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Award Luncheon Honors Student Workers Who SHinE

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sixty invited guests—including student-worker honorees, their supervisors and managers, and University leaders—attended the University’s second annual Students Honored in Employment (SHinE) awards luncheon and ceremony hosted by the Office of Human Resources on April 13, 2016. The event marked the culmination of an intensive nomination and selection process to recognize excellence in student employment.

Held during National Student Employment Week, the award luncheon was an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of student workers, thank supervisors for playing an active role in their students’ career development, recognize semifinalists, and present the four top-performing students with their SHinE awards. Mary Cascio, Student Employment Manager, welcomed guests and Rev. Bernard M. Tracey, C.M., Executive Vice President for Mission, gave the blessing. Other guests included: Jeffrey W. Fagen, Ph.D., Dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Victoria Shoaf, Ph.D., C.P.A., Dean of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business; Theresa Maylone, M.S., Dean of University Libraries; Sharon Hewitt Watkins, M.A., C.P.A., Vice President for Business Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer; Simon Geir Møller, Ph.D., Senior Vice Provost; Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs; and Joseph J. Tufano, M.S., Vice President and Chief Information Officer. It was a special celebration not to be missed!

This year, supervisors submitted 86 student worker nominations, which were evaluated and ranked against the SHinE committee guidelines  and student worker core competencies by a broad-based and representative Selection Committee. Seventeen nominations made it to the second review round, and four of these ultimately earned the SHinE award.

Darren Russell from the Office of Human Resources honored the four student award recipients: Ella Leviyeva, ’18SJC, who is earning her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English; Samantha Lydard, ’18TCB, who is working toward his B.S. and M.A. degrees in Management; Marisa Mederos, ’16TCB, who is earning her B.S. degree in Finance; and Lauren Ippolito, ’16Ed, who is working toward her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Childhood Education, by calling them each to the front of the room with their manager. Each was presented with a SHinE plaque, a recognition award of $500, a personalized letter of congratulations from Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President, and hearty congratulations from Mary Harper Hagan, B.A., Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Public Safety.

Harper Hagan commended the 13 semifinalists and four award recipients for their outstanding performance and work habits, and for possessing the characteristics of excellence that already are positioning them for a successful career journey. She recognized the panelists on the Selection Committee, and the supervisors and managers for being great coaches and mentors to their students.

Graduate assistant and former student worker Stephen Japra, ’16TCB, was a member of the SHinE Selection Committee and spoke at the luncheon, describing the difficult task the committee had reviewing so many highly qualified nominees. Committee member Charles C. Pizzo, Ed.D., Associate Director of the University Freshman Center, also spoke to students and shared his perspective as a manager of student workers and former student worker himself. The Office of Human Resources is extremely grateful to all the members of the SHinE selection committee for volunteering their time and effort to individually review and evaluate each nomination. In addition to Japra and Pizzo, the committee included Mary Pelkowski, Associate Dean for Student Engagement; Daisy Saldana, Career Advisor–CPS; and Yvonne Pratt-Johnson, Ed.D., Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Education Specialties, The School of Education.

Additional information on the SHinE program is available on the Student Employment website. The nomination period for next year’s SHinE award will open in January 2017.

View the 2016 program agenda and list of award recipients and semifinalists.