Looking at Us: Mark Koziol, Maintenance/Grounds Crew

Mark Koziol, maintenance employee, doing leaf clean-up in the center courtyard of the main building at UConn Health. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)
Mark Koziol, maintenance employee, doing leaf clean-up in the center courtyard of the main building at UConn Health. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

Mark Koziol, 33-years old from Plainville, works on the grounds crew in the Maintenance Dept. He’s worked at UConn Health for 13 years, he’s married and the father of an 8-month old girl. This time of year, Mark and his fellow grounds crew workers are extremely busy with – you guessed it – cleaning up leaves. It’s an extremely time-consuming job considering the size of our campus which stretches 209 acres and includes our Munson Road, 195 and 400 Farmington Avenue locations. That’s a whole lot of leaves to get rid of.

Q: Other than leaf clean-up – what are some of your other job responsibilities?
It really depends on the time of year. We do landscape maintenance so in the spring and summer we’re mowing, tree and hedge trimming, mulching, planting flowers, and cutting the ivy – that needs to be done several times a year.

This time of year, it’s cleaning up the leaves and cutting down the day lilies and ornamental grasses. Then when winter comes – it’s a whole another story.  We have to remove the snow and spread salt on all the sidewalks, parking lots and roads here on campus and our nearby locations.  We also have to clear the snow from the garages, otherwise it’s too much weight. We plow the snow and then we find a designated safe place to dump it off the garage. That takes a long time.

I typically start my day at 6 a.m. but if we get a major snow storm we come in when we’re needed and work around the clock until all the snow is cleared. We stay overnight here if it’s necessary. Our department has couches or we sleep in our trucks. Depending on the storm, we can end up being here for a few days. Last year we were lucky so this year we’ll see what happens.

And then throughout the year, we’re in charge of the litter pick-up.

Who is your favorite actor? Robert De Niro

What’s your favorite junk food? Pizza

What’s your favorite sports team? Red Sox

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

If you could meet someone “famous” who would you most like to meet? “Big Papi” David Ortiz

Q: Is littering a big problem on campus?
A:  Usually it’s the patients who are messy.  The employees really are not that bad.

Q: What job do you like the best?
Well, fall is my favorite time of year and I never seem to get tired of leaf blowing.

Q:  Overall, why do you like working here?
I enjoy working in this field and being outside. The people are nice, too.  I’ve met lots of nice people through the years.

I also like the variety.  Every season brings something different.  And this campus has changed tremendously since I started back in 2003. When I started, there was no MARB or Outpatient Pavilion. There was a greenhouse there. I remember the Butler buildings and Dowling North and South. The campus has really expanded for the better but then again, it also means we have a lot more work than we used to.