University of Iowa’s CAMBUS recognizes Bridget Joers as the 2021 Support Person of the Year. Each year, the Iowa Public Transit Association (IPTA) recognizes a driver from each Iowa transit agency for their service to local communities. Support employees - which include dispatchers, trainers, student mechanics, and supervisors - are not eligible for the IPTA award. Beginning in 2019, CAMBUS has selected a Support Person of the Year to recognize the contributions of the support group, who serve in critical "behind the scenes" roles to keep the CAMBUS transit system operating smoothly each day.
Joers is the third recipient of the Support Person of the Year award. To be eligible for this award, an employee must have served in a support role for the past year and have excellent attendance and work records. The Support Person of the Year award is part of a larger effort to regularly recognize the efforts of CAMBUS employees.
Joers has worked at CAMBUS since February 2017 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Education in 2021. In December 2019, Joers was promoted to Transit Operator Trainer and since then has been an influential member of the Training and Safety Department.
"I started at CAMBUS during my freshman year and that may have been the best decision I ever made. CAMBUS was truly the base of my college experience; I joined and quit student organizations and clubs, changed majors, moved apartments, and overall went through a lot of changes over the past 5 years, but CAMBUS was always a constant in my life" explained Joers.
The knowledge and talents Joers developed to use in the classroom have directly transferred to her work at CAMBUS. She is an invaluable resource to all employees with her immense knowledge about CAMBUS training. She is an exemplary trainer who understands and adapts to each trainee to set them up for success in their role at CAMBUS.
Joers noted that the communication skills she developed as a transit operator trainer at CAMBUS have translated directly to her student teaching experience.
"Since safety and following a set procedure is so important when teaching a trainee how to drive a bus, I learned how to give clear, concise, and direct feedback. This has helped me in the classroom [in providing] specific and direct instructions [to the students]. While student teaching this past semester, I had a fun time trying out different teaching styles and testing out the things I learned in my various leadership roles I've had on campus."
In addition to new hire training, many at CAMBUS know Joers as the face behind CAMBUS' many video training resources and CAMBUS news segments. She has elevated training and safety content for employees with her proficiency in video editing and overall creativity.
"Anyone that's met me would agree that I like to think outside the box. I aim to make the videos something that people will enjoy watching: something that is short, gives useful information, and keeps attention" stated Joers.
Joers also embodies what it means to be part of a team. She is always willing to take on projects, collaborate with others, and help with training shifts. As a member of the support team, she leads by example and consistently goes above and beyond to further the skills and knowledge of employees, in turn setting them up for success and creating a positive work experience.
"I am thankful to work at a place that cares about its employees and is constantly recognizing and showcasing them. I cannot stress this enough; it is an utter joy to drive a bus. Even after years of driving the same routes every day, I still look forward to my big bus shifts" says Joers.
Please join us in congratulating and thanking Bridget Joers for her work with the CAMBUS Training and Safety department!
In reviewing candidates for the 2021 Support Person of the Year, the selection team also wished to recognize dispatcher Alison Shoppa as honorable mention for the award. Shoppa started at CAMBUS in February 2018 and was promoted to dispatcher in March 2020. The selection team noted Shoppa’s contributions to the workplace in creating a welcoming and positive work culture, being a friendly and dependable leader, and being a conscientious team player amongst the dispatcher and support teams. Shoppa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Justice and art minor in 2021.
About the Support Person of the Year award
To complement the annual Driver of the Year award, CAMBUS began selecting a Support Person of the Year in 2019. To be eligible for the award, employees in support positions must meet the same criteria as the Driver of the Year award, plus have served in a support role for the past year.
Criteria for award eligibility includes a clean work record, no attendance violations, and an excellent safety record. The CAMBUS management and student supervisor team evaluate the list of eligible candidates to select an overall award winner. The CAMBUS team looks at factors such as previous recognitions received throughout the year, feedback from other staff, and their contributions to creating an inclusive and positive workplace experience.
CAMBUS is the University of Iowa’s student operated, no fare public transit system that provides fixed-route service throughout campus and demand-response paratransit services for qualifying persons. CAMBUS works in collaboration with other Parking and Transportation Department units to provide and support access and mobility for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. For more information about our services visit https://transportation.prod.drupal.uiowa.edu/cambus or call (319) 335-8633.