When the College of Education embarked on significant building renovations two years ago, facilities manager Eric Mulvany stepped forward to make sure the process was carefully managed. So involved in the many details was Mulvany that often his suggestions and changes led to significant cost savings to the college.
His exemplary workplace commitment was lauded by faculty and staff who nominated the much-beloved and quietly efficient Mulvany for the Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff Award. The annual award, named after Breslin, a renowned student leader, athlete, administrator and MSU advocate, is given to just six people universitywide, and honors its namesake's "Spartan Spirit."
Mulvany will be recognized at a campus ceremony and reception on May 15, and will receive a $2500 award and citation. His many friends and fans in the college said it couldn't have happened to a nicer - or more enterprising - guy.
"He knows how to tackle anything," says Gail Nutter, the college's assistant dean for educational operations and budgets, who was one of Mulvany's four nominators.
"He goes above and beyond what is expected in working to provide solutions to problems. Our entire faculty and staff of over 300 people know he is the 'go-to' person if you want something."
Mulvany, a native of East Detroit, received his bachelor's degree in advertising from MSU in 1984. A father of two with wife Mary, he lives in Lansing and has worked at MSU for 22 years, with the past seven in the College of Education.
Active in his church and community, Mulvany was cited for exceeding his job requirements, including: volunteering to organize the college's annual picnic for over 200 people and contacting several local vendors for great door prizes; reorganizing the copy center and in the process saving the college $40,000; designing and co-teaching technology classes for college support staff; teaching a faculty family to fish. When a faculty member saw fishing items in Mulvany's office, the professor confided the he and his daughter were interested in fishing, but the professor did not know much about it. Mulvany not only offered his own personal canoe, but volunteered his time to take the professor and his family out for some fishing lessons.
The spirit of getting involved and investing time in others - along with being quite humble - is what sets him apart, his colleagues note.
"Not only is (Eric) a genuinely nice guy," wrote kinesiology Professor Dan Gould in his Breslin Award nominating letter, "but he will do everything possible to help you even when he is swamped with other major responsibilities. He really cares about getting things done right and is not afraid to make sure that happens. He treats our facilities like they are his own house and all of us like we are members of his family."