George Mason University

News at Mason

Chris Thorpe is the October Employee of the Month

October 4, 2018   /   by Lydia Antonio-Vila

Chris Thorpe receives his Employee of the Month award from University President Ángel Cabrera on Oct. 3, 2018. Photo by Lathan Goumas.

Chris Thorpe, an electrical supervisor at George Mason University, said he was taken by surprise when he found out he is the university’s October Employee of the Month.

“I found out at a meeting,” he said about getting the word from Frank Strike, Mason’s vice president for facilities.

Thorpe, who started in Mason’s electrical shop 17 years ago, has tackled many challenging situations. One for which he received special recognition occurred this past April, when several campus buildings, including Thompson Hall, lost power due to a small fuse explosion. Thorpe, called to the scene at 1 a.m., worked overnight to pull old wires and make repairs.

“Because of [Thorpe’s] incredible dedication and unwavering commitment to overcome all obstacles, power was restored in Thompson Hall days before the emergency contractor believed was possible,” Strike said.

Mark Ginsberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Development—which has offices in Thompson Hall—said Thorpe’s actions “helped to prevent a possible major incident that could have led to serious damage to the facility.”

How he got here:

I’ve worked in the Mason electrical shop since 2001. I received my electrical license while working here. [During] the past six years I have worked on and overseen generated power systems for the Fairfax Campus. I completed the two-year management program offered through Facilities. When we transitioned to zones at Facilities, it opened up the opportunity to apply and obtain the electrical shop supervisor position. I have had this title since December 2017.

Best day on the job:

Besides getting recognized for this award? I really cannot narrow down one day in particular; every day is a great day at Mason. Anytime I can help solve a problem or assist another co-worker to make their day better is a great day for me.

What he likes best about working at Mason:

I like the camaraderie we have in Facilities. We have a fantastic group of employees that maintains the daily operations for Mason. This makes coming to work more enjoyable for me.

What he likes doing when not working:

Spending time with my family. I come from a big family, and I value the time we spend together. I have two daughters. My oldest stepdaughter is 14 and enjoys playing travel softball. I love traveling with her up and down the East Coast, watching her grow into the young adult she has become. My youngest daughter is 6, and she loves spending time with me working on projects around the house—and playing, of course.