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Keuka College News

Two Student Employment Award Winners Have Ties to Education Division

Associate Director of the Center for Experiential Learning Sally Daggett, Webmaster Pete Bekisz, and College President Joseph G. Burke flank 2010 Student Employee of the Year Jennifer Graham

An organized, enthusiastic, and talented Web blogger/editor and an efficient staff member who takes time to listen to students and lends her support/guidance were the respective recipients of the 2010 Student Employee and Work-Study Supervisor of the Year awards at the Student Employment Awards Luncheon April 14.

Sophomore unified early childhood/special education major Jennifer Graham and Secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work Paulette Willemsen were selected by two separate panels of judges.

Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Divisions of Education and Social Work, received the first-ever Work-Study Supervisor of the Year award

The decision was not an easy one, according to Head Athletic Trainer/Assistant Director of Athletics Jeff Bray, who served as a judge for the student competition. The other judges were Peter Talty (faculty), Cathy McGinnis (administration), Jessica Noveck (staff), and Jane Palmer (student).

“It’s easier to nominate than judge,” said Bray, who has nominated five students over the past 17 years he has worked at Keuka (three of whom were selected as New York State Student Employee of the Year by the National Student Employment Association). “It was enlightening for me to read what other supervisors had to say. They felt much the same way as I have: what would we do without the help from our students?

“Hopefully nominating them for this award tells our student employees just what they mean to us,” added Bray. “It’s incredibly difficult to put in the work-study commitment they do while doing their academic work. And every one of this year’s nominees also excels academically.”

The nine Student Employee of the Year nominees pose with President Burke. From left to right: Kendall Wolven, Ashley Lent, Alicia Stubbs, Matthew Connell, Jennifer Graham, Holly Fultz, Junelle King, and Ashley Valentine

Bekisz and Graham

Graham was nominated for the award by Webmaster Pete Bekisz.

The other student nominees were Matthew Connell, Holly Fultz, Jennifer Heinrich, Junelle King, Ashley Lent, Alicia Stubbs, Ashley Valentine, and Kendall Wolven.

“Keuka College’s basic educational foundation is experiential learning, and that’s what these awards are all about,” said Keuka College President Joseph G. Burke at the luncheon. “The nine nominees for Student Employee of the Year are the top nine out of 400 students who perform about 600 jobs for an average of seven hours per week. If we were to hire full-time employees to do the work they do, we would need 120 more employees. So, Keuka students do a massive amount of work.”

Eichorn and Willemsen

Willemsen was one of three work-study supervisors nominated for the inaugural award. She was nominated by Emily Eichorn, a student office assistant for the Division of Education.

“There are a total of 70 work-study supervisors,” said Burke. “And they are an integral part of the educational process.”

“We talk about how students can step up, but we don’t often look at who helps them to step up,” said senior Casey Dahlstrom, one of six judges for the supervisor award. “It was a difficult process looking over why students nominated [the three nominees], and each of the nominees deserve a ‘congratulations’ and ‘thank you.’”

Work-Study Supervisor of the Year nominees Jeff Snow, Carol Sackett, and Paulette Willemsen are flanked by Sally Daggett and President Burke

The other judges for Work-Study Supervisor of the Year were Neil Siebenhar (faculty), Fred Hoyle (administration), Kathy Waye (administration), Betty Hill (staff) and Lynley Walter (student).

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 banner is hung up in the winner’s work-study location until the following year’s award luncheon.

The luncheon is hosted by Burke and the Center for Experiential Learning. It is organized by Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning.

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