Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon later this month.
When completing senior Myra Hoke’s first student employee evaluation, Assistant Director of Field Period™ and Internships Tara Bloom wrote hiring the social work major was absolutely the right decision.
In fact, when Bloom was reviewing Hoke’s subsequent appraisals, Hoke, who serves as a Field Period™ and internship peer assistant, was scored as “excellent” and “above average” in nearly every category. Even then, Bloom said she saw improvements each term, and those improvements culminated in a perfect evaluation last semester.
“She sets a high bar for my future work study students because she learns quickly, is independent in her work, and constantly bring laughter and smiles to the office,” said Bloom, who nominated Hoke for the award. “I am thankful that luck led her to apply for this position and grateful for all that she has done since.”
For three years, Hoke was responsible for developing the majority of marketing materials related to both the Field Period™ and internship programs. This included displays highlighting students’ internship and international experiences, brochures to promote scholarship opportunities, creation of digital signage to encourage attendance at upcoming programs on campus, and fliers to advertise deadlines and other opportunities.
“The level of autonomy that Myra earned within the office has allowed her to manage the front desk and phone as needed, assist with confidential documents, work one-on-one with students, and develop new ideas for programs and displays,” said Bloom. “There were many times she was so enthralled in a project she stayed late because she hated leaving it incomplete.”
Hoke’s work and dedication to the office is part of why Bloom believes the Field Period™ and internship program has reached the next level. Hoke worked alongside Bloom to elevate the ease of the Field Period™ process by incorporating a number of digital components to the program.
“Myra worked with me for months to customize the system, provide feedback, develop the contract form and evaluations, and then ultimately launch the change to the entire campus,” said Bloom. “Her knowledge of our program and process, honesty with me from a student’s perspective, and dedication to being a test subject helped bring a 74-year-old experiential learning program into the 21st century.”
Bloom adds that Hoke has also assisted in leading programs including the Field Period™ Exhibition, where she served as the social work facilitator. Typically a role Bloom entrusts only to faculty, Hoke did an “incredible” job.
“The impact Myra has made on this campus, and within the role of Field Period™ and internship peer assistant, has been significant and highly valued, and I would say that I don’t want her to leave,” said Bloom. “But when I think about her now, I see a young professional who has matured and grown into an incredible woman. Myra has contributed to this office with a unique combination of skills and contagious spirit. She truly became a trusted member of our team.”
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon later this month.
As an outdoor recreation and adventure facilitator, senior Haylee Bush staffs and plans all team-building and adventure programs—nearly 300 by the end of the academic year. She trains her co-workers in experiential programming and challenge course protocol, conducts program assessment, and client outreach. She also helps maintain the challenge course grounds.
But according to Molly McGuigan, adventure program manager, Bush does much more than just show up early, do what’s asked of her, and leave.
“Haylee goes out of her way to incorporate academia and best practices into our programming,” said McGuigan, who nominated Bush for the award. “On multiple occasions, Haylee has approached me with ideologies she’s learning in her classes and actionable ways to use them in a manner that would benefit the program.”
McGuigan credits Bush’s independence and her passion with her success on the job.
“Before coming to ask me for assistance, Haylee conducts research and typically finds the answers on her own,” said McGuigan. “If she thinks something would make a good event, she pulls it together and makes it happens without hesitation.”
In fact, McGuigan said Bush always shows up over-prepared, and goes out of her way to make sure her co-workers are also over-prepared.
“Haylee inspires those around her to take chances and gives them confidence to reach the potential they have, but don’t see,” said McGuigan. “If something goes wrong, Haylee holds herself accountable, because she’s dedicated so much time in shaping her fellow students and the team-building program. She takes the experience as a chance to work harder to improve her skills, and goes out of her way to help others use the mistake as an educational opportunity.”
In her four years as a supervisor—three as a facilitator—McGuigan said she has never seen a student who has capabilities close to Bush. Not only has Bush exceeded McGuigan’s expectations by taking on more responsibilities than are required, “Haylee far exceeded the obligations of a facilitator long ago, and is consistently meeting the responsibilities I would have of an assistant manager with ease, and her work is of the utmost quality.
“Haylee naturally exhibits servant leadership, and she leads with kindness,” adds McGuigan. “While she accomplishes things well above her pay grade, it’s the little things that stand out. While others are chatting, she’ll quietly pick up a broom and sweep, causing a chain reaction that results in the whole building being clean in no time.”
And though McGuigan believes Bush would never admit it, she believes people look up to her.
“Every member on my staff looks to Haylee as the standard, the best of the best, and many view her not only as a role model, but as a second manager,” said McGuigan. “With all of the additional responsibilities I’ve taken on in the past four years, I don’t doubt the TeamWorks! program would have suffered a loss in quality if it weren’t for Haylee stepping up and taking on new responsibilities.”
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon later this month.
Junior Kaitlyn Talbot has worked in Lightner Library for three years. In that time, Library Circulation Supervisor Carol Sackett said she has become a valuable part of the library’s workforce.
Part of Talbot’s responsibilities include training new student workers, which Sackett says assists her greatly at the beginning of each academic year.
“She helps ease the transition from year to year with new workers, and has been an inspiration for them,” said Sackett, who nominated Talbot for the award.
Sackett adds that Talbot’s contributions go further than simply training new students in their duties as a library student employee.
“Katie demonstrates a true gesture of friendship and assistance, which helps new students adapt to college life,” said Sackett. “She demands high standards and professionalism from herself and imparts that to others. Her commitment to Keuka College puts demands on her rigorous schedule, which she manages well. Katie puts a lot of pressure on herself to excel in both her studies and her work, and she manages her rigorous schedule well.”
In turn, Sackett adds, Talbot expects her trainees to follow in her footsteps.
“We have a responsibility to provide coverage during evening hours and weekends, which is a necessity seven days a week when classes are in session. Katie’s constant willingness to fill in for others in emergencies is much appreciated,” said Sackett.
In addition to her role helping Sackett train new students, Talbot—and all workers—are expected to learn the Library of Congress system and be competent when assisting other patrons. They must understand how to shelve materials, check materials in and out using the library’s computer system, and shelf read to make sure materials are shelved correctly.
“Katie has mastered all of the library techniques necessary to competently run the circulation desk,” said Sackett. “She is cheerful, prompt, professional, and enjoys working with the public.”
Sackett adds Talbot learned her job easily and enjoys working in the library as part of the group.
“She is a natural leader in the library, as well as when working with others,” said Sackett. “Her competence, patience, and motivation all come into play. Her leadership skills, library knowledge, and commitment to all that she does is refreshing. She is always willing to give of her time and talents to help us, has shown excellent judgment, and is a valued student employee. She is truly a special student worthy of recognition.”
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon later this month.
A constant in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (MCA) for three-and-a-half years, Chevanne DeVaney, director of multicultural affairs, knew that senior Genille Gordon was reliable. So reliable in fact, that DeVaney offered the organizational communication major a paid position as an office assistant.
But last summer, after Gordon had completed a Field Period™ in MCA, DeVaney said that’s when she really learned how dedicated Gordon is to the success of others.
“I saw just how much Genille cared about the mission and vision of not just MCA, but that of the College as well. I have since paid particular attention to her interactions with students,” said DeVaney, who nominated Gordon for the award. “In addition, Genille has worked with the office to improve relations between all students on campus as part of her role as president of the Multicultural Student Association.”
According to DeVaney, Gordon is sought out and respected by her peers.
“Her interactions with others have helped increase the number of students who stop into the office,” said DeVaney. “She leads by example and has a tremendous impact on the office.”
That impact is important as MCA caters to a diverse group of students, said DeVaney, so those who work in the office “must be open minded, respectful of others, and appreciate diversity of thought. The atmosphere in MCA is always vibrant and hectic, so we must welcome everyone who enters the office with authenticity. Genille is able to do all this and more.”
DeVaney credits Gordon’s “infectious personality, her ability to work hard, and her drive to succeed” with exceeding expectations for an MCA office assistant. In addition to her regular duties, Gordon assumed the role of office manager, DeVaney adds, to ensure the staff pays attention and executes their responsibilities to assignments, and make sure the office has adequate coverage.
“Having Genille in the office helps with this aspect of my position in many ways,” said DeVaney. “She is able to help students navigate the resources at the College, and advise students who seek her out after hours. She also seeks advice that critically looks at—and evaluates—her own leadership style, especially that of conflict resolution and managing different personalities.”
Added DeVaney: “Genille embodies the qualities I think we would like all of our students at the College to have, and that comes through in the quality and detail afforded through her work. It also comes through in the way she communicates on behalf of the office, the time she spends making sure that the product delivered is what is expected, and the timeliness in which job responsibilities are executed. Her ability to lead by example is important, not just to the position, but towards setting expectations of each individual who enters the office.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon in April.
A D.R.I.V.E. student peer mentor’s primary role is to serve as a mentor and support individuals with developmental disabilities as they assimilate to the Keuka College environment and explore their personal goals for the future.
And according to Amy Foy, coordinator of Peer Mentor Services for the D.R.I.V.E. Program, senior Karen Thompson, a senior educational studies major from Himrod, takes her role as a D.R.I.V.E. student peer mentor seriously.
“In this program, it is our vision to have students from all walks of life, and with all levels of abilities, explore their personal goals and dreams for the future,” said Foy, “and in an inclusive and supportive educational environment. Karen is the embodiment of this vision, and having her as a D.R.I.V.E. peer mentor has been integral to the success we have accomplished throughout the program.”
One of Thompson’s many strengths, adds Foy, is that she is diverse enough to work with individuals with varying disabilities at one time, all while staying focused on the task at hand.
“This is a huge asset, as we have varying degrees of disabilities within our program,” said Foy. “Karen takes the initiative to provide oversight on particular students, and to support those students to the best of her abilities. She is patient, positive, enthusiastic, flexible, and has strong communication skills.”
Having those communication skills, Foy says, helps Thompson as she talks with the students in a friendly, positive manner, and asks questions to check for understanding based on the current discussion.
“She never stops looking out for our students’ well being in the classroom setting, and throughout campus,” said Foy. “She never hesitates to participate, and continuously offers new ideas and suggestions to the program. Karen’s personality is calm and friendly, which helps build positive relationships with our students, other peer mentors, and staff.”
Added Foy: “Karen has gone above and beyond to emotionally, academically, and socially support our students through friendships and trust. She has embraced our vision throughout her work with the D.R.I.V.E. students with her quality of work, genuine friendships, and fabulous communication skills.”