Rupal Trivedi enjoyed playing West Virginia University’s Mountaineer mascot for a few seconds, even though she was disappointed at not getting to fire the rifle or don an authentic coonskin cap.

Trivedi, an employee of Student Health, stuck her head through a cardboard cutout of the Mountaineer while her friend took a photo.

A few feet away, Tom Brookover of Facilities Management, was completing a successful run at Shopping Cart shoot-out, a popular game at halftime of WVU basketball games.

“Four-for-four,” Brookover said after landing a basketball in four shopping carts, lined up vertically in succession.

Upstairs, Nancy Key was busy handing out small trees at an Environmental Health and Safety booth.

All the activity – and much more – was part of the inaugural WVU EmployeeFest, a one-day celebration that served as a thank you to WVU employees and offered food, games and numerous professional development opportunities.

The turnout of around 1,500 employees proved to be, “better – significantly better – than what we expected,” according to Narvel Weese, vice president for administration and finance. “I’m really pleased with the turnout and happy to be able to thank our terrific employees.”

Weese greeted employees waiting in the food line, as did Dana Brooks, dean of the College of Physical Activity and Sport Science, Provost Michele Wheatly and WVU President Jim Clements.

Inside the cafeteria, WVU officials wiped tables clean and directed employees through lines and to tables.

Games were spread out on the first floor of the Mountainlair, including an area outside the cafeteria that featured “Going the Distance,” in which participants had to successfully roll a ping ball down the length of a tape measure; “Baby Rattle,” in which players vigorously shook two taped-together 2-liter soft drink bottles to transfer M&Ms from one to another; and cup stacking.

Toward the back of the building in the food court was a stage with a pianist and WVU Extension’s Label Mable – which involves labeling parts of a cow – surrounded by cardboard cutouts of the mascot, basketball coach Bob Huggins, former Mountaineers great Da’Sean Butler and a PRT car.

Along with the fun activities, there were also numerous opportunities for professional development.

From retirement and financial planning to writing effective emails, tips on teaching, getting organized and customer service, the event helped educate and train people to improve their skill sets.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

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