National Student Employment Week is celebrated each April at college and university campuses across the country. Keuka College joins its peers in recognizing its student employees in a variety of ways, including its highly anticipated Student Employment Awards Luncheon. At the annual luncheon, the Student Employee of the Year, as well as the Work Study Supervisor of the Year, are named.
This year, seven students and seven supervisors were nominated for each award and were recognized for their contributions at the 24th annual luncheon, held April 10. The College’s 2018 Student Employee of the Year Award went to senior Emily Bower. The award honors students for their hard work and contributions.
She was nominated by Jon Accardi, associate director for athletics for facilities and operations.
“In my 11 years working at Keuka College, Emily has been the most reliable and passionate student-employee I’ve had,” says Jon. “She has helped us develop an amazing brand for our campus recreation program, which is why we’ve had such great success in student participation.”
In fact, Keuka College boasts a robust campus recreation program, one that offers intramurals, fitness, adventure, aquatics, and special events. And the programs reach an impressive 90 percent of the student body.
“An unparalleled blend of creativity, organization, and drive, Emily’s commitment and energy to Keuka College and her peers has played a key role in the tremendous growth and success of our recreation program,” says Jon. “Emily is one of the most well-rounded, talented, dedicated, and trustworthy students I’ve ever had. She's a one-of-a-kind student who has made a lasting impact on our culture, and will be greatly missed.”
Other student nominees include Danielle DeSimone ’19, Jessica Hedges ’20, Taylor Jewell ’19, Kellianne Mohorter ’18, Erinn Peterson ’19, and Monica Sturm ’20.
The recipient of the College’s 2018 Work Study Supervisor of the Year is Rev. Eric Detar, College chaplain, who was nominated by Alayna Murphy ’18. The award honors work-study supervisors whom students believe warrant particular recognition for their performance on the job.
In her nomination letter, Alyana said Eric has provided her with the chance to collaborate with other members of the student affairs staff, overcome challenges, and make meaningful contributions to the Center for Spiritual Life, and the College at large.
“In this way, my confidence has grown and I am determined to enhance my skills in other areas, such as advertising and executing programs,” she adds. “I’ve worked in the Center for Spiritual Life for four years, and in that time, I have felt the responsibility of being a member of a staff, seen an employer take advantage of the skill sets within the office, been challenged by the work, and encouraged to mentor others.”
Alayna says that because of Eric, she has grown as a leader, global citizen, and as an individual.
“Finding yourself takes time, but with the right opportunities and people, it is easier than going at it alone," says Alayna. “Thanks to Eric, my outlook on life has changed from being self-focused to inclusive and open. He has really pushed me to look outside myself.”
Other staff members nominated include Tara Bloom, assistant director of Field Period® and Internships; Betty “BJ” Hill, administrative assistant for student affairs; Meredith Richel, assistant director of career services; Lisa Thompson, HEOP director; Paulette Willemsen, administrative assistant for the Division of Education/student teacher placement coordinator; and Michelle Wojnar, assistant director of athletics and head cheerleading coach.
Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs Amy Storey spoke at the luncheon, saying that each year, she is truly inspired by the caliber of student employees and the dedication of their supervisors.
“Any employer would be lucky to have you, particularly with the integrity, commitment, and creativity you show to your work-study positions each day,” she said. “Thank you for your dedication—your contributions are invaluable to this College.”
Amy added that the mentoring and leadership the supervisors demonstrate is motivating.
“The things supervisors do to inspire and encourage the students who work for you are powerful,” she said. “You don’t always get a great supervisor, but when you have that or are that to someone, means more than words.”
The words that were spoken about each nominee, Amy added, are a testament to the work each student and supervisor complete every day.
Each nominee was given a certificate and small gift. Emily and Eric each received a plaque, and their names will be added to larger plaques hanging in Hegeman Hall. Emily also received a gift card to the College’s bookstore.