Awards Luncheon Honors Student Workers Who SHinE

May 2, 2017

Sixty invited guests—including student worker honorees; their supervisors and managers; Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President of St. John’s University; and other University leaders—attended the University’s third annual Students Honored in Employment (SHinE) Awards Luncheon hosted by the Office of Human Resources on April 6, 2017. The event marked the culmination of an intensive nomination and selection process to recognize excellence in student employment.

Held the week prior to National Student Employment Week, the awards 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 five top-performing students with their SHinE awards. Mary V. Cascio, Student Employment Manager, welcomed guests and Rev. Bernard M. Tracey, C.M., Executive Vice President for Mission, gave the blessing. Other guests in attendance included Jeffrey W. Fagen, Ph.D., Dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Joseph H. and Maria C. Schwartz Distinguished Chair, and Professor of Decision Sciences; Katia Passerini, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Professional Studies; Sharon Hewitt Watkins, C.P.A., Vice President for Business Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer; Jorge L. Rodriquez, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer; Jeanne M. Umland ’79C, ’82G, ’93PD, Associate Vice President, Advancement and University Relations; and Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Vice President, Division of Student Affairs.

This year, supervisors submitted 65 student worker nominations, which were evaluated and ranked by a selection committee using the SHinE guidelines and student worker core competencies. Thirteen nominees advanced to the semifinal review, and five were selected.

Award recipients included Stephanie Bonanno ’18C, who is earning a B.A. degree in Speech Language Pathology; Surendra Gobin ’20C, who is working toward his B.S. degree in Biology; Carmela Hopkins ’17CPS, who is earning a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice; Anarita Lynch ’18C, a Biology major working on her B.S. degree; and Preetica Pooni ’17C, who is working on both a B.A. and M.A. degree in English. Dr. Gempesaw presented each recipient with a plaque, $500 recognition award, and personalized letter of congratulations.

Nada M. Llewellyn, Esq., Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Chief Diversity Officer, and Deputy General Counsel, commended the 13 semifinalists and five award recipients for their outstanding performance and work habits, and for possessing the characteristics of excellence that are positioning them for a successful career. She recognized the efforts of selection committee members, and thanked student worker supervisors for serving as exceptional mentors.

Kevin James ’11C, ’13MBA, Assistant Dean in the College of Professional Studies, as well as a former graduate assistant and student worker, served on the selection committee. He described the difficulty in making a selection among so many highly qualified nominees. Committee member Matthew Lewis Sutton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, reflected on spirituality, and the value of working and creating a culture of rest.

In addition to Mr. James and Dr. Sutton, the committee included Jeanne Ardan, Esq., Associate Dean for Career Development and Externships, St. John’s School of Law; Daisy Saldana, Career and Internship Advisor, College of Professional Studies; and Meghan Leahy, Graduate Assistant for the University Mission Office.

Visit Student Employment for information on the SHinE program, including photos and a list of 2017 award recipients and semifinalists. Nominations for next year’s SHinE award will be accepted beginning in January.