By Michael McCurry
On Monday April 9, Drew University’s Center for Internships and Career Development (CICD) held their second annual Student Employee Recognition Ceremony. The event kicks off National Student Employment Week, which is held the second full week of April every year. As part of National Student Employment Week, the National Student Employment Administration (NSEA) coordinates a nationwide selection process to find the NSEA Student Employee of the Year.
The process begins at the institutional level where each department at Drew submits nominees for five different award categories which include: the Student Employee Leadership Award, the Student Employee Above and Beyond Award, the Outstanding Theological Student Service Award, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and The Student Employee of the Year. This year 24 total nominees were vying for one of the five awards.
Once nominations have been submitted, a group of six anonymous readers ranks each student based on their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and the uniqueness of the student’s contribution to the employer. After the rankings are submitted, the results are calculated and the awards are given accordingly.
On the importance of Student Employment Recognition Week, CICD Assistant Director of Student Employment Carolyn Parelli said, “It’s a great way to honor not just the nominees and winners, but to really show students that work on campus that we really value what they’re doing.”
Assistant Director Parelli, who organized Drew’s ceremony, expounded upon the importance of student employees saying, “They play an important role in the fabric of our departments and our offices.” Continuing, she said, “Our students are doing real jobs, they’re making real connections and making real contributions. The level of responsibilities students have in some departments is significant.”
This year as a part of Drew’s awards, two new categories were added for Theological Students and Caspersen Students.
“It’s nice that we can celebrate the entire Institution as a whole and not just CLA,” said Parelli.
The winners of the evening included Olivia Sznaza (‘19) from Admissions, who won the Leadership Award. The Above and Beyond Award went to Camille Berger (‘18) of the Instructional Technology department. For the Outstanding Theological Student Award, Library staff member KwangYu Lee took home the win. Then, Nazlin Shakir of the Center for Academic Excellence won for the Outstanding Graduate Student award.
The final award of the evening, presented by Drew University President MaryAnn Baenninger was the coveted Student Employee of Year Award. The winner was Jessica Gianna, a senior CLA student from the Alumni and Parent Relations department.
“I was definitely in shock,” said Gianna. “I was shaking and definitely red when I shook President Baenninger’s hand.”
On the importance of the awards, Gianna said, “It’s super important. We put in a lot of hard work across the board, and it’s nice to have the recognition.”
Gianna’s win qualifies her for NSEA’s regional awards, the winner of which will then be nominated for the NSEA’s National Employee of the year.
Image Courtesy of the Drew University Facebook