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Senior Justin Latz Named Keuka College’s Student Employee of the Year

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Jeff Bray (l), associate athletic director, poses with Justin Latz '19 and Ashley Thomason, assistant director of talent acquisition. Justin was named Keuka College's Student Employee of the Year. (photo by Giorgio Varlaro)

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, four students and one supervisor were nominated for each award, and were recognized for their contributions at the 25th annual luncheon, held April 16. 

The Student Employee of the Year award was established to recognize an outstanding student who has made a significant contribution to the College through their student job by consistently demonstrating reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness.

KeukaCollege’s 2019 Student Employee of the Year Award went to senior Justin Latz. The award honors and recognizes students for their hard work and contributions.

He was nominated by Jeff Bray, associate athletic director and head athletic trainer. 

“Justin is an outstanding example of what a student-employee can be,” says Jeff. “This is his fourth year working in my department, and he has never disappointed us. As a senior athletic training room assistant, he has stepped up to play a key role in helping to train the underclassmen that will eventually taking on his responsibilities.” 

In fact, Jeff has worked at the College for some 27 years, and he says Justin’s level of work “ranks easily in my top five” student-employees. 

“Justin has been outstanding since year one, and has just continued to improve in so many ways,” says Jeff. 

Other student nominees included Martha Rinella ’19, Alexandra “AJ” Castle ’21, and Sarah Martinez ’21.

The recipient of the College’s 2019 Work Study Supervisor of the Year is Lisa Thompson, director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP),who was nominated by Monica Sturm ’20.

The award was established to recognize the integral part the supervisor plays in the education of a student employee. Supervisors foster professionalism, become role models, act as mentors to their students, and provide students with knowledge they can’t get in the classroom. 

This is the second consecutive year Monica nominated Lisa for the award.

“Lisa has provided many opportunities for me to demonstrate responsibility,” says Monica. “Some examples are having access to Slate [a software program], filling out interim reports, creating a mentor manual for Keuka College Summer Institute (KCSI), and being a KCSI mentor.”

By working in the HEOP office, Monica believes she has learned more about herself as an individual. She credits Lisa for giving her more self-confidence, and she thinks of Lisa as a mentor, and someone she looks up to. 

“Lisa has made an impact on my life during my College career,” says Monica. “I am grateful for everything she has done. She is resourceful, and I look forward to using the skills that she has taught me in the future. Working in the HEOP office has truly been an incredible experience.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bradley Fuster spoke at the luncheon, offering congratulations to each nominee.

“We can’t do it without you,” Dr. Fuster told the students. “We are appreciative of your dedication to your jobs, and the College is proud of all of you and the effort you make.”

Dr. Fuster said when he was in college, he too held a work-study position.

“I didn’t like it at first, but the longer I was in it, the more it helped me grow and shaped my future,” he says. “I hope that is the case for you as well.”

Each nominee was given a certificate. Justin and Lisa each received a plaque, and their names will be added to larger plaques hanging in Hegeman Hall. 

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