Administrative Services

Employee Spotlight Dakarai Calhoun

Dakarai Calhoun

Equipment Specialist
Intercollegiate Athletics

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Dakarai works in the Athletics Department as an Intercollegiate Athletics Equipment Specialist. Dakarai began his career at WIU as an Equipment Attendant in May 2011. The most important responsibility Dakari has is to ensure the safety of the athletes by providing them with equipment that fits properly. "I measure the athletes for helmets, pads, shoes, etc. I make sure the uniforms are clean and ready for game days, I set up for home games, and get lockers prepared for the players. I am also responsible for keeping current about new equipment and products coming out. I work to stay knowledgeable about what other schools are using too. I am a member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association and I'm certified to fit gear on athletes." When asked what he likes most about his job, Dakarai's tone becomes more serious and responds, "I like to see young men grow, change, and develop over time here. I am always honest with them. I encourage them to put their academics first. I enjoy teaching them to be responsible." Dakarai shares a bit about his philosophy with regard to working at Western, "I don't go to 'work,' I go to 'pleasure'! If you do not love your job, it's not a life. I try to treat our students as professionals. My rewards come from the students, and my door is always open for them. You have to enjoy what you do!" One of Dakarai's most memorable experiences involved a student who was struggling with his grades when he first started at WIU. "He took my advice, he asked for help, studied hard, and when he graduated from Western, he had a 3.0. His family came to me and thanked me for my help." Dakarai's WIU Journey brought him to Western from the state of Virginia. He started as an Equipment Attendant doing the team's laundry and the basics. "I take pride in what I do and in our equipment. I worked to pick up more responsibilities and other duties. I progressively worked up into this position. I worked to make the equipment room look and function as a Division 1 School should." When Dakarai is not preparing our athletes for the next game, you will find him spending time with his family, watching movies, and whenever possible, visiting family in Florida.

HR salutes Dakarai Calhoun as one of our many committed Civil Service employees at WIU!