The IWU Sojourn student newspaper released a profile of Jo Ellen Baas, a custodian on IWU’s main campus who was born and raised in Marion, Indiana.

She enters the Barnes Student Center at 7 a.m. Then she spends her day wiping tables, cleaning floors, scrubbing bathrooms and washing windows.

“I’m basically like the mom,” she laughs.


One of the students she met at church is Ginny Herron (jr).

“I love Jo Ellen,” exclaims Herron. “I’d seen her around school, but then I realized she went to Lakeview, where I go. She is really pleasant and gracious and friendly, so I started saying ‘hi’ to her. Now she always gives me a hug when I see her.”

Herron talks about how Baas always has a great attitude about her job, even though it’s such hard work. Baas certainly has some positive things to say about it.

“The thing I love the most about working here is we have the freedom to pray and things like that,” Baas says. “My favorite part of this job, though, and jobs before, was working with students. It still is.”

She talks about how she loves building relationships with the students.

Kenny Riffell (jr) is a transfer student this year, but he’s taken the time to get to know Baas. He sees her in the Mallway and stops to talk.

“She’s always here, and she’s always smiling and nice. I’ve never once seen her look or act negative,” enthuses Riffell.

Read the full profile here.