Blue Tiger Bio: Cole Abbott
In over 10 years working in Shipping & Receiving at Lincoln University, Warehouse Supervisor Cole Abbott has seen just about everything.
"Fetal pigs, formaldehyde...first time I opened that, it was kind of a shock," laughs Abbott, who is in charge of tracking the packages received by the University and making sure they go to the correct departments.
"The mannequins for nursing - it's always fun opening a box and almost seeing a live human in there. And then sometimes you get live organisms like grasshoppers and chameleons. We had one chameleon jump out of the box. You know, it was never found! Now we're into these drones and more technologically advanced products," Abbott continued. "Lincoln tries to stay on the cutting edge with the new technology out there and it's kind of neat to see that stuff."
In his role as the warehouse supervisor, Abbott is one of the few staff members at Lincoln who interacts with every department. His hard work and dedication to the University community has made him a favorite on campus, as faculty and staff members alike appreciate his ubiquitous smile, cheerful demeanor and enthusiasm for serving the Blue Tiger community.
"I am one of the few that get out and go to every building on campus and see everybody, not just the people placing the orders but the people in their department and assistants," Cole said. "You meet everybody, and it is pretty special."
Abbott's commitment to Lincoln and positive relationships with others led to him becoming the chair of LU's Staff Council during the late 2010s. On his desk sits a large trophy, a relic from that era reminding him of the council's victory in the annual Homecoming float decoration contest. Abbott has helped plan fun events for Lincoln's other staff members, and he has been a loyal advocate for University employees through his various leadership roles.
"I really like the support I can provide to other people on campus," Abbott said. "Trying to make others' jobs on campus a little easier is kind of one of the perks I get in the position."
The support Abbott has been able to provide Lincoln extends past the tracking and delivery of shipments. Over the years, Abbott has been able to serve as a mentor to a number of work-study Lincoln students, as well as some from the local high schools. Seeing these student workers learn and grow over their time at LU is perhaps the perk of the position that Abbott most appreciates.
"It's pretty neat, seeing these kids come to me, pretty green as sophomores and watch them graduate," Abbott said. "That's one of the real rewarding parts of the job."
Abbott's ties to the Jefferson City community run deep. Abbott was born and raised in town, went to St. Peter's Elementary School and graduated from Helias High School. Abbott was also very familiar with Lincoln University, having attended sports events and basketball camps at the school as a child. When a friend of Abbott's mother gave him a heads up about an opening in the warehouse at LU in 2007, Abbott jumped at a chance to work for the school.
"It's been fun," Abbott says about his time at Lincoln. "It's really neat seeing what the University buys. You kind of get an inside scoop in the new projects at Lincoln or the new things that are coming, new programs, stuff like that. It's kind of neat seeing the equipment they use and realizing what kind of results they're going to get. It's kind of like [seeing] behind the scenes."
Photo: Keena Lynch