Breaking Ground at JWU: 5 Questions With…Lynn Borrelli, Facilities Management


Lynn Borrelli is breaking ground at JWU as the first and only female groundskeeper on the campus’ 11-person Grounds team within Facilities Management. She has been with JWU for a little over five years and is a native Rhode Islander having grown up in Smithfield and currently residing in North Providence.

This Week at JWU asked Norm Scherza, grounds crew supervisor, about Lynn. “She was a great hire with high energy and very detailed. She is capable of handling any piece of equipment from skid steers and tractors and Zero turns to snowplows. There are no exemptions from anything the rest of the crew does.” In three words, Norm described Lynn as, “honest, confident and dependable.”

1. What new hobby would you pursue if you had more time?
I try to do most things that I wish too. My favorite hobbies include hiking and exploring new places. If I had more time, I would love to travel across the country and see the national parks, especially the Grand Canyon and Utah. I have visited Utah once before, and it was an amazing experience. Also on my bucket list is to hike the Appalachian Trail that goes from Georgia to Maine.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Rhode Island?
My favorite place to dine in Rhode Island would definitely be my grandparent’s house. They are both 100% Italian and are in their 90’s, so they have a lot of practice with making good food. My grandfather makes his own coffee mix, and I have yet to find better tasting coffee anywhere else, along with his homemade strawberry jam on Italian toast. You cannot beat it. He also makes fantastic sticky buns, which are only allowed on Sundays. There is something about the comfort of dining at home that I just love.

3. If you could learn another language, what would it be?
It would be American Sign Language. Many people in today’s world are nonverbal but still communicate through signing. These people seem so pleased and excited when they are able to communicate with others, so I think being able to sign would be very cool. I would also learn Spanish because it is so common in our culture today. By learning these languages, it would allow me to help people communicate with one another with language barriers.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” You are better off trying to do your very best the first time around, because it can save you a lot of headaches and time in the end. When people do not give something their full effort, it shows.

5. What’s your favorite thing about JWU?
There are a lot of things I like about JWU so pinning one down is tough. All the people that we get to see and meet on a daily basis are great. People are so kind and friendly. Another thing I love about JWU is how beautiful it is. While I enjoy Downtown and all it has to offer, the Harborside Campus is my favorite. Being down by the bay is so rewarding. My day starts early (usually 6am, sometimes 5am) so most times of the year we get to see the sunrise unobstructed by city towers. In addition, there is tons of wildlife on that campus. I have seen foxes, hawks, osprey, turkeys, turtles, and many other critters. Coming across wildlife always makes my day.