Wednesday, April 8, 2020


CAMBUS employees Hughes and Mulrooney - man wearing black sweatshirt with IOWA logo and man wearing white polo with grey tigerhawk logo

CAMBUS employees left to right: James Hughes, Scheduling Supervisor and Bryan Mulrooney, Dispatch and Bionic Supervisor


CAMBUS nominates Hughes and Mulrooney for Student Employee of the Year

The University of Iowa students that work with CAMBUS are extremely capable and dedicated individuals. Among the 170 employees, there are stand-outs who go above and beyond in their roles. Cambus this year has nominated two employees, James Hughes and Bryan Mulrooney, for University of Iowa Student Employee of the Year. Their leadership, empathy, and drive to make Cambus better every day demonstrate why they were nominated

James Hughes is the Scheduling Supervisor at Cambus, where he is responsible for employee scheduling and coordinating special services.  Cambus special services are provided to support additional needs of the university and have been used to support initiatives like Dance Marathon, alumni events, and various other on-campus events.  In May 2020, James will earn a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing. As an advocate for campus accessibility and inclusivity, his passion and dedication to CAMBUS shines through every day.  This is one of the many reasons Cambus has nominated Hughes for Student Employee of the Year.

“To be nominated for Student Employee of the Year, means to me that I am fair, consistent, and extend empathy to all employees,” says Hughes.

CAMBUS seeks to develop independent and adaptable problem solvers and Hughes exemplifies that. “Cambus has taught me more than I will ever know, it has presented me with some of the most challenging decision-making problems I have yet to face,” says Hughes.

“Cambus is an experience I will never forget. [Working in transit] opened my eyes to why transit in a region is critically important, and that transit can help us slow global warming. Cambus helped me grow professionally to a point where I never thought was possible at 21 [years old], and it makes me tear up thinking about leaving.”

In addition to being a highly effective supervisor, Hughes’s contributions to Cambus include leading the CAMBUS Engagement Group.  The CAMBUS Engagement Group is an employee-initiated group formed to examine workplace policies and culture, with an emphasis on collecting feedback from all student employees.  Under James’ leadership, CEG put out an employee engagement survey which led to several positive initiatives in the workplace.“James’ work on the engagement team is a great example of how he always wants to go the extra mile to create a positive and inclusive work environment,” says Mia Brunelli, Cambus operations manager. “He is a person that really wants to see others succeed and his efforts have really empowered more of our workforce in their positions.  It has been exciting to see this growth.” 

Bryan Mulrooney is the Dispatch and Bionic Supervisor at CAMBUS and is a music education major.  His responsibilities at Cambus include supervising ten dispatchers and the operations of the paratransit bionic service – including training bionic drivers and creating rider schedules.  Cambus Bionic provides over 600 rides per month to University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty with temporary or permanent disabilities.

“When I was originally hired, I thought Cambus would simply be a job that pays well. Though I quickly learned that Cambus and its operations are extensive,” replied Mulrooney.

“Bryan has been exceptional in addressing the needs of paratransit riders,” says Mia Brunelli, Cambus operations manager.  “He has the compassion and judgement to make decisions which best serve the riders.  He also carries these traits over to how he supervises employees.  He is highly collaborative and friendly, which makes him a trusted and well-respected leader in the organization."

“I’ve learned how to lead a group of leaders by figuring out - sometimes the hard way - when to let them do their thing and when to step in,” replied Mulrooney. “The workplace culture at Cambus is unlike anywhere I’ve ever worked… Cambus is a far more motivated and enthusiastic group of people compared to your typical employees.”

In fall of 2019, Cambus purchased a new a paratransit scheduling software to improve Bionic Bus operations. Mulrooney took the lead on this project – completing full implementation of the software while being a full-time student and the sousaphone section leader in the Hawkeye Marching Band. An example of the above and beyond efforts of Mulrooney.

Mulrooney also started a new tradition at CAMBUS - “Aloha Shirt Wednesdays”.  “He started it [Aloha Shirt Wednesdays] as something fun for employees to look forward to every week,” says Brunelli. “He has had an immediate and lasting impact on both the workplace and the rider experience.”