Student Employee of the Year nominees announced

Some of the nominated employees. Photo courtesy Calvin College Jobshop.
Some of the nominated employees. Photo courtesy Calvin College Jobshop.

On April 15, fourteen Calvin students and various faculty and staff members will gather in the Chapel Undercroft for the annual Student Employee of the Year award.

The students were nominated for the award by a group of five faculty and staff members. According to Calvin’s Jobshop, these student employees “have demonstrated extraordinary hard work, dedication and a positive attitude.”

The coveted award is a regional affiliate of the national competition sponsored by the National Student Employment Association. The award has been presented at Calvin for more than 30 years, according to Student Employment Manager Karen Hollebeek.

According to Hollebeek, the purpose of the award is to recognize the outstanding achievements of student employees.

“Calvin College could not function at its current level without the help of student employees,” Hollebeek said. “They are an essential piece in keeping the campus looking beautiful, in the recruitment of students, in managing of sporting events and in the day to day functioning of almost every office.”

Nominee Kelsea Mensonides expressed her gratitude for the nomination.

“This nomination means a lot to me because it would really be an affirmation that all the work and time was worth it,” she said.

Several motivators have influenced nominee Greg Kim’s commitment to his positions at Johnny’s and the Rhetoric Center.

“Well, of course it’s the money,” Kim said. “But as an international student coming to America for the first time, it was also for the experience. I had never held a job with hourly pay, so I joined Johnny’s to see what it was like to work in the American service industry.”

Kim also mentioned that his experience has influenced other areas of his life.

“It has taught me the value of serving others to magnify their dignity,” he said, “and the importance of constantly learning and improving my professional skills in order to achieve that goal.”

Nominee Brianne Dekker also commented on the value of student employment.

“From the woes of printer problems and organizing tons of communication groups to the joy of helping students with questions and talking with them about classes or study abroad programs, I have had so many new and valuable experiences through this job that have really benefited my growth as a person,” Dekker said.

Nominee ChangIn Sohn echoed Dekker’s sentiments about the value in student employment.

“I consider my work in Commons as well as my co-workers to be some of my best teachers during my life in Calvin,” Sohn said.

The nominees could not have achieved success on their own, according to nominee Emily Strikwerda.

“The staff in my office have all poured into my development as a professional and also as a person in general,” Strikwerda said. “As students, we often interact with the faculty, but rarely with the staff,” Strikwerda said. “I would argue that they have an important perspective on life that we can learn from.”

Nominee Jessica DeWeerd also commented on the value of working with staff members.

“I have been blessed to have worked with competent and compassionate people who have been models for what a Christian should look like in the workplace,” DeWeerd said.

All of the nominees expressed excitement for the upcoming award presentation as well as gratitude for the recognition of their achievements.

The winner of the award will receive a gift certificate to the campus store, a certificate from the Midwest Association of Student Employment Managers and campus recognition.

The Student Employee of the Year award will be presented on April 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the Spoelhof Atrium.

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