University of Iowa’s CAMBUS recognizes Kristina Dibert as the 2023 Support Person of the Year. The award was established by CAMBUS in 2019 to recognize the support staff who serve in behind-the-scenes roles to keep the transit system operating smoothly. Dibert began working at CAMBUS as a bus operator in October 2020 and was promoted to student mechanic in July 2021. She is currently in her second year of pharmacy school.
In her position as student mechanic, Dibert works alongside CAMBUS’ full-time technicians in the maintenance facility servicing the fleet. She also supervises student employees during the nightly clean-up shift when buses are cleaned and fueled.
“Kristina has provided exemplary leadership to the CAMBUS team over the past year, particularly when we experienced a severe staffing shortage,” noted the CAMBUS supervisor and management team. “Our maintenance teams faced increased pressure to keep service operating smoothly, and Kristina helped maintain positive morale and a team-focused atmosphere in challenging circumstances.”
“I've learned not only teamwork skills, but also leadership skills because I’ve had opportunities to lead groups of 6+ coworkers in cleaning the buses in addition to working alongside the full-time mechanics,” Dibert says.
She notes that balancing school and work can be a challenge because CAMBUS feels like a second family. “I have a hard time saying no to work,” Dibert says, “but I knew I had to buckle in for pharmacy school.” Despite these new challenges, she continues to prove herself as a reliable team member and leader.
“We relied a lot on our maintenance staff to help cover driving shifts during our staffing shortage, and Kristina was always willing to jump in where needed, and with a positive attitude,” noted the selection committee.
"I've learned not only teamwork skills, but also leadership skills,”
Dibert says being recognized as Support Person of the Year makes her feel appreciated for her work at CAMBUS. “It's such an honor and just shows my work behind the scenes does not go unnoticed,” she says.
Out of everything she has learned at CAMBUS, Dibert encourages students who are considering applying to do it for the growth opportunities. “It's the most cliche thing ever,” she says, “but just do it! You grow as a person by stepping out of your comfort zone and things you may never have thought possible.”
In reviewing the Support Person of the Year 2023 candidates, the selection team wishes to recognize dispatcher Maddie Stoen as honorable mention. Maddie was noted for her consistent work ethic, problem-solving and communication skills, and contributing to a welcoming and positive work culture at CAMBUS.
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. On average, 160 student-employees operate transit services across the university campus. Their responsibilities begin with driving but can grow to include training, dispatching, assisting with maintenance, and supervising. 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 the CAMBUS page or call 319-335-8633.