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Tia Billig Named Keuka College’s Student Employee of the Year

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Sophomore Tia Billig was named Keuka College’s 2017 Student Employee of the Year at the 23rd annual Student Employment Awards Luncheon held April 13.

She was nominated by Dusan Ducic, service desk manger, Information Technology, and has worked as an information technology student assistant since fall 2016.

“Tia has incredible initiative and ingenuity when assigned a task,” says Dusan. “For example, she played a key role as one of our student ambassadors during Green & Gold Celebration Weekend in October. 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,” he says. “She developed a project plan—and served as the project manager—for the development of the Classroom Capabilities and Configuration portal site. We now have one place where we can have an overall look at a particular classroom on campus, and know what its technological capabilities are. Tia has talked with members of the faculty about this site, and has shown them where to find it. She can also help troubleshoot any issues that may arise.”

Tia leverages a combination of leadership traits, such as leading by example, enthusiasm, conscientiousness, and confidence, adds Dusan. 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.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Paul Forestell says that the caliber of student employees at Keuka College makes him realize what a phenomenal group of students and staff the College has.

“It is important to think of the value of people we have here,” says Dr. Forestell. “The whole process is about appreciation, ability and accomplishment, and extended family, or ‘ohana.’ The student employment process was built on a sense of appreciation, and doing great work together.”

As a result of student employment, Dr. Forestell adds, the student employees have gained skills and developed capabilities that will help them in their College career, and long after they graduate.

“You have a tremendous sea of possibility in front of you,” Dr. Forestell says. “In celebrating with your College family, I thank you all for your work.”

Other student nominees include Harley Carter ’17, Katheryne ‘Kate’ Ellis ’19, Victoria Grisdale ’17, Amanda Sabins ’19, and Emily Stokes ’18.

In Cecilia Massara ’20’s nomination letter for Carol Sackett, library circulation supervisor who was named Work Study Supervisor of the Year, she said she would not be at Keuka College, or in college at all, if not for Carol.

“Last fall, I was in need of a lot of guidance,” Cecilia says. “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.”

Carol gave her ‘wonderful advice,’ adds Cecilia, and has always been there for her when she needed to talk.

“Carol was full of grace and poise, and made me laugh,” she says. “I was able to connect with her from the first day, and after I was hired, I felt like I had a purpose.”

Carol is strong, wise, beautiful, and an inspiration to her work study students, Cecilia continues.

“We love her for her vibrant personality and tireless energy,” she says. “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.”

Other staff members nominated include Sue Groom and Paulette Willemsen.

Each nominee was given a certificate and small gift. Tia and Carol each received a plaque, and their names will be added to larger plaques on a wall in Hegeman Hall. Tia also received a gift card to the College’s bookstore. 

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