University Shows Appreciation for Student Employees

With approximately 1,320 student employees on campus since September, there are more of them than faculty members.

 Two events spearheaded the University’s celebration of appreciation for its student employees this week.

Recognizing students for the 16th annual Student EmployeeAppreciation Week, Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employees and Michele Banafato Lassen, Student Employee Coordinator, led the festivities in the Student Center last Wednesday. A reception that recognized the 2012 Student-Employee of the Year followed this last Friday.

The celebration encouraged student employees to visit the tables covered in prizes and giveaways. Prizes included gift certificates to McLoon’s Restaurant in Pier Village and Amy’s Omelette House. More than $9,000 in prizes were given away throughout the week.

Many students shared what they loved most about working on campus. “It’s extra money for me and there’s no commute,” said Tarryn Cortese, a junior majoring in communication with a concentration in TV and radio.

There is more to working on campus than just the temporary conveniences of having a job, Parks said. “It’s the benefits, convenience, flexibility all together,” she said. “If you pick a good job, it can be a resume builder. We are indebted to them for their service on campus.”

If a student finds something that applies to this or her major, then an on-campus job in that field is a plus, Parks added.

Lassen mentioned the benefit of time, as the best part about being a student employee. “The student can go to work for an hour, then go to class, then come back to work,” she said. “It doesn’t require a car, so they can walk wherever.”

Nominees for the Employee and Supervisor of the Year awards gathered in McGill Commons for the ceremony. Gina Columbus, senior and Editor-in-Chief of The Outlook, claimed the title of Student Employee of the Year for her work as an Office Assistant with the University’s Office of Human Resources.

Maureen Slendorn, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Recruiting, has worked closely with Columbus. “I have a sense of pride in Gina as my employee.” she said. “She really is a true leader, a standout and she will definitely be successful.”

“Working as a student employee really taught me how to handle great responsibilities, gain professionalism, charisma, confidence, and dedication to going above and beyond my job duties in Human Resources,” Columbus said. “It is these skills that I will take with me after I leave Monmouth.”

She has worked in Human Resources for four years during her stay at the University and has handled tasks such as secretarial office duties to writing for the Campus Connection newsletter.

“I feel incredibly honored to have been awarded Student-Employee of the Year,” Columbus said. “To have been recognized like that and to be part of such a special department is truly heartwarming. The ladies in HR have taught me so much and have helped me grow in many areas since my freshman year. They have been encouraging me and supporting every single one of my dreams from day one.”

To win the award, students are critiqued on their initiative, reliability, quality of work, professionalism and contribution to the University, according to the newsletter on Student Employee Appreciation Week.

Susan Damaschke, Coordinator of First-Year Student Retention with the Office of Student Services, was the recipient of the Supervisor of the Year Award; she also received the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators 2012 Supervisor of the Year Award.

Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, announced the presentation of the Student Employee of the Year Award, as well as the Community Service Award and Honorable Mentions.

Honorable mentions included Balkees Parveen of the Educational Opportunity Fund and Mark Stranieri of Tutoring and Writing Services. Winner of the Federal Work Study Award was Stephen Swain of the Rapid Response Institute.

The Student Employee Appreciation Week was sponsored by the Student Employment Office, Office of Human Resources and the National Student Employment Association.