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Friendliest Employee

One dining hall worker brightens mealtime for students.

The Ernie Davis Dining Center is the workplace of one of the friendliest employees at Syracuse University: Dominick Valentino.

Sunlight streams through the large windows in the Ernie Davis Dining Center, shining on rows of tables filled with students chattering loudly over pumping pop music. “How’s it going?” Valentino asks almost every student he swipes into the dining hall.

He has been an employee at Syracuse University for 10 years. Valentino’s job as a card-checker in Ernie Davis includes swiping students into the dining center, cleaning tables and filling empty napkin holders. He likes his job, mainly because of his interaction with the students.

See more SUperlative videos about standout people and places on campus, including some "firsts," "bests" and "favorites."

Valentino has a rapport with many students who frequent the dining center. He speaks fondly of a student who lives upstairs in Ernie Davis. She eats in the dining hall every day, and they always say hello to each other.

“How’s class?” Valentino often asks while taking a student’s used plastic takeout tray and giving back a clean one. 

When a student is overwhelmed with schoolwork, Valentino jokes to brighten his mood.

“I’m going to talk to your professor,” he tells the student with a grin.

His enthusiasm and positive attitude have made him popular with students and fellow staff members.

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