Scripps Celebrates Student Employee Achievements

By Niah Grimes
Career Counselor and Student Employment Coordinator

Photo courtesy of Career Planning & Resources

Photo courtesy of Career Planning & Resources

With over 500 student employee positions on-campus each year, Scripps simply can’t operate without the support of students who spend their time outside of the classroom welcoming visitors to campus, supporting faculty research and serving perfectly-brewed coffee.  During Student Employee Appreciation week, Scripps celebrates the accomplishments of our student employees and recognizes the importance of the student work experience.

In early February, I sent out a call for Student Employee of the Year nominations to the campus community. While glowing nominations rolled in from the Scripps Community, I convened a committee of faculty, staff and alumnae to review the nominations and select a group of finalists based on the following criteria, as defined by the National Student Employment Association:

1. Reliability
2. Quality of Work,
3. Initiative,
4. Professionalism,
5. Uniqueness of Contribution
6. Commitment to Inclusivity and Community

The committee was impressed by all nominations but found the work of several nominees particularly compelling. The Scripps College Student Employee of the Year Finalists are as follows:

1. Daniela Baena Canas ’16: First Generation Intern, Academic Resources and Services
2. Juliana Baena Canas ’16: First Generation Intern, Academic Resources and Services
3. Julia Black ’17: New Student Program Coordinator, SARLO
4. Evelyn Gonzalez ’18: Special Collections Student Assistant, Denison Library

Words like amazing, enthusiastic, dependable, flexible, mature, genuine, diligent, and outstanding were strewn among the nominations for these students. Supervisors, faculty and staff members, and peers were impressed by the quality of work these student employees produced and expressed equal appreciation for the characteristics that make these students such special members of their respective offices.

Each finalist exhibits the skills, qualities and characteristics that define great employees, but the committee ultimately selected Jennifer Smith ’16 as the Scripps College Student Employee of the Year.  Jennifer was nominated by her supervisor for her work in The Office of Admission as Lead Admission Ambassador. In this role, she serves as the primary liaison between the Ambassadors and the supervising Admission staff members. Additionally, she performs all Admission Ambassador duties such as leading tours, recruiting and training volunteers, arranging overnight stays, managing social media accounts, and working with admission staff during on-campus events.

Her supervisor, Anna-Marie Wood, says, “Jenny is always a step ahead, leading by being proactive instead of reactive.” In her nomination, Anna-Marie noted that Jenny has contributed to the office in various ways by creating a manual for future Lead Admission Ambassadors, creating a new process for tracking office tasks, and recreating publications for visiting guests of the college. Anna-Marie says, “I honestly do not know where this program would be without her.”

Congratulations to Jenny for earning this incredible honor.

While Student Employee Appreciation Week provides a unique opportunity for faculty and staff at Scripps to recognize student employees, it is also my hope that students will recognize their peers and coworkers by helping to shape their experience.  I hope students will also use this time as an opportunity to reflect on their own employment experiences at the college. To all student employees, thank you for the good work that you do and for your commitment to Scripps College.