Campus News

Why UK Staff Member Shane Woods Has the 'Heart to Step Up'

Shane Woods, Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
Shane Woods in the mechanical area of the Medical Sciences Building. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2021) — What makes UK the University of, for and with Kentucky? 

The answer is our people.  

We are a community full of individuals who sacrifice for the greater good. During the past year, those sacrifices have been magnified as the University of Kentucky continued its missions of teaching, service, research and healing. There are so many people who worked behind the scenes to make the impossible, possible. In this new UKNow series, we hope to honor some of those employees who had the “Heart to Step Up,” despite the many obstacles presented to them while working during a global pandemic.  

This month, UKNow talked to Shane Woods who works as a facilities maintenance technician in UK Facilities Management.

UKNow: What is your role here at UK?  

Woods: I’m a facilities maintenance technician. I help keep the health care buildings and equipment running. 

UKNow: What’s the best part about your job?  

Woods: The best part of my job is working with great people and playing a part in something important.

UKNow: How did your role change due to COVID-19? If you could tell yourself one thing pre-COVID, what would it be? 

Woods: My role at work didn’t really change a lot due to COVID, we still had to keep everything running 24/7/365. I would tell myself to get ready for an interesting year!

UKNow: What inspired you during this past year?  

Woods: I was inspired by the health care workers all over the world who worked tons of hours in hot PPE, putting themselves at risk to help people with COVID, and some losing their lives. 

UKNow: What did you learn about yourself and/or your community this past year? 

Woods: I learned I needed to have a different perspective about what’s important and be grateful for the life and family I have, with so many people losing loved ones to COVID. Sports was a much bigger deal to me before this last year, but UK went 9-16 last season, and it didn’t really upset me that much and the world didn’t end. 

UKNow hopes to highlight different employees from across campus in the “Heart to Step Up” series. If you know someone who went above and beyond during this past year, please email us. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.