volunteers for many local charities including the Special Olympics Annual Penguin Plunge – so far, she's done 4 dives into the icy waters of Lake Champlain in February.  She also fundraises and walks in the June Cancer Walk at the Champlain Valley Fair.   She was a Cub Scout leader for her son, and is now a Girl Scout helper for her daughter.  She also pitches in to help during UVM's Student Move In day each fall – helping parents and first year students’ get settled into their dorm rooms.

Mary Ann says she thinks that it would be impossible for her to give up chocolate and the color purple. Her current passion is the idea of living in a Tiny House on wheels off the grid with very little debt.   Mary Ann hopes when people think of her, they think of her sense of humor, creativity--especially with her homemade Halloween Costumes-- and  for her love of the color purple. Years ago, Mary Ann coined the phrase "Purple Thursdays" and many admin folks in the department do indeed wear purple every Thursday.  Some other fun things about Mary Ann:  she loves to bake, read, knit, watch ghost stories and miracle stories and take pictures. But most of all, she likes to make people happy and spread her positive attitude to others.

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