FSU celebrates outstanding student employees 

The sixth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony, hosted by The Florida State University Career Center, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Career Center)
The sixth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony, hosted by The Florida State University Career Center, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Career Center)

The Florida State University Career Center recognized the notable contributions of student employees at FSU during its sixth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony on Thursday, April 16, which was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The SEOTY ceremony gives us the opportunity to recognize the invaluable service and impact of our student employees in our day-to-day operations,” said Li Pon, SEOTY program manager and senior assistant director for experiential learning. “Their work helps our institution achieve excellence in teaching, research, creative endeavors, service and innovation.”

President John Thrasher addressed the student employees in a video message.

“More than 5,000 students play an integral role in our campus operations and are responsible for many of the day-to-day tasks needed to deliver the services and programs that makes Florida State great,” Thrasher said. “Your invaluable service to our institution provides support to our faculty and staff directly impacting Florida State in allowing us to achieve excellence.”

More than 100 students from across FSU’s Tallahassee and Panama City campuses were nominated by their department or division for the awards. Six students were selected for the event’s highest honors.

“Ultimately, these students deserve the university’s recognition and gratitude, because they are often the backbone of many offices,” said Myrna Hoover, director of The Career Center. Not only do student employees provide essential roles in many offices, they also provide the staff valuable information and feedback from a student’s perspective on how to improve our services and programs. In turn, those of us who employ these incredible students can support them by providing a meaningful experience that supplies them with leadership experience, consistent employment, networking relationships and friendships that last a lifetime.”

Krinaben Patel, a student assistant at the FSU Panama City Library, received the Undergraduate Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award.

Patel, a junior business administration major from Lilongwe, Malawi, received the top honor for undergraduate student employees for her notable contributions as a student assistant at the FSU Panama City Library and Learning Center.

“I never dreamt of getting such an award in my wildest of dreams,” Patel said. “Getting this award means a lot to me, especially being an international studentThis award will give a jumpstart to my professional career and motivate me to go even further and pursue a post-graduate degree.”

James Hocken from Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom, was awarded the Graduate Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award for his work for FSU Athletics in the women’s soccer program. Hocken, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sport management, said the award was an honor considering the high caliber of student employee work at Florida State.

“I am very fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to be a part of the Florida State women’s soccer program and to work alongside a very experienced and driven team of colleagues,” Hocken said. “Florida State entrusted me with the freedom to explore different ideas and provided the support to materialize them, and that is something I will always be grateful for, as it has helped me grow my skillset and prepare me for my future endeavors.”

FSU’s Student Employee of the Year awards are named for Tony DiBenedetto, an FSU alumnus, 30-year executive, serial entrepreneur, thought leader and former Tribridge chairman and CEO. DiBenedetto credits much of his growth and development to the skills he learned from supervisors during his time as an FSU student employee.

The awards are bestowed upon one outstanding undergraduate student employee and one outstanding graduate student employee who demonstrate strength, skill and characterwhile delivering exceptional customer service and always going above and beyond the duties of the role.

The Career Center also honors student employees with awards named after an aspect of the institutional seal. The 2020 recipients are:

The Vires (Strength) Award recognizes the student employee who consistently goes above and beyond their job duties, taking initiative in his or her role: Patrick Martin, a senior economics and political science major from Miami, was nominated by the Office of Institutional Research.

The Artes (Skill) Award recognizes the student employee who best demonstrates critical thinking skills in the workplace: Devyn Wallin, a senior editing, writing & media student from Oviedo, Florida, was nominated by the College of Medicine Public Affairs and Communications Office.

The Mores (Character) Award recognizes the student employee who exemplifies outstanding professionalism in all aspects of the role: Christine Lopez, a senior communication disorder major from Miami, was nominated by the Florida Center for Reading Research.

The Torch (Professionalism) Award recognizes the student employee displaying exemplary customer service: Jordan Velez, a graduate student in sport management from West Orange, New Jersey, was nominated by FSU Campus Recreation.

To further celebrate the important work done by FSU student employees, The Career Center is encouraging departments to celebrate student employees through social media using the hashtag #NolesAtWork.

For more information on the FSU Career Center, visit career.fsu.edu/seoty.