Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.
Two years ago, when Jon Accardi, director of campus recreation, was looking for a senior supervisor for intramurals, he didn’t have to look far.
Accardi turned to Travis Simmons, an intramurals student employee and participant. He said selecting Simmons as senior supervisor was an “easy decision.
“Travis possesses enthusiasm, commitment and natural leadership ability, all of which played a key role in the tremendous growth intramurals experienced,” said Accardi.
Accardi says the program reached an all-time high of 47 percent participation from the student body in 2011-2012. The program is on pace to reach more than 50 percent in 2012-2013.
These stats are just one reason Accardi nominated Simmons, a business management major from Norwich, for Student Employee of the Year.
“I absolutely believe there is a direct correlation between the success of the program and Travis’ abilities as a staff supervisor and event manager,” said Accardi. “At games and events, Travis goes above and beyond by greeting participants and spectators, which helps shape a fun and friendly atmosphere. He is the face of intramurals.”
Simmons, who supervises a staff of 18 referees and scorekeepers,” is the most well-rounded, talented, dedicated, and trustworthy student employee I have had. He is always the first one to show up and the last to leave for events.”
Accardi says Simmons has set a new standard for his position, and he is always looking for new opportunities to learn more and improve the program. For example, Simmons asked to assist with the student-employee evaluation process.
“He viewed the additional work as an opportunity to learn how to evaluate someone, as well as provide and obtain feedback,” said Accardi.
According to Accardi, Simmons extends his commitment to the intramurals program through his service on the Recreation Advisory Board, helping refine the current program and generate new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting.
Simmons plans to pursue a career in collegiate recreation and intramurals.
“The positive experiences he’s had as a work-study student in our office has led him toward that path,” said Accardi. “He is a prime example of the importance and value of the work-study program. It is this type of hands-on experience that will prepare Travis for success in the real world.”