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Top Student Worker, Boss Honored

Student Employee of the Year recipient Brandon Jacobs is flanked by Jeff Bray and Sally Daggett

The “face of Game Day and Event Management” and a “role model, mentor, and friend” were the respective recipients of the 2014 Student Employee and Work-Study Supervisor of the Year awards, respectively, at the Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 17.

Senior management major Brandon Jacobs and Interlibrary Loan Librarian Kimberley Fenton were selected by two separate panels of judges.

Jacobs, nominated for the award by Jeff Bray, associate director of athletics, has worked in Game Day and Event Management for four years.

“You think when you go to a sporting event on the Keuka College campus, it just happens—but it only happens because of Brandon,” said Bray, who sees the Walworth resident as a co-worker.

As the student supervisor for Game Day and Event Management, Jacobs’ role is “absolutely critical” to the success of hosting home sporting events.

“Over the past year, Brandon has become the ‘face’ of our game management staff,” said Bray. “Referees, visiting coaches, and our own coaching staff know he is someone they can count on and is the ‘go-to’ person.”

Jacobs is responsible for the organization and set-up for more than 70 home sporting events—including equipment, sound systems, scoreboards, visiting locker rooms, and game officials.

“In doing so, it has been assumed by many that he is member of our professional staff; not a student employee,” said Bray. “When those individuals comment on a job well done, they are shocked to learn that he is a student. Brandon has aspirations of becoming a college athletics director and has really taken stock in his opportunity as a work study student.”

Sally Daggett (l), poses with the Student Employee of the Year nominees including Megan Barney, Lee Bottoni, Brandon Jacobs, Brianna Long, Karina Cochran, Kayla Garrow, and Megan Barney

The other student nominees were Lee Bottoni, Kayla Garrow, Karina Cochran, Kelsey Morgan, Brianna Long, and Megan Barney.

“Recognizing our work-study students is important, and this is an opportunity to honor the best of the best of our student workers,” said Sally Daggett, human resources manager. “I am proud of the work all of our 442 students, who perform 870 jobs for an average of six hours a week. If we were to hire full-time employees to do the work they do, we would need 103 more full-time employees. So, Keuka College students do a massive amount of work.”

Work Study Supervisor of the Year Kimberley Fenton holds her plaque next to Sally Daggett and Faith Garlington

Fenton was one of five work-study supervisors nominated for the award. She was nominated by occupational science majors Alysa Halsey and Faith Garlington.

Both were nervous about finding a work study position when they arrived as freshmen on campus, but since then, Halsey and Garlington believe Fenton has welcomed and included them in many library related tasks.

“Ms. Fenton has steered me toward success in any activity that I do,” said Halsey, an occupational science major from Pulaski. “She gives me freedom and allows me to feel independent by figuring out problems on my own, but reminds me she will always be there to answer any questions I have.”

That freedom and independence includes creating display case designs for patrons of the library to view.

“Ms. Fenton usually just lets me do whatever inspires me about the particular topic that is being displayed at the time,” said Halsey. “I use my imagination for the appearance, and my knowledge for the information that is being displayed. She provides me with the responsibility of creating displays, but I know that if I need advice or help I can always go to her for guidance.”

Garlington, who also assists in creating displays, agrees.

“I have also used my academic background in the creation of specialty displays for different disease awareness months,” said Garlington. “As an occupational science major, I have learned about many disorders which have ‘awareness months’ and I am often recruited to come up with display ideas. When I achieve these special goals, the other librarians also support me. They notice a particularly job well done and offer support in any task with which I may struggle.”

Halsey says Fenton creates a “quality and challenging environment by pushing me to work for the things I don’t believe that I can accomplish. She exemplifies the characteristics of a leader and a role model while helping me achieve the goals and dreams that would otherwise be out of reach.”

In her time with Fenton, Garlington has “gradually received more responsibility. [For example], this past fall when Ms. Fenton hired a new assistant to replace a graduating senior, I was entrusted to train her in many different aspects of the job. I had to act as a professional while showing the new student how to do many tasks. This made me feel as though I was a part of the library staff.”

Sally Daggett (l), poses with the Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees Lori Haines, John Boccacino, Kimberley Fenton, Michelle Polowchak, and Karlee Roberts

The other supervisor nominees were Lori Haines (assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees/board liaison and presidential support specialist.), John Boccacino (sports information director), Michelle Polowchak (director of human resources) and Karlee Roberts (D.R.I.V.E. peer mentor supervisor).

“Thank you to our student workers for the excellent work you do across the entire campus, and to our work study supervisors who provide a positive working environment,” said Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs. “Thank you to all the nominators for recognizing how important it is to make people feel the worth of what they do every day.”

Each of the nominees was recognized at the luncheon by his or her nominator and presented with a gift. The names of the student and supervisor award recipients will be added to two separate plaques housed in the Center for Experiential Learning. The Student Employee of the Year plaque is hung up in the winner’s work-study location until the following year’s awards luncheon.

Click for more photos from the luncheon.

Game Day and Event Management a Success Thanks to Brandon Jacobs

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

Two years ago, Jeff Bray, associate director of athletics and athletic trainer, watched then-sophomore Brandon Jacobs struggle with the Game Day and Event Management process.

The now-senior management major was trying to figure out how to do his job, said Bray, while seeing the need for the management of the process to be done differently.

“Brandon mentioned to me on several occasions that if he were in charge, ‘this is how it would be done,’” said Bray, who nominated the Walworth resident for the Student Employee of the Year award. “So when the opportunity presented itself, I challenged him. The result—Brandon has taken the opportunity and run with it.”

As the student supervisor for Game Day and Event Management, Jacobs’ role is “absolutely critical” to the success of hosting home sporting events.

“Over the past year, Brandon has become the “face” of our game management staff,” said Bray. “Referees, visiting coaches, and our own coaching staff know he is someone that they can count on and is the ‘go-to’ person.”

That is because in the role that Jacobs fulfills, said Bray, he has the opportunity to work with and communicate directly with professional staff, outside vendors, as well as staff and administrators from visiting colleges.

“In doing so, it has been assumed by many that he is member of our professional staff; not a student employee,” said Bray. “When those individuals comment on a job well done, they are shocked to learn that he is a student. Brandon has aspirations of becoming a college athletics director and has really taken stock in his opportunity as a work study student.”

“Keuka College has a reputation within our athletic conference of using outstanding student workers for home games,” said Bray, who gives much of the credit to Jacobs. “In working with his peers, Brandon does so in such a way that they want to work with him. He is knowledgeable in what his tasks are and he completes them.”

In addition to his responsibilities for the organization and set-up for more than 70 home sporting events—including equipment, sound systems, scoreboards, visiting locker rooms, and game officials—Jacobs was tasked to complete a work study schedule for the spring semester.

“He had every student worker’s name, event, and task for that day,” said Bray. “Brandon had obtained all 25 of the students’ class schedules, the athletic schedule, spring break, meal times, etc. and had completed a task that has been known to take me weeks to do complete. It was a bit of a ‘wow’ moment for me.”

Bray said Jacobs is unlike any other student employee he has supervised in the Game Day/Event Management area.

“The work study position that Brandon maintains represents Keuka College on the frontline of visitors to our campus,” he said. “Brandon’s professional approach allows us to always have a full staff for games, as his work study peers respect him and respond appropriately when he schedules them to work or he offers instructions to them. Upon graduation, if I had a position available, I would not hesitate to offer it him.”

Karlee Roberts Encourages, Welcomes, and Open to Suggestions

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

As the work study supervisor for 40 peer mentors working in the D.R.I.V.E. program at Keuka College, Karlee Roberts is a wonderful role model, according to junior Jenna Bird, who nominated Roberts for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year award.

Bird, a D.R.I.V.E. peer mentor and unified childhood education major, said that Roberts makes the peer mentors feel like a part of the D.R.I.V.E. staff.

“Mentors have the opportunity to work one-on-one with students, and observe the staff members’ interactions with the students,” said Bird, a Batavia resident. “Karlee trusts us to work one-on-one with students, and that we will be able to handle different situations based on previous knowledge and training we have received.”

According to Bird, Roberts encourages the peer mentors to use their academic background in several ways, such as welcoming students to complete volunteer hours or a Field Period™ with the D.R.I.V.E. program.

“Karlee welcomes the peer mentors to apply the knowledge we have learned in our classes to situations with the D.R.I.V.E. students,” said Bird. “As an education major, I appreciate Karlee allowing us to use information we have learned in the classroom in real life situations.”

Bird said Roberts also places the peer mentors in different environments, so they have the chance to gain new knowledge from the experience.

“She is always open to new suggestions as to how to handle different situations with the D.R.I.V.E. students,” said Bird, “including how to help a student with their Keuka College classes. She is always in contact with us, either just to check in, or discuss any problems that may occur. She is always available if we have an issue and will meet with us to provide suggestions and advice.”

In addition, Roberts started a Mentor of the Month program. Each month, a mentor is nominated either by another peer mentor or a member of the D.R.I.V.E. staff.

“The Mentor of the Month program has been a great motivator for the peer mentors, and reassures us that we are doing a good job,” said Bird.“There is nothing Karlee won’t do to make sure her peer mentors are successful. She truly cares about all 40 of us, and she goes above and beyond to provide us with a positive and friendly work environment.”

 

Brittany Kuhn ‘Honored’ to Have the Chance to Work with Michelle Polowchak

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

When sophomore Brittany Kuhn arrives for her regular shift with the Office of Human Resources, she thinks of it as an honor.

That is largely due to her work study supervisor Michelle Polowchak, director of human resources.

“I have developed an enormous respect for Michelle’s dedication to her position, and for continuously making me feel like a part of the human resources team,” said Kuhn, a Palmyra resident, who nominated Polowchak for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year Award.

“Michelle not only assigns me in-depth projects that illustrate her trust in me, but I have also been given the opportunity to attend the monthly human resources meeting with the staff,” said Kuhn. “The longer I work with Michelle and the human resources team, the more responsibility she and the staff instills within me.”

The various projects Polowchak has assigned Kuhn “allows me to use the knowledge I have learned and am learning in my classes now, such as my human resources management class, my computer applications course, and my economics classes.”

And that something for which Kuhn is taking full advantage.

“Being able to take what I learned in class for the day and then apply it to the work that I do is going to be the differentiating factor between me and other candidates when it comes to receiving a job after college,” said Kuhn.

A business management major with a concentration in human resources, Kuhn says her job is “nearly perfect” for her.

“By allowing me to gain full experience into the field that I hope to pursue is such an amazing opportunity,” said Kuhn. “Knowing that if I have any questions about my career choices, or which additional classes would be beneficial, or even which branch of human resources I should pursue, Michelle is always there giving me advice.”

Working in the Office of the President a ‘Privilege’ Thanks to Lori Haines

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

As each semester begins, senior Darrcy Matthews looks forward to attending her job in the Office of the President.

In fact she believes it is a privilege, thanks to her work study supervisor Lori Haines, assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees/board liaison and presidential support specialist. That’s why Matthews nominated Haines for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year Award.

“Lori has made me feel absolutely welcome in the office since the day that I interviewed for this position,” said Matthews. “She has taught me ways to complete inner-office tasks which allows me to take initiative on my own and make me believe I am a valued employee of the office.”

Matthews said Haines always makes sure to tell her that the work she completes is important, and that Haines appreciates her help.

“I wanted to nominate Lori for this award so I can do the same thing for her,” said Matthews. “Lori has been an amazing work study supervisor for me. She deserves this award not just because of the way that she treats me, but also the way that she treats every person with whom she comes in contact.”

Matthews said it is safe to say that Haines is always busy, whether it be planning for a board meeting or commencement, or completing any tasks that the president or others may ask of her. The people that know her, added Matthews, also know that “Lori will do everything necessary to complete any task that is asked of her—with a smile and the best attitude that I have ever seen.”

Added Matthews: “Lori is the hardest worker I have ever seen and deserves to be rewarded for something at which she has truly succeeds. Nominating Lori is just one way that I can show my gratitude to her for making my work study time at Keuka College a challenging, gratifying, and enjoyable experience.”

Megan Barney ‘Sets the Bar in Dependability, Efficiency’

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17

When Chris Callas began working in the Office of Admissions, he had some questions about how the office worked.

Enter senior Megan Barney, an occupational science major from Madrid.

“Megan was a big help when I first started in the admissions office,” said Callas, assistant director of admissions, who nominated Barney for the Student Employee of the Year Award. “She already knew how things ran, and I was able to go to her with questions and thoughts I had about operations in the office.”

Barney is a quick learner, according to Callas, so he has given her “many tasks to do on a daily basis and she takes the initiative to make sure they are done—and done properly.”

According to Callas, Barney “does excellent work and can be counted on to make sure her work is thorough. I have never had to go back and correct any project or assignment she has been given. I believe her quality of work sets the bar in efficiency and dependability.”

Good with computers, Callas said Barney updated—and created—a new database for projects in the admissions office. And when Callas is on the road, he knows he can always count on a daily phone call from Barney to keep him updated with what is going on in the office. Knowing Barney will keep him updated sets his mind at ease.

“I have also asked Megan about new ideas or thoughts from a student’s perspective and she gives me good, solid thoughts and creative perspectives,” said Callas. “Her thoughts and ideas are many and she takes pride in Keuka College.”

One of Barney’s attributes is that “she is an excellent student and is a student ambassador who cares about her institution. Quick on her feet, Megan is good with meeting new people and having many questions thrown at her while on tour,” said Callas.

Added Callas: “One of the best things about Megan is that she is unique in her role in the admissions office. I am proud to have her working in my office and [appreciate] the time and commitment she has given.”

Highly Motivated, Dedicated, Professional

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

Lightner Library Circulation Supervisor Carol Sackett says it didn’t take junior Kelsey Morgan long to become well acclimated to the library.

In fact, she said the biology major from Lakeview has made it a point to learn as much as she can about the library. And that sets her apart from the regular worker, according to Sackett, who nominated Morgan for the Student Employee of the Year award.

“Kelsey is a valuable asset to the library,” said Sackett. “She volunteers to do extra work and has spent untold hours training new student workers, both during the week and on weekends. She offers her services in any area where there is a need, is highly motivated, and possesses superior leadership skills.”

According to Sackett, Morgan has repeatedly demonstrated her willingness to make the extra effort to complete specific tasks.

“As she has become more familiar with more aspects of library work, Kelsey continually increased her responsibilities, and carries out all of her duties without any supervision,” said Morgan. “She is an intelligent, dedicated library worker who deserves this honor.”

“Her determination and helpfulness at the circulation desk, assistance in shelving and shelf reading, and just generally assisting patrons has proven invaluable to us,” said Sackett. “A driving force for good customer services for all of our patrons, Kelsey’s demeanor is outstanding. We have many local townspeople, as well as the D.R.I.V.E. program students, who use our library, and she is patient and helpful to them.”

An outstanding work ethic, Morgan takes a great deal of pride in her work and it shows in all that she does for the library, said Sackett.

“She often substitutes for others in need, and strives to provide the best possible service to all of our patrons,” Sackett added. “She is never idle, asks for additional tasks to complete, and steps up to assist both co-workers and patrons. Her outgoing personality is a great asset. She is comfortable working with our entire staff.

“She is to be commended,” said Sackett. “Not only is she an outstanding scholar in her chosen field, she is also a most knowledgeable student worker. It has been a true pleasure to have her working here.”

Sports Information Office a Desirable Place to Work Thanks to John Boccacino

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

When considering candidates for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year, there is only one name that comes to the mind of sophomore Ben Schreiber—Sports Information Director John Boccacino.

The management major from Rochester began working last spring as a sports information assistant and nominated Boccacino for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year Award because he believes Boccacino is a great role model, and is everything he would like to see in a future boss.

“John really allows all of us to feel like a major part of the staff, and makes the sports information department a desirable department of employment,” said Schreiber. “That’s why when John sends out a text message or an email asking me to work, I immediately jump at the opportunity.”

Schreiber said Boccacino “gives every student employee a game day responsibility and allows us to take care of that task without looking over our shoulder the whole time,” said Schreiber.

According to Schreiber, some of the game day responsibilities could include running the video at a game, being a spotter, or doing stats “a very challenging task,” each employee must pay full attention to the sporting events at all times.

Even so, Schreiber said Boccacino “always finds time to make sure questions are answered and the department is running smoothly through the entirety of a sporting event,” he said. “John is always there with some form of guidance, whether it is solving a simple problem like a video connection or helping an employee catch up with the statistics of the game. He makes sure each employee is challenged and truly given the opportunity to make an important contribution to the sports information team.”

Schreiber said that “not only do I get to be around sports, which I love, but John has also taught me a lot of skills I will be able to use elsewhere—including responsibility for my actions and my work, communication skills, and a need to be punctual.”

Said Schreiber: “I can only hope that I am either able to work for someone like John again, or get to lead a group of employees the way John leads the sports information department. John is respectful, understanding, and most importantly, he helps all of his employees improve at their jobs every day. I have the utmost admiration for John not only as a supervisor, but as a person.”

Director of Campus Safety Would Hire Karina Cochran ‘on the Spot’

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17

What do the Clery Act Daily Crime Log; major overhaul of the campus safety office filing system; the 2012 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report; the Keuka College Emergency Management Plan; and the 2013 Campus Safety Annual Activity Report have in common?

All were projects worked on by senior Karina Cochran, a Cortland resident and sociology major and psychology minor who works in the Office of Campus Safety.

“The Clery Act Daily Crime Log and the overhaul of the filing system were worked on by Cochran and other student workers,” said Pat Kasnick, director of campus safety, who nominated Cochran for the Student Employee of the Year Award, “while the last three documents were produced only by Karina.”

Throughout all of these projects, Ksanick said Cochran “worked tirelessly to accomplish the work assigned to her—including the many rewrites and editing made necessary by my ongoing changes,” said Kasnick. “She always produced her assignments in a timely manner and was amenable to phone calls in order to provide more information or clarification. When it was necessary she took it upon herself to adjust her work hours in order to accommodate timelines set by me.”

Kasnick said the 2013 Campus Safety Annual Activity Report attests to the quality of Cochran’s work and exemplifies her attention to detail and perfectionist nature.

“This report may be viewed by any interested person and portions of it are, in fact, posted on the campus safety web page as required by federal law for purposes of viewing by the public,” said Kasnick. “Necessarily, they must reflect the professional standards expected by Keuka College and NMS Security.”

A 30-year veteran in government service, Kasnick has managed and supervised numerous administrative and clerical staff.

“If I were to conduct an annual performance evaluation on Karina, I would not hesitate to place her at the very top of the rating scale,” Kasnick said. “Karina showed herself to be a quick learner and she often took it upon herself to find solutions to some vexing formatting problems. She did not hesitate to make contact with me when there were questions or problems that cropped up during report preparation.

Added Kasnick: “Campus safety will greatly miss Karina’s knowledge, skills and abilities when she graduates later this year. If I had a full-time permanent position to offer her today I would not hesitate to hire her on the spot.”

Lee Bottoni Transformed Keuka College Athletics Social Media

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

 When Sports Information Director John Boccacino came to Keuka College in August 2011, there was no social media presence for Keuka College athletics.

But thanks to Lee Bottoni, a junior unified childhood education major from Prattsbugh, that has all changed.

“Lee knows how to draw people to Keuka College athletics through our social media pages, and his efforts are a major reason why our brand has grown tremendously on social media in the last two years,” said Boccacino.

Just check the numbers.

“Lee is responsible for providing constant in-game updates from our home games during the different seasons, and through his hard work and dedication, we have grown our social media presence from nothing two years ago to 732 followers on Facebook, and 511 followers on Twitter,” said Boccacino.

Bottoni provides in-game updates on the Keuka College Storm’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, which Boccacino said are similar to those being produced at Syracuse University, the University of Florida and other larger schools and universities.

“Lee has been a huge help in transforming the sports information shop into what it currently is—an informative, multi-media friendly department that constantly produces high-quality stories, photo galleries and video stories on our 17 sports teams, and our hundreds of student-athletes,” said Boccacino.

According to Boccacino, Bottoni is always trying to think of new ways to promote the Keuka College sports teams and student-athletes.

“One way is with his in-game social media updates. Lee never misses a beat and is quick to highlight a particularly impressive accomplishment,” said Boccacino, “such as when Jessica Bandrowski eclipsed 1,000 career points or Danielle Gravel became the school’s all-time leader in made three-point baskets this winter.”

But it’s not just Bottoni’s in-game highlights or quick thinking that impresses Boccacino.

“He has also shown an ability to step in and handle the public address duties when needed,” he said. “At the scorers’ table, it is important to present a professional atmosphere during our home games, something similar to what you would see at a professional sports game.”

Added Boccacino: “Lee has an outstanding ability to handle a lot of work in a short period of time. He is always willing to show up and work hard at whatever task he is charged with. He definitely represents the best that Keuka College’s student-workers can accomplish. Without Lee, my job would be a lot harder.”