Susan from Chem Cafe
Photo courtesy of: Milton Levin

Susan Monroe has watched the UConn campus cafés grow–including the Chem Café–since the day she first started working at UConn on March 4, 1994. April 1, 2019, we are sad to announce Susan’s retirement from the Chem Café after a wonderful 25 years of work through UConn Dining Services.

Susan grew up in Mansfield, Connecticut and attended college at Eastern Connecticut State University.  When she graduated, she became a librarian for some time before moving back to her hometown.  She’s lived all over Connecticut, including New Britain and Manchester, and has also spent some time in Massachusetts.  However, nothing has truly felt more like home than the time she has spent in Mansfield.  As she gears up for retirement, Susan says she will miss the students most, and their stories about sports and other weekly events that happen on campus.

Although she’s the constant, familiar face in the Chemistry Building, Susan didn’t always work at the Chem Café. Before coffee shops, Susan started at Jonathan’s in the old Student Union, did catering, and worked on the first mobile unit (the “Paw Pad”). She had also been a supervisor at Papa Gino’s, in Jonathan’s, and then went on to working at the cafés within UConn Dining Services.

Throughout the years with Dining Services, she has worked at “Wilbur’s Café” in Wilbur Cross, as well as “Up and Atom” when it first opened, and worked there for a total of 6 years.  However, she always found her way back to the Chem Café, reflecting, “I always like coming back because it’s like a family here.”  Getting to speak with her more, we were able to unlock some of Susan’s favorite (and least favorite!) meals at the Café.  She loves the soup, enough to eat two cups per day, but her all-time favorite is the turkey lasagna.  Along with soup, she treats herself to half a sandwich, completing her daily meal routine.  On the contrary, she’s not keen on the gluten free items, although she admittedly hasn’t tried any of the gluten free options.

When asked to describe her years of working at the Chem Café in one word, Susan replied “People. I always love being around people.”  She’ll miss the hustle and bustle of students coming in and out of class, as well as handling the upkeep of the Café, but most of all, she’ll miss the Chemistry Building as a whole.  Susan’s friendly greetings and warm smiles will be gone, but we will never forget her impact on making the Chem Café feel like home for so many.

From everyone in the Chemistry Building, we wish Susan a relaxing and peaceful retirement!

Article Courtesy of Kailey Huot ’19 (CLAS)