Opening Week at Missouri S&T means over a thousand wide-eyed freshmen running hither and yon, moving into dorms and having fun in everything from parties to academic workshops, Project X to a pig roast, all under the loving and watchful eyes of Patty Frisbee’s minions in New Student Programs.

At the shop? It’s been four years since the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center moved to the new Kummer building, more than enough time to knock the shine off the floor. And the walls. And the cabinets. The machine shop and specialty labs have been cleaned up and restocked with supplies; now it’s the full-court press to make the Arnoldy Fabrication Center ready for student groups to move back in.

Design team “season” is no longer just during the spring semester. Robotics, Formulae SAE Lincoln, Mars Rover and Solar Car competitions last through June into July. Two of next year’s Baja events will take place during finals week and after the semester ends, making it tougher still to do summer cleaning and equipment maintenance.
Yesterday S&T’s BAJA! Team jumped in and helped shop manager Richard “Mater” Dalton shove all the projects to one area and attack the floor. They scraped away at epoxy, tape, and other undetermined material stuck to the concrete after too many student all-nighters, before starting the massive stripping process. The all-Baja crew worked late and asked if they could stay even later and do the whole shop in one day. Great attitude, but no place to move the equipment out of the way.
Missed spotDSC_2981
Typical of in-semester student teams, if they work late they straggle in late the next day, so Richard found himself all alone. But his office coworkers did their best to help by posting signs of encouragement.


  1. Bob: I think you meant LEADERS! Because I certainly don’t know anyone from my office who is a minion (define: An obsequious follower or dependent; a sycophant. A subordinate official, especially a servile one. One who is highly esteemed or favored; a darling.)
    My staff, PRO Leaders, mentors, volunteers, RA’s, ambassadors, campus staff and faculty are nothing but GREAAAAAT – that includes you too. Thanks for thinking of us during this week! -Patty

  2. Bob Phelan says

    Patty, you know the sign of a great leader? It’s when others feel comfortable enough to mess with you. They’ll pretend to malign your staff (while the staff plays along), knowing full well that you will go absolutely ballistic and jump to your charges’ defense.

    New Student Programs is staffed by people that LOVE to come to work, whose morale is always sky high, and who are amazingly focused on their internal (peers) and external (students) customers.

    It’s because YOU encourage the minions (yes, minions) of New Student Programs to have fun, enjoy work, speak their minds, work hard, and hardly EVER mention that little incident a few years back. That means they (and we) love you!

    Preferred “minion” definition: A cheerful horde of people that get along great; that are inspired by their leader to do great things. Who take great joy in working in unison to get things done. That can laugh with, and at, each other. That focus on the work at hand, and don’t have to be asked to make the extra effort, because they WANT to do it! A group whose best work is messing with their boss to see just how far she’ll levitate above her desk (or how deep she’ll dig a hole along 10th Street).

    Alternate definition: Extremely eager to please, willingly helping with any plans (especially pranks), friendly and fun; a wide-eyed wonder and odd innocence that endears them to faculty, staff and students alike.

    The most important thing? Just like their boss, they are just so cute and lovable!

    You never know when, where, and how their mischief will sneak up behind you. The more you react, the more they delight in coming up with new chaos. Keep it up! It’s great for morale.