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Kayla Curtis Among Top Student Employees in the Country

Kayla Curtis (l) poses with Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15)

Kayla Curtis, a senior psychology major, found out today (April 18) she made it to the Final Four of the National Student Employment Association (NSEA) Student Employee of the Year competition.

Curtis was honored at a luncheon for being the 2013 Keuka College, New York state, and Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators (NEASEA) Student Employee of the Year. As the regional winner, she went up against three other regional winners (from University of Iowa, California Polytechnic State University, and Auburn University) for the NASEA award, which was won by the student from Auburn University.

Nonetheless, winning the NEASEA award is impressive because nearly 100 schools/institutions from 11 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and six Canadian provinces are members of the organization.

“Two-hundred students, including six from Keuka College, were nominated at the institutional level,” said Sally Daggett, associate director of the Center for Experiential learning and director of student employment. “Nineteen schools from nine states submitted their winners for state awards and the regional winner was chosen from that group.”

Curtis, who hails from of Red Creek, is a psychology major who has served as student coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) chapter on campus since arriving on campus as a transferring sophomore. BBBS pairs volunteer “Bigs” (college students) with “Littles,” young students befriended and mentored by the Bigs.

Curtis was nominated by Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator in the Center for Experiential Learning

According to Webster, Curtis increased the number of matches from one to 12, handles all aspects of training and data entry for the “Bigs,” and does “98 percent of the work to keep the program operational.”

Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15

Curtis exhibits a “work ethic, initiative and commitment to understanding and serving others” that will make her an asset to any organization after graduation, said Webster. “Her positive attitude, patience and ability to work with people are refreshing and energizing.”

Curtis has also been a resident assistant, a three-year member of the Psychology Club (current vice president), a member of two honor societies, and holds a 3.8 GPA.

Curtis received a certificate and a check for $250 from NEASEA, and a plaque and $100 gift card to the bookstore from the College.

Curtis Grows BBBS Chapter Through Challenges

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.

Kayla Curtis of Red Creek, a senior psychology major at Keuka, was nominated for the 2013 Student Employee of the Year award for her work as student coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) chapter on campus.

BBBS pairs volunteer “Bigs” (college students) with “Littles,” young students befriended and mentored by the Bigs.

Curtis has held that role since enrolling as a transferring sophomore at Keuka in the fall of 2010. But a transition in professional staff at the Greater Rochester BBBS office three weeks after Curtis started left her little training and only one match. Nonetheless, Curtis pressed forward. According to Valerie Webster, co-curricular transcript coordinator, she increased the number of matches from one to 12, handles all aspects of training and data entry for the “Bigs,” and does “98 percent of the work to keep the program operational.”

This includes organizing activities throughout the year that pairs of Bigs and Littles can attend, both on and off campus. Anytime an event is held on campus, Curtis arranges for Keuka’s AVI Fresh (dining services) to provide lunch or dinner for all Littles, so they can have a positive learning experience on a college campus.

According to Webster, Curtis exhibits a “work ethic, initiative and commitment to understanding and serving others” that will make her an asset to any organization after graduation. “Her positive attitude, patience and ability to work with people are refreshing and energizing,” Webster said.

Curtis has also been a resident assistant, a three-year member of the Psychology Club (current vice president), a member of two honor societies, and holds a 3.8 GPA.