Carrie celebrates her 32nd birthday

Gloria Sample, Carrie Nicoson and Paulette White celebrate Nicoson’s birthday on Valentine’s Day. Nicoson is a dining room attendant in Cranberry’s.

By Maggie Sarlo

Valentine’s Day was a little sweeter at Cranberry’s this year. Carrie Nicoson, a dining room attendant, celebrated her 32nd birthday with a few of her co-workers. Some Rider students got together to bring her a decadent cake and Doris Hartpence, Cranberry’s supervisor, made cupcakes for the occasion.

Nicoson has been working at Cranberry’s for about seven years. Supervisor Deirdre Papola says she was hired at an Aramark job fair and receives coaching twice a month.

“I talk with the coaches and work with her mom to keep her on the same level as everyone else,” Papola said. “I think it’s really good for her.”

Nicoson enjoyed the attention, but also said she couldn’t wait to go home and celebrate her birthday with her family.

“We’re going to have a birthday dinner and dessert — brownies and ice cream,” Nicoson said.

She also said she loves working at Cranberry’s and is very proud of herself for what she does. She has been following the advice of her co-worker, Paulette White, who tells her to make work a fun experience.

“I have been working to have fun and stay happy,” Nicoson said.

When she’s not working, Nicoson participates in a local bowling league assembled by Special Olympics Unified Sports. Her team, Lawrence Lightning, is coached by Dr. Hope Corman, professor of economics and director of the health administration program at Rider. Nicoson enjoys bowling and has won a gold medal in the sport during the Special Olympics.

Regardless of where she goes, Nicoson seems to leave a good impression. White had nothing but nice things to say about Nicoson and encouraged others to make an effort to interact with her.

“Everybody loves Carrie so much,” White said. “She brings joy in the morning. People need to get to know who she is. We all know of her, but no one really knows who she is. We all make her very, very happy.”

Additional reporting by Megan Pendagast

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