She is not a top university administrator or a sports coach, but most students and staff at the university know Lieu Nguyen.
Her claim to fame? A good memory and an endearing smile.
Nguyen, a cashier at Market Square, is well known on campus for her sweet disposition and her ability to remember everyone’s name. She has now been recognized for her hard work by Sodexo, the university’s food service provider that offers services to hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.
Nguyen won the Sodexo Star Award for the months of December and January.
Kelly Raw, marketing manager for Dining Services, said the Sodexo Star Award recognizes a Sodexo employee from each region for exemplary service every month. There are 109 schools in the university’s region, and Nguyen was selected by a panel of general managers for the award.
Given by Regional Senior Vice President Jim Fjelstul, the award includes a plaque signed by him and a Sodexo Esteem Pass, a gift card that can be used at more than 40 locations including Old Navy, Borders, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Marriott, according to sodexomotivation.com.
Nguyen, who has worked for Sodexo for more than four years, said she loves students, adding that winning the award made her happy because her work was recognized.
Students also return the affection. During a Hawaiian night celebration at Market Square in the fall, students voted Nguyen as their favorite employee.
Raw said Nguyen is a sweet person who completes her work in a timely manner.
“We really consider (Lieu) an asset to Market Square…She is very deserving of the award and an excellent example of what a Sodexo employee should be,” Raw said.
Frances Macias, a cashier at Market Square, said she is happy a TCU employee won the award and thinks Nguyen is friendly, nice and a go-getter.
Students, like junior writing major Katie George, also voiced appreciation for Nguyen’s cheerful nature and ability to remember minute details about the lives of hundreds of students.
“I hadn’t been into the BLUU for a couple months until earlier this week and (Nguyen) saw me, called me by my name (and) asked me how I was doing,” George said. “It’s really nice going to a mass-service place and having someone recognize you and be able to talk to you.”
Nguyen has also become the star of a Facebook group titled “TCU Loves Lieu.” The group was created by sophomore biology major Britni Williams and has more than 1,500 members.
The Facebook group’s description reads, “Honoring the sweetest, most adorable woman ever! She makes Market Square worth going to!”