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Classified Employee Appreciation Week Profile: Malou Ensign
Photos and Story by Celina Baguiao
Take a walk down the Sylvania Campus College Center Mall and it won’t be long before you hear a welcoming voice that resonates in the large building, despite it being filled with students.
That voice belongs to Malou Ensign, a custodian who has been working at Portland Community College for 20 years.
On any given day, Ensign can be found taking care of Sylvania’s largest building, the College Center, but what sets her apart is her friendliness and how she connects with PCC students, faculty and staff – and that’s why she was named the Sylvania Campus PCC Federation of Classified Employees by her peers for her contributions to the PCC community.
“I am so happy to be honored,” Ensign explained. “This is the first time I have been recognized for something like this.”
Ensign started her career at PCC as a student taking computer classes. She had trouble buying the required books for the class and saw a job opening for a custodian and she applied.
Since then, she’s been taking care of PCC and spreading her smile across campus.
“I enjoy seeing people using their offices and students in our facilities and they say hello and smile at me,” Ensign noted. “I like to serve people. That’s why I work here.”
Lovingly known as “Mama Malou,” a term of endearment in her native country the Philippines, the students of PCC also noticed Ensign’s dedication and love for the campus by including her in student art projects.
“My photo was taken in front of the daffodils one year and the picture was displayed in the upper mall,” Ensign said. “Students were coming up to me and congratulating me and I didn’t know what they were talking about. Someone took me over to the picture and it made me proud to see my photo.”
When she isn’t at work, Ensign is working on her crossword puzzles, singing and taking care of her 14-year-old daughter, Janelle.
She is also an avid traveler.
“I have been to seven different countries,” Ensign said. “London and Denmark are my favorite destinations.”
Despite her busy life outside of PCC, her love for the college and the people she works with is apparent most when she explains why she is proud to work here.
“I am proud to work here because this is the best place to work,” Ensign explained. “We are part of a multicultural society and PCC helps to engage a variety of different people in different ways.”