Aaron Lewis

Facilities Assistant

What is your current role in the biology department?

I am the Assistant Facilities Manager. My role is basically to fill the needs and requests of the department, which range from making service calls, shipping and receiving packages, overseeing the stockroom, and taking care of any crises that arise in the labs or building.  

What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?

I have to say the people. Everyone is so understanding and has a lot of patience.  I was intimidated by everything and everyone when I first started, so I didn’t say much to anyone in the beginning. Once I learned more about my job, I was more comfortable opening up and having conversations. I started learning so much about everyone - what they do and/or what their research is about. I found it intriguing. I find myself looking up the background of the research I've heard about. Everything from fruit flies, yeast, wasps, snails - even how our work here can help our environment with biodegradable material. 

How would you describe our department and the people you work with? 

It is really hard to put our department into a category or the people into a single description with such vast varieties of people and research. I like to think of us as a fine wristwatch and we all are gears that fall in sync and run well together. Everyone is so willing to help each other with whatever the situation may be. I really love seeing all of us working together. It makes it a great place to work and makes me proud to be a part of it. I guess if I was forced to describe our people and department, I would say groundbreaking. After watching how COVID-19 changed how we work in the biology department, I have seen us change and adapt so fast. From the administration to the faculty to the labs - just everyone.  We all just snapped into action, took the threat seriousiously, and worked together to find a way to get though the storm.  I wish more people did what we have done here. Pretty amazing.

What is the most important thing that you’ve learned while working here?

I learned how to prioritize multiple workloads during the course of the day. Sometimes everything happens all at once, even after months of planning different projects with different start dates. Sometimes all the projects all land on the same day. I try to make a mental game plan and the execute it. With guidance from Mary and Brenna, I've successfully worked through that stuff. I can’t thank them enough for everything.

How do you unwind when you’re not in the office?

I love music. I cannot play music; to be honest, I can barely clap on beat. But I can listen to all types of music for hours on end. I wish I had more time to read a good book or even a great comic book. I still like to take time to watch a movie here and there. I really enjoy just sitting around with friends, talking and laughing about life. The last year made me realize how much I missed that.

What is one thing about yourself that you’d like more people to know? 

I have a deep affection for sweets!  I just recently found out that I offend people by the way I eat Kit-Kats (or I at least get a horrified gasp). I do NOT break them into the slim pre-selected slices recommended by the Kit-Kat company. I just bite them and eat them like a regular candy bar.