Moc Dining Custodian Spreads Faith, Positivity, and Goodwill | Characteristics


Michael Decosimo arrives at his shift at 7 a.m. at the University Center. Michael has worked at UTC for about five years, five days a week. Thursday 14 October 2021.

Broom and shovel by his side, Michael Decosimo sits at the heart of the University Center, inspiring many students with whom he interacts.

With a UTC branded cap and adoring cross necklace, Michael Decosimo works as a caretaker for Mocs Dining and is loved by all who know him. His presence has been a central feature of the University Center for five years now and many students know Michael’s caring spirit.

Regardless of the messy tables, mysteriously sticky chairs, and the noisy environment, Michael longs for positivity. Within minutes of starting his interview, he quoted the proverbial line “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, which really sums up his positive attitude and up for any challenge.

Unlike most of the employees, who hang out behind the counters, Michael prefers to be in the commons. While sweeping the floor around the tables, he never hesitates to help a student in distress.

Moc Dining Custodian spreads faith, positivity and goodwill

Michael Decosimo greets Noah Shelton with a warm hug. Michael felt at home kissing the UC students. Thursday 14 October 2021.

“I love the camaraderie with the students I can trust,” Decosimo said. “I’m good friends with a lot of them, and they treat me kindly.”

If a student sits in a cubicle or chair in the UC for a while, they can expect to see Michael waving to people. As a self-proclaimed extrovert, he’ll pat a shoulder, smile broadly, and ask how his day is going.

He remarked that he felt welcome when approached, but he was also not afraid to talk to new people. He forged a lasting bond that way, as in the case of his friendship with Sophomore Taylor McKinley.

“We usually talk about my schoolwork or how our days go,” McKinley said. “He is very friendly and knows all of my friends at my table.

Michael is the first to compliment Mocs Dining, saying they treat him well and with respect. He remarked that he wanted to work at UC for the rest of his life. When asked how Michael keeps such a cheerful demeanor in the busy and bustling UC, he attributed his love for his job to his religion.

Moc Dining Custodian spreads faith, positivity and goodwill

Michael Decosimo opens his bible. Decosimo found immense purpose in his faith. Thursday 14 October 2021.

“I am a Christian,” he replied. “I love being here and enjoying what God has given me in my life.”

His religion is another way Michael connects with students, as he is diligently involved in Cru, a student ministry at UTC. Other Cru members, like freshman Tyler Hillard, whose parents held senior positions in Cru for a long time, praise Michael’s dedication.

“As far back as I can remember, Michael has been coming to our weekly meetings, attending our retreats, joining us in our events, and attending many Bible studies,” Hillard said. “Everyone loves him, he often comes to say hello and joke with us.

Between his love of work and his faith, Michael also makes room to enjoy his life to the fullest. To relax, Michael revealed he enjoys dancing, especially to country music, and running, under the guidance of his personal trainer.

He likes light shenanigans, like the way he likes to slap his friends on one shoulder and then disappear behind the other shoulder. Sometimes he will recommend movies and shows to his friends, with NBC’s “The Office” being his most cited show.

“He’ll come over and give us a hug when he first sees us that day,” Hillard added, describing Michael’s delight. “He will join us in everything we do, from dancing to cooking smores.”

While Mocs Dining customers see him as a loving caretaker and Cru members see him as a devoted Christian, one attribute still remains the same; Michael is exciting and fun to be around.

Sincere and caring staff like Michael radiate positivity on campus and, thanks to them, every student is never far from a friendly face or a supporting hand.

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