Successfully seeing the University Supply Store through nearly three decades of change, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Supe Store director Bernadette Chavira-Trull exemplifies what it means to be an Everyday Champion.
“Forward-thinking, dedicated, energetic and hardworking are only a few words to describe Bernadette,” said Teresa Shreve, assistant vice president for enterprise operations. “Bernadette exemplifies quality customer service.”
Shreve said when classes moved online after spring break 2020 and the University had limited operations due to the pandemic, Chavira-Trull and her staff continued to work in the store to serve customers.
“Bernadette worked with vendors to have digital course materials provided to students who had left for spring break without their books,” she said. “Even though the Supe Store was closed, Bernadette and her team continued to serve customers through the store’s website. Under her direction, the store continued to receive merchandise and process web orders.”
“We wanted to make sure our students were still going to be successful and that they had access to the materials they needed to be successful.”
But Chavira-Trull and her team’s commitment to students didn’t end there. When the students came back in May 2020 to move out of residence halls, the Supe Store served them by putting up tents on the plaza where students could sell their books and return their book rentals in an open-air, spacious, safe environment.
And when the May 2020 commencement ceremonies were postponed, they worked with the academic departments to have regalia items delivered to students so they could have their honor cords and stoles, Shreve said.
“It was very important for our team, whom I’m very proud of, to maintain some sense of normalcy for us and for students and faculty,” said Chavira-Trull, who has worked at the Supe Store since 1993. “We wanted to make sure our students were still going to be successful and that they had access to the materials they needed to be successful. We wanted to make sure they had access to the content at no extra charge.
“We wanted to make sure there would be no disruption at all to teaching and learning.”
In addition to going above and beyond to ensure students were provided the course material they needed for classes and commencement regalia, Chavira-Trull and the Supe Store team also carried on the tradition of the Ring Ceremony in 2020.
As per tradition, class rings were placed inside of Denny Chimes at 6:31 p.m., which is 18:31 in military time, on April 5, for 24 hours.
Traditionally, the University president presents the rings to the students, but in lieu of that ceremony due to social distancing, the rings were shipped to students who purchased them.
“Keeping those traditions during a time of COVID-19 demonstrates how important they are to our staff,” Chavira-Trull said. “It’s another testament to our team.
“I’m extremely honored to be named an Everyday Champion, but there’s just no way I can take the credit for all the incredible work our team at the store does. It’s just an honor to represent that team. I love working here at the University. I love working at our store and the team that I work with.”
About Everyday Champions
UA is home to champions both on and off the field and in and out of the classroom. Everyday Champions are staff and faculty members who work behind the scenes to keep the campus running, show enthusiasm for supporting the UA campus, faculty, staff and students and embody the UA spirit of pride, determination and ingenuity. Submit an Everyday Champion you know to be considered for a feature.
Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, email@example.com