When Becky Campbell started working at the U in 1985, there weren’t many opportunities for women in the trades. She had a mechanical background, having helped her Dad and brother tear down and re-build equipment on their farm near Stillwater.
Campbell’s first job at a Burger Chef restaurant wasn’t very mechanical, but the five years she spent at Pearson’s candy company sure were. She worked as a machine operator feeding the white centers into the Salted Nut Rolls we all enjoy. She says she could fill 200 rolls per minute on the center feeder.
After getting laid-off by Pearson’s in 1985, Campbell heard that a lot of her co-workers were going to work for the University of Minnesota. She landed a job as a second shift custodial worker on the East Bank. After a while she moved to housing so she could work days. But these jobs didn’t bring out the mechanic in her.
In the early 1990’s, Campbell got involved in a program sponsored by WomenVenture that taught women non-traditional job skills in the trades. She was able to get her Mechanic 1 and 2 training and eventually landed a job as a general mechanic in Middlebrook Hall.
After a few more years in the housing department, Campbell moved to FM in 1997 and has been here ever since. She now works in the North-West district.
“I like solving things and it bugs me if I don’t get to the bottom of it,” comments Campbell.
She says that in addition to the everyday fixes that mechanics have to solve, every once in a while there are some unusual requests. She has been asked to help remove a bad smell, which turned out to be a dead mouse. Another frequent call is to remove bats from buildings … not exactly what you would expect from a mechanic.
Campbell lives in Centerville with Bill, her husband of 25 years. They have four grown children and five grandchildren. Bill is a contractor, so they are constantly fixing-up their home. They just finished siding and roofing their house on their own.
Becky loves fishing. She used to take the family up to Cass Lake every week in the summers.
“Get me out on a boat and we’ll be out there all day,” she says.
She is the only family member that can fillet a fish, something she takes pride in. Her work ethic is reflected in the attention to detail required by filleting.
You have to wonder if her fishing prowess has contributed to her success at catching bats, as well.