Justin Schlemm Awarded Student Employee of the Year

Justin Schlemm of the University’s Rapid Response Unit was awarded the 2013 Student Employee of the Year award this past Friday, April 12. From well over the 1,250 student employees that work on campus and the 1,700 jobs they do, only 19 individuals were nominated for the award.

Dr. Barbara Reagor, the Director of the Rapid Response Unit (RRI), nominated Schlemm for his great works within the division. According to Reagor, Schlemm, who is currently a freshman majoring in software engineering, is often contacted by clients, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the State, to develop and instruct others on how to utilize software and web applications for emergency responders. He has also worked with the RRI before he was even a student at the University during his junior and senior years of high school.

“He’s an outstanding employee and a mentor to older and younger students alike,” said Reagor. “He just has such a mature outlook and work ethic, something that you would expect more of a senior than a freshman; not to mention he has confidence in his ability, is always on time, is focused, and projects himself well and with good personality. We are just so proud of him.”

Aimee Parks, the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment, states that the criteria for the judges in choosing the winner involves a combination of qualities, such as reliability, initiative, quality of work and contribution to the University.

Students weren’t the only ones given awards this year. The Supervisor of the Year award went to Neva Lozada, the Assistant Director of Writing Services and Supplemental Instruction, who mentions the honor she feels in being recognized with this award. “This is the highest accolade that I could of ever hoped to receive here,” said Lozada. “It means more to be given this honor from the students because, without the students, there is no staff. The department is run by them [the students] and relies on them as a result.”

Other student employees on campus feel a mutually positive relationship with their employers and, as a result, are encouraged to do their best work.

Junior Ayla Yildiz believes her work in the Study Abroad office offers her new insights and information about the University that she would have never known otherwise. “I get to talk with students about their intentions to go abroad, or hear stories after their amazing travels. It has also helped me in my knowledge about MU’s student abroad opportunities and programs.” Yildiz continued, “I also work in President Gaffney’s office and I absolutely love my job there. I help with all secretarial office work with his other assistants, whom are a complete joy to work with.”

The importance of student employees are essential on campus, says Parks, not only in completing the work that needs to be done on site, but also for setting a good reputation for themselves and the university.

“Good student employees are invaluable,” said Parks. “[As a result] I hope students work harder and smarter, absorb what they can from their job placement including leadership and management styles, and make sure to obtain good references.”