Be the Creed: Dwynell Piner

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

“Hey, sweetheart!”

If you’ve been in the Shelby Center since its doors opened in 2007, you’ve probably heard these pleasant greetings from Dwynell “Dee” Piner, a day-shift high visibility cleaner for the facility. Piner is one of three members on the day shift in the Shelby Center, and the crew is responsible for providing a safe, clean and healthy environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Auburn University contracts its cleaning services through ABM, with the day shift working 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and the night shift working 4 p.m.-midnight. The work of Piner and her colleagues has been particularly important this year as the university implemented unprecedented cleaning and sanitizing protocols to ensure the safety of the students, faculty, staff and visitors.

“We had to change up the way we did things, but it was all for the safety of our people,” Piner said.

Although the nature and purpose of her job didn’t change too much, the environment changed dramatically. In March, students were instructed to stay off campus following spring break as the campus moved to remote instruction. Students, faculty and staff slowly returned through the summer and into the fall, but it’s still not been the same for someone like Piner who loves to seeing the halls full.

“I miss my people, seeing the students, faculty and staff. I’m used to seeing them every day. It’s just not been the same,” Piner said.

In her down time, Piner loves hanging out with her family and friends, playing cards and chatting with her daughter Alexandria, a junior in social work at Miles College.

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