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Sally Daggett (l), Laura Williams, and President Joseph G. Burke

To be nominated for Keuka College’s Student Employee of the Year award, a student must demonstrate excellence in several categories, including outstanding merit in reliability, quality of work, initiative, disposition, and contribution to employer.

The Center for Experiential Learning sponsors the annual award, along with the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA). Serving 11 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, NEASEA is a non-profit association of professionals from education, business, industry, labor and government who are involved with programs for students who work while attending college.

And this year, senior Laura Williams, a senior management major from Odessa, received a double dose of good news at the Student Employee of the Year Luncheon.

She received the College and District 5 (Western New York) Student Employee of the Year Award.

Williams, the only community service advocate to return for the 2008-09 academic year, was nominated by Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning.

“In just a few short months, I have come to fully understand and learn why Laura exemplifies the characteristics of Student Employee of the Year,” said Daggett. “Laura willingly took on the extra responsibility of training and supervising new community service advocates.

“While each has the passion and experience of community service and volunteerism, Laura was the one that showed them the ropes of understanding our programming and acclimating them to College policies, procedures, and expectations,” added Daggett. “By the end of the semester, we had a well-oiled machine. The students bonded well, and look to Laura for her leadership, guidance, and expertise within the Community Service Resource Center.”

Daggett was particularly impressed with Williams’ work on the Drives of the Month, when a local not for-profit organization is chosen to raise awareness of their mission by soliciting donations.

“Laura worked with local elementary schools, the Needs ‘N Things Closet, Penny Jug War, and Child and Family Resource Center Inc., as well as Make a Difference Day,” said Daggett. “She also worked with the Sports Management 401 course to assist with Storm Madness, and assisted in raising awareness for the plight of hunger with Sodexo Food Service’s Cans Across America program and Food for the Needy. If there is a need, Laura is there to help and make a difference.”

In addition to serving as a community service advocate, Williams is president of Rotaract Club, project manager of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and serves as vice president of Sigma Lambda Sigma. Williams also served as a peer counselor, and is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi Society for Leadership and Success and Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society.

“Laura also has another work-study position as a tutor for business and marketing courses with the Office of Academic Success at Keuka (ASK),” said Daggett. “She helps prepare students for tests and quizzes and assists them with research.”

Daggett sees a trend in Williams’ choices of activities.

“Laura has weaved a pattern of community service throughout the fabric of her college career,” she explained. “For Laura, it is more than just the academic degree. She wants to be that well-rounded individual going beyond the classroom and being an active participant in the community in which she lives.”

Added Daggett: “Without Laura’s initiative and reliability, the Community Service Resource Center would not be what it is today.”

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