National Student Employment Week 2017 (April 10th-14th)
"Each year colleges and universities across the country recognize the importance of the student work experience during National Student Employment Week. Student employment offers students career-enhancing opportunities, the ability to develop skills relevant in any career, and better preparation for the job market upon graduation." ~NSEA
Congratulations to Laura Felone: UVM's Student Employee of the Year
In supervising writing tutors for over twenty-five years, I have never had a tutor more deserving of being recognized as Student Employee of the Year than Laura Felone. Laura joined the program as a sophomore, and for the past three years has worked in the Writing Center for three hours each week. She tutors whoever signs up for an appointment, including students with learning and physical disabilities, students for whom English is a second language, and students from backgrounds that did not prepare them for college-level writing. At the time she joined the program, Laura was experiencing some personal struggles that potentially made tutoring a challenge for her. Laura wanted to take on that challenge. She never let those issues interfere with her work, and they receded into the background as she gained more experience. She has become one of my very best tutors, someone on whom I rely to be thoughtful, competent, and creative in every situation. To date, she has held over 160 individual tutoring sessions and has participated in over 90 hours of training, earning certification through the College Reading and Learning Association as a Master Tutor. In her junior year, Laura took on an additional role as a writing tutor attached to a geography class. Here, she worked with the faculty member to develop a plan for how she could best contribute to the students’ development as writers. This included providing writing support to individual students, facilitating open hours when students could come work on their papers, designing workshops on special topics, and providing the professor with feedback on the students’ experiences in the class. The instructor pulled me aside at a meeting to tell me how impressed she was with Laura and how much Laura had contributed to the students’ experience in the class. The next semester, Laura participated in a pilot project applying the classroom-based tutoring model in the Global Gateway Program, where she helped facilitate weekly in-class writing workshops and then met with individual students at their request. The pilot was highly successful, in part because of Laura, and so we have adopted this model for subsequent GGP classes. In her senior year, I was so impressed with Laura’s excellent organizational and people skills that I invited her to be in charge of all of our class presentations and workshops. As Presentation Coordinator, Laura corresponds with faculty to meet their requests, develops presentations for a variety of classes, trains and coordinates a group of tutors to give the presentations, and serves as a model presenter/facilitator for the other tutors. So far this year, she has organized 105 presentations/ workshops in classes, and facilitated thirty of them herself. In whatever setting she works, Laura has been committed to our approach of Universal Design, which recognizes the importance of flexibility and attentiveness in addressing the needs of each student without requiring that student to disclose personal information. She approaches each session realizing she is creating a relationship with a person, not just trying to improve a paper, and pays careful attention to all the clues the student provides that will help her understand the student’s current situation and how best to support the student in moving forward. And students respond, intuitively recognizing that Laura understands them, does not judge them, and is in their corner, supporting them in whatever way they need. She has been especially engaged in supporting the international students on campus. In addition to serving as a classroom-based tutor for the Global Gateway Program, she helped design a series of workshops on research-based writing for international students in English 001, volunteered to do additional tutoring in the Global Gateway Program, and worked with numerous international students in the Writing Center, often over an extended period. In all of her work with the Writing Center, Laura is a team player. If someone is sick and emails the tutor listserv looking for a sub, Laura is often the first to volunteer. When she gets requests for workshops, she sees if other tutors are available before signing up herself because she understands the value of a team approach to programming. When tutors express concern about a presentation or workshop, Laura arranges to meet with them to give them tips and help them rehearse. Over the past there years, I developed such confidence in Laura’s abilities and professionalism that I began consulting her about tricky issues, calling on her for projects that involve complex situations, and relying on her to come to the rescue when we face an emergency. She is an employee who not only works tirelessly and efficiently to fulfill all expectations, but who improves and transforms the workplace. I am grateful for all she has contributed to the Writing Center in her three years as a tutor. - Sue Dinitz, English Department Director
National Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY)
National Student Employment Week is celebrated each year across the country in order to recognize and appreciate the invaluable service of both student employees and student employment professionals.
The National Student Employment Association (NSEA) has declared that the week of April 13th will serve to celebrate those students who work with enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative to support their campus with a spectacular workforce.
This year UVM will recognize a Student Employee of the year for their outstanding contributions and achievements. Student employees are nominated by their employers based on the following characteristics:
- service excellence
- innovation and achievement
- diversity and respect
- teamwork and cooperation
- leadership and initiative
To be eligible for the award a student must:
- Have worked (or is currently working) during the 2016-2017 academic year
- Work 3hrs/wk or higher
The nominator of the student employee winner will be notified the week of April 6th, and will be asked to keep this a surprise for the student. We will work with you to schedule a time that the student is at work or could come to your department during the week of April 13th. The SEO will present the award to the student there. Inviting as many staff and/or faculty to the celebration is a very special form of recognition to the student, and we highly encourage this.
NSEW 2017 Events Around Campus:
- Monday April 10, all day: Free lollipops in the hallway of Waterman 2 (across from the Waterman Cafe)!
- Tuesday April 11, 2-4pm: Free coffee and brownies in the Davis Center Atrium!
- Wednesday April 11, 9-11pm: NSEW-themed pub quiz night at Brennan's.
Recognizing Student Employee Contributions
A primary motivation for most students is the need to help pay for their education. Many students are able to earn a significant portion of their college expenses, thus avoiding the debt burden so common with college graduates today.
At UVM, student employees perform invaluable services with enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative. Indeed, most UVM depends on the contributions of this reliable workforce for the efficient operation of the entire campus.
It is appropriate to set aside a special week to draw the awareness of others, both on campus and off, to the contributions student workers make in the multitude of roles they fill.
Ten Ways to Celebrate Student Employees
- Treat your student workers to lunch or coffee.
- Decorate a workspace, office, or bulletin board in a fun way to celebrate student employees.
- Make a "Thank-You" card for a student employee and pass it around for staff to sign it.
- Have a gathering after work with food (ideas: pizza party, or cupcakes) and invite other faculty departments and their student employees to join in.
- Leave random notes of kindness in their workspace, post-its with positive quotes, words of encouragement, or just to say thanks!
- Make a creative thank-you card for your student employees at SEO during Student Employment Week.
- Put up a poster or note outside the workplace expressing appreciation for student workers ("We Love Our Student Employees!").
- Set up a special comment board where students and staff can write or draw notes.
- Give small awards out to student workers at staff meetings.
- Say "thank you" to your student employees!