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At Work: Lau-Réné Manuel

Photo by Mary Awad

Photo by Mary Awad

Who she is

Director of Environmental Compliance and Occupational Safety

What she does

Manuel is responsible for keeping all of Fordham’s three campuses in compliance for regulatory requirements— assuring the facilities lawfully follow safety codes— that have to do with life safety, occupational safety, and hazardous waste. She coordinates laboratory safety, implements the University’s Hazardous Waste Management plan, and coordinates facilities management.

 How long have you been at Fordham?

“It’ll be a year on Nov 30.” (Congratulations!)

What do you like most about your job?

 “I love that I get to meet and interact with so many different people on all levels. I also love that it’s so rewarding. My job is to make sure all these people get home safe. It’s a very dynamic job; nothing is the same. I get to be involved in so many things. It’s also a very reactive position as many safety jobs are. But you know at the end of the day you’re doing it all to keep people safe, and that’s easily the best part.”

Why Fordham?

 “I actually grew up in the South Bronx by Yankee Stadium. I remember coming to Fordham as a kid; my mother would bring my three siblings and I to Fordham for poetry readings or plays. Now I live in Duchess County, about an hour away from here, with my daughter. I love Fordham because I always said I wanted to come back into the city. I always said, ‘I want to be home again.’ And Fordham is home for me. I’m back in the Bronx and I couldn’t be happier.”

Do you have any hobbies?

I paint. I used to be a ballet dancer and always loved the arts, so now I paint. Acrylic paints though…watercolors are too unforgiving! And my other hobby is being a mother. It’s my everything!”

When you were in school what was your favorite class?

 “Oh, that’s a tough one! I’ll give you my top three. Physics was my favorite class; I loved my instructor. Dance comes next because I was a dancer. It was my release during the day. I also loved my industrial engineering courses. I know my least favorite was linear algebra. I couldn’t stand linear algebra and calculus!”


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