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Jayasooriya named SDSU employee of month

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Anupriya Nalaka Jayasooriya

Anupriya Nalaka Jayasooriya, a custodial supervisor at South Dakota State University, has been named Civil Service Employee of the Month for September.

He will be honored at a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Pasque Room (255) in the University Student Union.

Nalaka has been employed at since May 2018, beginning as a facility worker in the University Student Union. In May he was promoted to custodial supervisor in the Union.

For 30 years he worked in the dairy department for Nestle’s in his native Sri Lanka. When he moved to Brookings with his wife, Priyadarshani; son, Kanishka; and daughter, Enuri; he switched careers. That brought some challenges, but those who work with him say he handled them well.

Jennifer Novotny, senior director of the Student Union, wrote, “I have not swayed from my initial impression of Nalaka. He is a kind, diligent staff member who takes great care in his work. Nalaka has an impeccable record of conscientious and high quality while providing custodial services to arguably the busiest building on our campus.

“This particular area of employment presents numerous daily challenges, all of which Nalaka approaches with great care and genuine attentiveness.”

Cindy Schmidt, his former supervisor, wrote, “Nalaka is a great employee. He is very dependable. If given a task, he see to it that it is done completely and very well. He makes sure that rooms are ready Monday through Friday in the Student Union for customers, cleans offices so they are presentable and sanitary, and cleans and checks restrooms so that patrons of the Student Union are provided a good experience.”

Nalaka said, “I enjoy working with my co-workers and get to know them personally and professionally. They help me achieve the task as a team.” 

Nalaka said in his free time he likes to spend time with family and friends and visit new places, including Maryland, where his son now lives. Both his children are SDSU graduates.

All SDSU Employee of the Month selections are determined through a nomination process by the Civil Service Advisory Council. Each civil service employee of the month receives an appreciation monetary gift from the F.O. Butler Foundation. The trustees of the foundation recognize the importance of civil service employees and take this opportunity to thank them for their exemplary service.