If you have ever eaten at Englar Dining Hall, your day was most likely brightened by this woman’s genuine excitement and enthusiasm to serve the students of McDaniel. Whether she has assembled your sandwich or given you a healthy portion of chicken tenders, you walked back to your table with at least a smile on your face.
Her nametag reads “Sandy V,” and this long-time Sodexo employee is by no means burdened by her position. Students are often greeted by a “whatcha need baby?” as she quickly prepares the orders. When senior Matt Haushalter was asked to describe Sandy in one sentence, he replied “She is always happy to see us.” It is clear to everyone that she genuinely enjoys coming to work. As Dr. Jeff Marx, chair of the Physics department puts it, “her demeanor brightens up the dining hall.” That is what makes her stand out.
Sandy Von Bussenius arrives at the dining hall on weekdays just before 6:00 a.m. Her duties begin with preparing her omelette station by slicing lunch meat and putting the “fixings” into their designated spots.
When the students arrive, she really gets busy. When asked what her favorite part of working in Glar is, she said, “aside from being around the kids, it would have to be breakfast. I could make a thousand omelettes and not get tired of it.” But, as she admits, the best part really is “watching you guys grow up. It’s so funny to see how you change from when you come in as freshmen and then come out of your shells by the time you’re all seniors.” As the omelette line fills up, Sandy can juggle four to five orders at a time
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, an additional chore is added to her list. Sandy makes the ever-popular ciabatta bread from scratch in between omelette making and lunch time, where her hard work pays off.
Throughout the day, Sandy makes sure her servers are keeping up. She feels that as students, we “pay too much to not get great service.” As a supervisor, she is definitely not hesitant to get on people to make sure that everything gets done. “Even when I’m not working I still tell people what to do.” This is a vital part of a successful operation: someone who truly cares about the work that they are doing.
It does not come as a surprise to learn that Sandy is a mother to four children, including a set of twins. It may be a slight shock, however, that she has four grandchildren, two boys and two girls. “I have the grandkids three or four days a week. They’re the best; I love ‘em!” This has a lot to do with why she came to McDaniel in the first place; the fast-paced real estate business was not one which cooperated with motherhood. Sandy, who was a licensed realtor in Maryland as well as Pennsylvania, left her work as a realtor eleven years ago to have more time to spend with her family.
Sandy currently resides in Frederick with her husband, Bill, not far from where she grew up in Pikesville. A graduate of Pikesville High School, she was an athlete and played field hockey.
Outside of work, the Englar supervisor says she is “just as busy as when you see me behind the counter.” When her shift ends at 2:30 p.m., she can be found biking, swimming or playing volleyball. It is no shock, therefore, that she is also a beach lover in the summer months. She might also be found at the occasional casino in Charles Town, West Virginia, where she enjoys slots and roulette.
When Sandy was asked what else people might like to know about her, she responded, “I’m simple.” She is not one to brag or tell stories, just a person that enjoys life–and all those omelettes.