Matthew Funk

Lead Custodian of UCR ARTSblock

Matthew Funk

With 20 years of service, Matthew Funk, the lead custodian of UCR ARTSblock, has become an expert on the lay of the land at UCR.

“When I did the graveyard shift, I would walk the campus twice at night. … I remember when I got here, Bourns was a parking lot. That wasn’t here. The Chemical Sciences Building wasn’t here — that was a parking lot. UCR has changed a lot,” he says. “It’s such a beautiful campus.”

As lead custodian, Funk enjoys the physical aspect of his job best. “I’m always on my feet at my work — when I’m sweeping, mopping, or cleaning the bathrooms,” he said. Funk even stays active when he’s not on the job, and with the help of a handy app called My Fitness Pal — a calorie-counting program — he has lost more than 70 pounds in the past year and a half.

“I’ve been working on my weight for the last 440 days. … My Fitness Pal is like a Facebook community,” he said. “[With help from the app], I went from a size 42 pants to a 36. I was wearing 2X, 3X shirts — [now I wear] large shirts that I never imagined I could wear. The last time I was able to wear a large shirt was in high school when I was 16 years old,” Funk added.

Staying healthy is a lifelong commitment for Funk: “My daughter asked my wife and me how long we were going to be on this and I said, ‘Forever.’ I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to be where I was. When I look at [old pictures of] myself, all I see is belly and I can’t believe that I let myself go like that. My Fitness Pal is a whole lifestyle change.”

Movies are another passion — one that makes Funk’s work environment perfect for him, since UCR Artsblock screens movies regularly. “I’m a movie buff,” Funk said. “I study on the Internet about movie theaters and driveins — something that bores a lot of people, but not me. I think it’s fascinating to see the work involved,” Funk said enthusiastically. — Bethanie Le

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