The Staff Senate's July 2011 Teal Spotlight:
The Teal Spotlight, presented by the UNCW Staff Senate, highlights the dedicated staff members on the campus of UNCW. The staff member is chosen at random for an interview. For the month of July 2011, Joseph Matthew Guthrie in Physical Plant was selected for the Teal Spotlight.
Joseph Guthrie, better known as Matt, has been working as an electrician at UNCW for the last 4 years, although he has worked in the electric field for 18 years now. In his current position at UNCW, Matt works for the physical plant located in the back of campus, often referred to as “tin city”. He is responsible for responding to a variety of electrical work orders that might include but are not limited to: repairing light fixtures, resetting a clock, installing new lights, providing electricity for audio at the homecoming parade, replacing light bulbs, wiring additional circuits into break rooms, repairing electric boxes, responding to flickering lights in classrooms, installing electrical outlets, fixing handicap-accessible door buttons, preventive maintenance of exit and emergency lights, replacing ballasts, resetting tripped breakers, responding to fire alarm calls, and fixing stop lights.
Matt really enjoys troubleshooting electrical problems and then being able to fix the issue. He also enjoys working with other trade shops, such as HVAC, to help get equipment running. As with most positions sometimes his job can be challenging. For example, when the campus is preparing for events for large events such as graduation there are always things that can go wrong. He says it can be stressful when you have a malfunctioning breaker, the part is obsolete, and you’re trying to figure out how to get the lights back on before graduation begins.
The electricians also work all basketball games in Trask Coliseum, standing by in case any problems arise. While working his first game, which was a televised men’s basketball game, a 1000 watt bulb broke and exploded hot glass onto the court. Fortunately no one was injured,
although the cheerleaders were dangerously close. Matt only had a few minutes to climb up to the catwalk to change the bulb. Luckily, he works well under pressure and fixed it just in time.
Matt is a former volunteer firefighter and has been married for 15 years to his lovely wife Lora. They have one son named Kevin Matthew, who is 9 years old. Matt loves fishing the Cape Fear River, old hotrods, and Sundrop.
A food dollar card valued @ $25, donated by campus dining, was presented to Matt in appreciation for a job well done. Congratulations to Matt Guthrie, this month’s Teal Spotlight!