Anocha Cornell's "Happy Land"

Anocha Cornell at Michigan Stadium

Anocha Cornell

Anocha Cornell is a custodial supervisor with Building Services. She currently manages buildings in the Athletics campus, including The Big House, Crisler Arena and Yost Arena.

Anocha came to the U.S. 36 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand to pursue a Master's in Economics at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She completed her degree in 18 months so that she could save money for her parents.

After obtaining her degree, Anocha began working at U-M's Institute for Social Research as a coding analyst. When her children were born a few years later, she decided that it would be more cost effective for her to work nights so she and her husband could manage child care on their own. She applied and got a job as a custodial supervisor for Building Services and has been with Plant Operations ever since.

The smile on her face shows her pride in working for the University of Michigan. Anocha emphatically states that she "bleeds blue through and through." She calls the Michigan Stadium her "Happy Land." She loves the commotion and noise during game days and events, but she also goes there to unwind and relax when the stadium is empty. Though she does not fully understand football or hockey, she loves game days and is looking forward to the Winter Classic in 2014.

When asked what she does for fun, she says with a smile: "I watch the stock markets." Guess you can take a girl out of economics but you can't take economist out of the girl.

She is very proud of the fact that she was able to pay for both her sons to attend the University of Michigan by investing in the stock markets.

Anocha is passionate about utilizing the benefits given to staff by U-M. She insists that all her employees fully participate in the retirement options provided at U-M. Even if they insist they cannot afford it, she says "you won't miss the money when you don't see it."

Good advice from an economist for planning ahead.

One of the highlights of her career was serving on the search committee that brought President Mary Sue Coleman to Michigan. Anocha says it was one of the best experiences of her life.

She took her responsibility as a committee member seriously, attending meetings and actively participating on the committee despite being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment during the search process.

he says that Mary Sue Coleman was the best candidate by far and she will miss her on campus when President Coleman retires in 2014.

When she feels stressed or tired at work, Anocha says she thinks of the responsibilities President Coleman and her staff deal with on a daily basis. This reflection helps put her own stresses in perspective and helps her to focus on doing her best work in support of the University – where she has built a career, watched her sons grow and learn, and found joy in her "Happy Land."