Nine students were nominated for the 2010 Keuka College Student Employee of the Year award by their campus employment supervisors.
And, three supervisors were nominated for the inaugural 2010 Keuka College Work-Study Supervisor of the Year award.
The nine student nominees (and their nominators) are: seniors Matthew Connell (Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work), Jennifer Heinrich (Lindsay Cohen, admissions counselor), and Ashley Lent (Jennifer Furner, director of student activities); juniors Alicia Stubbs (Kimberly Fenton, inter-library loan librarian), Ashley Valentine (Jonathan Accardi, director of campus recreation and aquatics), and Kendall Wolven (Heather Bond, Yates ARC D.R.I.V.E. manager); sophomores Jennifer Graham (Pete Bekisz, webmaster) and Junelle King (Joe Smith, Sodexo Food Service); and freshman Holly Fultz (Rachel Micciche, catering supervisor, Sodexo Food Service).
The three nominated work-study supervisors (and their nominators) are: Library Circulation Supervisor Carol Sackett (Hannah Smith, student circulation desk/lab assistant), Director of Educational Technology Jeff Snow (Matthew Connell, student instructional technology assistant), and Secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work Paulette Willemsen (Emily Eichhorn, Division of Education student office assistant).
National Student Employment Week is April 12-16, when colleges and universities across the nation are recognizing their student employees and the importance of student employment programming.
All of the Keuka nominees and their nominators will be formally recognized during a luncheon April 14 in their honor. The student employee and supervisor of the year awards will be announced at that time.
Here’s a look at the nominees:
Last semester, the senior unified childhood/special education major (currently student teaching) was a tutor and teaching assistant for EDU 309: Integrated Methods of Teaching in the Childhood Classroom.
“[Matt] spent many evenings last semester tutoring students after hours,” said Willemsen. “He presented himself professionally and did not view this position as just a work-study job. I found Matt to be dependable, reliable, hard-working, conscientious, honest, and courteous.”
“Matt was a tremendous asset to the Division of Education,” added Willemsen. “He accepted any task that he was given and readily followed through to completion, often going above and beyond to complete the work.”
A senior unified childhood/special education major, Heinrich is a student ambassador/counselor’s assistant in the Office of Admissions.
As a tour guide, “Jennifer always receives compliments on her professionalism and knowledge of the College,” said Cohen. “She never complains when she has to give a tour and I know our families are in good hands when Jennifer does the tours. She is also willing to give out her e-mail to prospective students so they can keep in contact and ask questions from a student perspective. This has led to friendships before the students arrive on campus in the fall, which helps to ease the student into their new life away from home.
“She is always willing to help another member of the office with their work, no matter how small the task,” added Cohen. “[Jennifer] often arrives to work early with a positive attitude and smile on her face. Her fellow ambassador’s know they can ask her questions and she has trained several of our newer work-study students on tours as well as duties within the office.”
Employed as office manager and event supervisor in the Office of Student Activities for the past two years, the senior unified childhood/special education major is responsible for a variety of tasks related to the operation of student activities.
“Ashley’s main role is to keep the office operating smoothly, especially in my absence,” said Furner. “Due to demands of my position, and attendance at many on- campus and off-campus meetings, Ashley, on many occasions, is left with oversight of the office, and staff. This requires exceptional leadership and maturity, along with strong customer service skills, organization and the ability to work independently to complete tasks. Ashley exceeds these skills and the expectations of the job description by being open and willing to work flexible hours, assist in training office staff, attending various committee meetings, and supporting me when necessary by taking on additional projects and tasks.”
As an event supervisor, she supervises student volunteers in the setting up and tearing down of events, performer hospitality, and ensuring that all students in attendance at the event are safe and abide by Keuka College’s policies and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.
One of her biggest events is Snowball, a traditional semi-formal dance held off campus each year.
“As the student assistant, Ashley works with a student committee to determine the theme, select the menu, coordinate decorations, tickets sales, and contract the entertainment—typically a DJ—for the event,” said Furner. “She is also responsible for assisting with coordination of limousine transportation for the attendees and oversight of volunteers. These responsibilities are on top of the daily office administrative work that occurs within any office.”
The junior occupational therapy major has worked as an inter-library loan assistant in Lightner Library for the past two years.
Stubbs is in charge of searching the library catalog for requested books and articles, finding those items and carrying out the process of sending them out to the borrowing libraries. She is also in charge of scanning and sending articles electronically, assisting with library displays and archival requests.
“I am extremely pleased with Alicia’s job performance and work ethic,” said Fenton. “I never have to worry about what she’s doing or how much she is doing—she’s amazing. I don’t have to lead her around which really sets my mind to ease and allows me to get my own work accomplished.”
The junior occupational therapy major has worked with the intramural sports program since her freshman year, earning her the title of intramural sports supervisor.
“Ashley has a great attitude and passion for the intramural program and has played a big role in the tremendous growth we’ve experienced since 2007,” said Accardi. “She has volunteered many hours off the clock, whether she’s attending an Intramural Advisory Board meeting, creating advertisement materials, recruiting prospective students at an open house event, or initiating a one-on-one meeting with me to talk about her new ideas for programming and processes.”
Accardi said he has seen the most growth in Valentine over the past year.
“In the past, Ashley would shy away from conflict,” said Accardi. “Now, she is quick and methodical in diffusing a tempered situation between competitive participants. She is open with her co-workers, showing them respect and knowing when to ask for more help or support when needed. She has become empowered in this role and she is an amazing self-leader. She now delegates to her co-workers and knows how to present creative ideas and communicate the benefits.”
According to Accardi, he was most proud of Valentine after the first set of dodgeball league games.
“It was the first time we had tried a league format for dodgeball and the evening was very chaotic,” explained Accardi. “Ashley called a meeting after the first night, with my approval, and sat down with all of our staff to talk about how we could improve the flow of each game. She facilitated a meeting among team captains to explain the changes to each team leader. All games afterward went smoothly and Ashley’s initiative in this situation is just one example of how she’s helped with the success of the intramural program.”
The junior unified early childhood/special education major has been a peer mentor for the D.R.I.V.E. (diversity, responsibility, inclusion, vision, and experiential learning) program since July 2008.
A collaboration between Penn Yan Central School district, Yates ARC, and the College, the D.R.I.V.E. program provides students with developmental disabilities access to post-secondary education on the Keuka campus.
“In creating this program, it was our vision to have students from all walks of life and with all levels of ability exploring their personal goals and dreams for the future together in an inclusive and supportive educational environment,” said Bond. “Kendall has embraced this vision through her work with the D.R.I.V.E. students. She has gone above and beyond her job duties in order to improve the quality of life and social skill development of her D.R.I.V.E. mentees by establishing a Keuka College bowling group.”
According to Bond, the group meeks on Sundays at the local bowling alley and is comprised of both traditional Keuka College students as well as D.R.I.V.E. students.
“The experience is so much more than bowling for all involved,” said Bond. “Kendall pays attention to every detail: from scheduling, to communicating with the students and families, to setting up pricing and transportation, to having shirts made for the team.
“Kendall’s initiative and inginuity has made the experience rewarding and memorable for each and every D.R.I.V.E. student,” added Bond. “They know that they are valued members of the group, and that they have made genuine and lasting friendships.”
The sophomore unified early childhood/special education major is a blogger/editor for the Keuka College Web site.
“Her capital attention to detail, first-rate writing skills, and unparalleled commitment and enthusiasm are all characteristics that make Jenni the ideal recipient of this award,” said Bekisz. “Jenni is a skilled writer, a formidable HTML programmer, and an outstanding video personality and editor.”
Continued Bekisz: “It’s not uncommon for Jenni to e-mail me when she’s not working to offer ideas for blog entries, copy to post, or her ideas to enhance and improve what we do. The entire time she’s worked in my office, I can’t recall a single time she’s either been late—she’s usually early, in fact—or that she’s missed a day. She comes to work each day with an unparalleled infectious enthusiasm for her job, her major, Keuka College, and life itself.”
The sophomore organizational communications major has worked for Sodexo Food Service for the past two years.
“Junelle is a born leader and shortly after being hired was given more responsibilities knowing she could handle them with ease,” said Smith. “She has been trained in all the work stations within the dining hall, and takes initiative wherever she is needed to get any job done efficiently—not only at her work station, but also within the kitchen prep area.
“She is trusted within the dining services department,” added Smith. “I’ve asked her to help do the student scheduling, and she has been asked to be a Sodexo marketing student promotions coordinator, helping our marketing supervisor promote events in the dining hall to students using Facebook and Twitter.”
King also takes the initiative to help train new work-study students, according to Smith.
“Junelle takes much pride and has spirit in her work,” said Smith. “For example, she came dressed as a ketchup bottle for Halloween. She not only does her job, but has fun while doing so, and it rubs off on others.”
The freshman psychology major works as a student caterer.
“Holly takes direction with poise and confidence,” said Micciche “When she has a question, she never hesitates to ask.”
According to Micciche, there are mornings that Fultz is in to work at 6 a.m., and there have been nights that she has worked until 12:30 a.m. She also works in between classes.
“The amazing thing is I never hear her complain,” said Micciche, who refers to Fultz as her “right hand work-study employee.
“In the world of Keuka catering, there are some weekends that events are happening in five different places,” explained Micciche. “I cannot be everywhere at once and [Holly] is in those places that I am not.”
The library circulation supervisor’s actions speak loudly, according to Smith.
“Carol goes above and beyond to make students who work at the library feel comfortable and confident,” said Smith. “I have always felt more like an equal or a peer around Carol rather than someone who works ‘underneath’ her.
“Although Carol is the supervisor, she is not the type of supervisor who breathes down everyone’s backs to make sure they are doing what they need to do,” added Smith. “This provides more freedom and trust for the students. Not only do they trust Carol, they feel trusted by her and that she believes in her students to do their job well.
Continued Smith: “She provides a very open environment in which the students feel they can talk to her or ask her questions. She encourages us to ask questions in order for her to be able to provide more direction. Carol consistently provides opportunities for us to learn and grow as students, employees, and people.”
The manager of information and education technology support is exceptional at lending his expertise, according to Connell.
“As a member of his student-staff, I have worked under Jeff on a variety of projects including the management of our online course management system (Moodle), faculty and staff training, the training and demonstration of SMART technology, and nearly 50 other workshops designed and developed for faculty, staff, and students,” said Connell.
“Jeff has always provided guidance and assistance to anyone who is in need,” added Connell. “Often times, I have turned to Jeff for help with a problem and he is always willing to assist.”
Concluded Connell: “Jeff’s patience, understanding, and knowledge of technology exemplify the true spirit and commitment of an outstanding supervisor.”
The secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work puts people first, according to Eichhorn.
“I first met Paulette a year and a half ago when she hired me as a work-study student,” said Eichhorn. “As a timid sophomore, she made me feel welcomed and needed to work alongside her in the everyday, busy tasks of the [divisions].”
“It is amazing to me, and I think her other work-study students would agree, how much she is able to multi-task, stay organized, and still make the people around her feel like they are her No. 1 priority,” added Eichhorn.
“She always seems to know the answers to questions, not only related to the department, but to the predicaments we all find ourselves in pertaining to life. She is always able to point someone in the right direction and if not, never stops trying until that route is found.”