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Six Students Nominated for Student Employee of the Year

Editor’s note: Work-study student employees at Keuka College are vital to the daily operation of our institution. During National Student Employment Week, we honor and recognize our students for their hard work and contributions. Work-study students are nominated by their supervisor and chosen based on the following characteristics: reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and the uniqueness of the student’s contribution to the department/College. This year, six students were nominated, and the winner will be announced at a luncheon April 13.

Tia Billig ’19, an American Sign Language-English interpreting major, nominated by Andy Hogan, associate director of user services and Dusan Ducic, service desk manger, Information Technology

As the information technology student assistant, sophomore Tia Billig has incredible initiative and ingenuity when assigned a task. For example, she played a key role as one of our student ambassadors during Green & Gold Celebration Weekend in October.

Tia leverages a combination of leadership traits, such as leading by example, enthusiasm, conscientiousness, and confidence. Her efforts directed students and campus guests to engage with technology by battling robots and trying their skills with the latest video games.

Since joining the information technology team, Tia has made a significant impact on the overall efficiency of accessing critical classroom information. She developed a project plan—and served as the project manager—for the development of the Classroom Capabilities and Configuration portal site. She is an independent worker, so consequently, she was given wide berth when asked to develop this repository for all relative classroom information. Her tasks are always completed in a professional, accurate, and efficient manner.

Harley Carter ’17, a communications studies major, nominated by Tara Bloom, assistant director of Field Period® and Internships

Harley serves as the Field Period® student assistant, and has been able to develop high quality work by implementing some of her classroom learning within this position. She always challenges herself to produce the best work possible, and was insistent on creating quality flyers and ads for our programs using software introduced to her through her design course.

In fact, Harley will clock into work already having a creative idea for her next bulletin board or flyer. She goes far above the expectations of the job, and has embraced it as an opportunity to build her own portfolio and grow her knowledge base. Harley also took the initiative to create a social media campaign, as email and flyers do not always get information to students who prefer a fast-paced and visual method of receiving that information.

Her professionalism, high level of responsibility, and strong work ethic are attributes that I greatly value. She is knowledgeable about the Field Period® program, and enjoys sharing information with students who come with questions or seek help.

The maturity that Harley displays leaves a positive impact on how others view the Field Period® and Internship office, and the level of services we provide.

Katheryne ‘Kate’ Ellis ’19, an occupational science major, nominated by Amy Foy, coordinator of Peer Mentor Services the D.R.I.V.E. Program

One of Kate’s much-desired strength as a DRIVE student peer mentor is being diverse enough to work with individuals with varying disabilities at one time, while staying focused on each student. She is always one step ahead and works with individuals as one, and checks to be sure they understand. Kate goes above and beyond when supporting and encouraging students, and has taught them their own ways of being responsible, which allows them to gain some independence.

She takes initiative by thinking of different, unique ways to help in various situations that put the student first. She is able to complete this task independently, and is patient, positive, enthusiastic, and flexible. She never hesitates to participate and continuously offers new ideas and suggestions to the program. Kate is calm, friendly, and continues to build positive and meaningful relationships with our students, other peer mentors, and staff.

As a College student, Kate understands our students ‘college’ needs, and that allows her to connect with them on a different level. She has brought her OT coursework and knowledge into her job, takes time to support each of our students, and gives them ample time to learn, succeed, and strive each semester. Kate has been integral to the success of multiple students in our program, and has embraced our vision through her work with the DRIVE students with her quality of work, genuine friendships, continuing support for independence with each student. She is a fantastic mentor for our DRIVE students.

Victoria Grisdale ’17, an occupational science major, nominated by Jeff Bray, associate athletic director and head athletic trainer; Phil Rahr ’07, assistant athletic trainer, and Geena Grattan, assistant athletic trainer

Victoria, an athletic training student assistant, has been a member of the athletic staff for four years. During that time, she has helped set the standard by whom others are measured. She has become an outstanding young professional who demonstrates a tremendous work ethic.

She is industrious and forward-thinking, and has earned the respect of her peers, coaches, and departmental administrators. Our office functions at the level that is does due in large part to the efforts of our student employees, particularly Victoria, who exceeds our expectations on a regular basis.

Many of the hours she has worked have been in the freezing rain and snow—conditions that most students would just refuse to work in. But not Victoria. She just bundles up, puts on her rain boots and a smile, and gets to work.

I have supervised student workers for 25 years, and Victoria is one of the most pleasant young adults that I have had the opportunity to work with. She will indeed be an outstanding professional. She has consistently lead the younger, less experienced students by example, and the impact she has had on them will be measured in years to come.

Amanda Sabins ’19, a social work major, nominated by Carol Sackett, library circulation supervisor

Amanda continually displays professionalism in her work. Her demeanor, initiative, strong work ethic, and responsibility are unquestionable. She helps train new workers each semester as needed, and is highly motivated, competent, courteous, confident, and completely trustworthy. She is always one of the first people to offer assistance outside her own assigned work hours, and completes any task quickly and on time.

She demands—and maintains—high expectations for herself, and expects others to work in the same way. Leading by example, she has proven herself to be a resourceful student and has learned much since she began working here. She is concise, and her direct approach to any undertaking is varied and valued. She enjoys her work, and it shows.

The knowledge she has gained since working in the library distinguishes her from many workers, and she actively imparts that information to others. Students trust her, look up to her, and respect her as a mentor. And when she says she wants to help others, she proves it by doing it. She has learned leadership skills that will last her a lifetime. She will honor the College with her sound judgment, loyalty, and devotion of service.

Emily Stokes ’18, a unified childhood education major nominated by Paulette Willemsen, Division of Education administrative assistant and student teacher placement coordinator

Emily is dependable, reliable, hard working, conscientious, and comes to work on time and with a positive attitude. She has excellent communication skills, is extremely organized, and computer literate. Emily easily works independently, is flexible, and willing to work on any assignment. She readily accepts the challenge of something new, and takes on responsibility. I believe these attributes demonstrate someone with exceptional character.

A young woman of great integrity, Emily is extremely dedicated to the field of education. She is a tremendous asset to the Division of Education.

Editor’s Note: Just as supervisors have the chance to highlight the exceptional work of their students employees, the students have the option to nominate their supervisors of the annual Work-Study Supervisor of the Year Award. These supervisors are viewed, in the eyes of student employees, as the best of the best. Supervisors are chosen for such qualities as: integrating student employees as members of their staff, guidance and mentoring, initiative, and alignment with the mission of the college and the department. This year, three work-study supervisors were nominated, and the winner will be announced at a luncheon April 13.

Sue Groom, purchasing assistant, nominated by Carissa Wong ’19, an occupational science major
Sue has performed phenomenal achievements in purchasing and stocking the College with its office supply needs. She demonstrates great care when working with each department, and strives to help as many people as she can each day.

Sue has also provided me with chance to grow. Before working in the purchasing office, I didn’t know where a lot of offices were, because I didn’t need to. But I now deliver supplies to these offices, I have been able to meet many more staff and faculty I never otherwise would have. This makes me feel more connected to the College, and has helped me learn how to better interact with people I don’t know.

Sue believes in me, and sees that I have the capabilities needed to fulfill the student employee role. I am grateful that Sue has trusted me, encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, and challenged me to attempt work I had never done before. I thoroughly enjoy working for Sue, and feel at peace when I am in the purchasing office. Sue has my utmost respect, which she earned by demonstrating kindness and professional behavior. Because of Sue, I have had many experiences that have allowed me to learn more about myself and become a better person.

Carol Sackett, nominated by Cecilia Massara ’20, communication studies
Last fall, I was in need of a lot of guidance. Everything at Keuka College was new to me, and I felt alone and out of place here, especially during the first few weeks. To say I was miserable is a bit of an understatement. But then I had an interview at the library, and I met Carol.

She was full of grace and poise, and made me laugh. I was able to connect with her from the first day, and after I was hired, I felt like I had a purpose. Carol gave me wonderful advice, and has always been there for me when I needed to talk.

Carol is strong, wise, beautiful, and an inspiration to us. We love her for her vibrant personality and tireless energy. Yes, she is our supervisor, but she gives us something more than ‘just a job’—she gives each of us a purpose. A mother figure, mentor, and friend, we are all better off for knowing Carol. Without her guidance and help, I would not be at Keuka College today. She is an incredible woman.

Paulette Willemsen, nominated by Aysia Smith ’18, unified early childhood education

Strong Hall may house the Division of Education, but Paulette ensures that all students coming into the building feel welcome and supported. While working for her, I have learned how to be more responsible, more understanding, more efficient, and more professional—just by following her example.

Paulette’s extreme level of caring and dedication to the College, and its goal of being inclusive, makes me glad that as a work study student, I believe I am making a difference in the College community.

I have learned many valuable skills and gained responsibility from my role with Paulette, both in working and simply talking with her. I believe her ability to provide me with professional responsibilities, as well as individualized advice, demonstrates her dedication to both her position as a supervisor, and her role to help students become productive members of the community.

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