The Florida State University Career Center hosted the ninth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony April 10 to recognize the valuable contributions of student employees who serve as a vital force on campus, providing valuable services and support to faculty, staff, and their peers.
The event highlighted the positive impact these outstanding student employees continue to have on the university community and beyond.
“It’s crucial to recognize the important role that student employment plays in the university community,” said Li Pon, senior assistant director for experiential learning and co-program manager for SEOTY. “Many students who work on campus are able to build their resumes, develop their communication and teamwork skills and gain real-world experience that can’t be replicated in the classroom.”
“It’s crucial to recognize the important role that student employment plays in the university community. Many students who work on campus are able to build their resumes, develop their communication and teamwork skills and gain real-world experience that can’t be replicated in the classroom.”
— Li Pon, senior assistant director for experiential learning and co-program manager for SEOTY
The university’s overall Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award is named after FSU alumnus, DiBenedetto, 35-year executive, serial entrepreneur, thought leader, and former Tribridge chairman and CEO. He credits much of his growth and development to the skills he learned from supervisors during his time as an FSU student employee.
“Student employees perform invaluable services with enthusiasm, dedication and initiative,” said Leslie Mille, interim director of The Career Center. “These students deserve our university’s recognition and gratitude, because they are often the backbone of many offices, serving in essential roles and providing staff valuable information and feedback from a student’s perspective on how to improve our services and programs.”
A committee of representatives from different divisions of Florida State University came together to review the 87 nominations received from both the Tallahassee and Panama City Campuses and select winners for the overall Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year and Category awards. The overall award is bestowed upon one outstanding student employee who demonstrates strength, skill and character and innovation, diversity and inclusion, while going above and beyond the duties of the role.
Griffin Bradford received the Overall Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award. Bradford was nominated by David Larbalestier, chief materials scientist of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and by Lance Cooley and Ulf Trociewitz from the Applied Superconductivity Center.
The Career Center also honored student employees with category awards, each named after an aspect of the institutional seal, as well as FSU’s drive for innovation and its commitment to an inclusive campus. The 2023 Category award recipients are:
The Torch (Diversity & Inclusion) Award recognizes the student employee who demonstrates empathy and compassion for others and who values cultural fluency in their role. Kristina Feliciano, a master’s student studying materials science and engineering, was nominated by Jonathan Morgan from the Center for Translational Behavioral Science.
The Spark (Technology & Innovation) Award recognizes the student employee who has best utilized technology in their work in supportive and innovative ways. Michaley deLeon, a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Science program, was nominated by Cindy Wilson from the Florida Center for Prevention Research.
The Vires (Leadership) Award recognizes the student employee who consistently goes above and beyond, taking initiative in their role. Gabi Mastando, an undergraduate student pursuing accounting, was nominated by Samantha Nix and Heather Epstein-Diaz from Institutional Research.
The Artes (Critical Thinking) Award recognizes the student employee who best demonstrates critical thinking skills in the workplace. Alexandre Barr, an undergraduate student majoring in political science, was nominated by Phil Gleason from the Master Craftsman Studio.
The Federal Work Study Office also recognized Jayremay Garcia for her contributions and hard work demonstrating her critical thinking skills. Garcia is an undergraduate student majoring in clinical professions and was nominated by Michael Kaschak from the Department of Psychology.
The Mores (Community Service) Award recognizes the student employee who exemplifies outstanding service to the community and has a passion for helping others. Emem Kierian, a master’s student in the public health program, was nominated by Kathyrn Baughman from the Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health.
To celebrate FSU student employees, The Career Center is encouraging departments to share photos of their student employees on-the-job using the hashtag #NolesAtWork.
For more information on Career Center services, programming or initiatives, visit career.fsu.edu.