Caitlyn Mann of the Office of Financial Aid and Honorine Rouiller of The Graduate School emerged as the top winners at the Florida State University Career Center’s eighth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony on April 13.
Mann, a double major in criminology and psychology from Panama City Beach, Florida, received the Tony DiBenedetto Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year Award, and Rouiller, a Ph.D. candidate in French from Le May-sur-Evre, France, won the Tony DiBenedetto Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award.
The SEOTY awards, conducted virtually this year, are named for Tony DiBenedetto, an FSU alumnus and 30-year executive, serial entrepreneur, thought leader and former chairman and CEO of Tribridge. DiBenedetto credits much of his growth and development to the skills he learned from supervisors during his time as an FSU student employee.
“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. “Students’ work helps our institution achieve excellence in teaching, research, creative endeavors, service and innovation.”
More than 63 nominations were received from departments and divisions within the Tallahassee and Panama City campuses.
“The work of our student employees is one of the many reasons why we are recognized for our institutional excellence.”
— Myrna Hoover, director of The Career Center
“The work of our student employees is one of the many reasons why we are recognized for our institutional excellence,” said Myrna Hoover, director of The Career Center. “Student employees provide essential roles in many offices, and they also provide us with valuable information and feedback from a student’s perspective on how to improve our services and programs. Those of us lucky enough to employ these incredible students have an opportunity to provide a meaningful experience that helps them develop skills for their future career, and often these mentee-mentor relationships turn into friendships that last a lifetime.”
The two overall awards go to one outstanding undergraduate student employee and one outstanding graduate student employee who demonstrate strength, skill and character while delivering exceptional customer service and always going above and beyond the duties of the role.
Mann received her award for her contributions to outreach efforts within the Office of Financial Aid.
“We rely on undergraduate student employees, yet she stands out as the most hardworking, independent and personable student that we have ever employed,” said Kassandra Starrine, Mann’s supervisor and nominator.
As a student affairs assistant for the Southern Scholarship Foundation in the Office of Financial Aid, Mann led a project to improve outreach efforts for underrepresented counties. The project tracked which counties had a minimal number of applicants and opened communication lines for more students to learn about scholarships.
“She leverages technology, uses inclusive communication skills, thinks critically on how to improve our processes, embraces all our residents, leverages her opportunities to build career competencies, and has grown to be someone that we cherish here at the office,” Starrine said. “She is easily the top-ranking student employee we have had the pleasure supervising during my career.”
Each year, the Tony DiBenedetto Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year winner is advanced for consideration at the regional level through the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators (SASEA).
Rouiller received her award for her work managing The Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards #GradImpact project throughout the pandemic. The project amplifies the voices and experiences of graduate students by highlighting their contributions to the history of FSU through research and work in action.
“At the start of the pandemic, she suggested a virtual video series, ‘Coffee and Conversation,’ birthed out of the need to create community and connection for graduate students in a time where we had to adapt our services to a remote learning and living environment,” said Adrienne Stephenson, Rouiller’s supervisor and nominator. “This outlet was crucial in providing graduate students with a space to feel safe, normal and heard.”
Rouiller also supervised undergraduate students and expanded her technological skills to advance the mission of The Graduate School, specifically in web development.
“[She] builds trust with every student that she connects with,” Stephenson said. “This has fostered a positive environment in the office and more widely among graduate students from all backgrounds and disciplines. Her ability to learn, multitask, teach, lead and serve will make her an amazing professor and mentor in the future.”
The Career Center also honored student employees with category awards, each named after an aspect of FSU’s institutional seal.
The 2022 Category award recipients are:
The Vires (Initiative) Award, which recognizes the student employee who consistently goes above and beyond their job duties, taking initiative in his or her role: Steven A. Gross, a finance major form Port Charlotte, Florida, who was nominated by Stephanie Dillon in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.
The Artes (Critical Thinking) Award, which recognizes the student employee who best demonstrates critical thinking skills in the workplace: Toshiaki Kanai, a Ph.D. student from Osaka, Japan, who was nominated by Wei Guo in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.
The Mores (Professionalism) Award, which recognizes student employees who exemplify outstanding professionalism in all aspects of their role: Kadian Jasmin, a double major in criminology and psychology from Ocala, Florida, who was nominated by Priscilla Hunt and FSU Libraries, and Nina Rosso, a finance major from Tampa, Florida, who was nominated by Deborah Gill for her work in the Information Technology Services Fiscal Operations Department.
The Torch (Equity & Inclusion) Award, which recognizes the student employee who demonstrates a commitment to equity and inclusion in the workplace: Brandon Saridjo, a master’s student in social work, who was nominated by Robin Haggins and the Office of Transfer Student Services.
To further celebrate the critical work of our FSU student employees, The Career Center is encouraging departments to share on-the-job photos of their student employees using the hashtag #NolesAtWork.
For more information on Career Center services, programming or initiatives, visit career.fsu.edu.