|Kingma Named Student Employee of Year
posted April 16, 2007
Calvin College faculty, staff and students gathered on April 12 in the Chapel Undercroft on campus to learn the identity of this year’s Student Employee of the Year.
The honoree — senior Kristin Kingma, who until recently was a lead manager for Creative Dining Services — did not learn that she had won until she arrived at the ceremony a half-hour later, due to a scheduling conflict with her student teaching assignment.
“I was floored,” says the 22-year-old elementary education major who hails from Sarnia, Ontario. “I did not suspect it.” Kingma (front row, third from left) won a $300 gift certificate to the Campus Store.
Her former supervisor, Jennifer Witham, a service manager with Creative Dining Services, says both the honor and the prize were well-deserved.
“Food service is a very hard, dirty, demanding job, and she did it for five years,” Witham says of Kingma, who worked her way up through Creative Dining ranks during that span.
In the lead management position, she was responsible for the orientation, training, discipline, scheduling and overall management of her fellow student employees.
“She’s outstanding in the leadership she’s shown,” Witham says.
Following her graduation in May, Kingma and her husband will move to China, where she will teach an elementary class at the International School of China.
“I’m just excited to experience a different culture,” she says, “and excited to have my own class.”
Kingma was chosen from a pool of 18 student employees from the entire array of Calvin academic and administrative offices and departments, separated into divisional categories. Each division furnished a runner-up into the pool from which the winner was chosen. (See box for full list of nominees.)
All of the nominees won both a backpack and a gift bag full of prizes, including gift certificates to local restaurants, stores, theatre and symphony events, museums—even the zoo. The gifts came through the courtesy of donors to the Human Resources (HR) department and the Calvin Alumni Association, which for the first time this year partnered on the event.
“I thought that having the alumni association partner with Human Resources made the event perfect because we had so many more resources to give our students,” says HR student employee manager Karen Hollebeek, a longtime coordinator of the Student Employee of the Year event.
Director of alumni relations Mike Van Denend presided over the brief ceremony, which he began by reading a proclamation from Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, which designated the week of April 8, 2007 as “Student Employee Week.”
“There are a lot of ‘whereas-es’ in here,” he quipped at the start.
Following the ceremony, the nominees, their nominators and friends enjoyed an hors d’oeuvre and dessert buffet and mingled. Several had their photos snapped with the staff and faculty members with whom they’d served throughout the years.
“To be a part of saying, ‘Thank you’ to students, who teach us at least as much as we teach them, is a delight to do,” Van Denend says. “And these particular students are destined to be great alumni because they’re already invested in this place.”
~written by Calvin staff writer Myrna Anderson
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