The Florida State University Career Center recognized the positive impact student employees have on the Florida State community during its fifth annual Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards ceremony Monday, April 8.
“This ceremony is a reminder of the importance to recognize the vital student employee contributions to our university,” said Li Pon, SEOTY program manager and senior assistant director for experiential learning. “Studies have shown that engagement in student employment increases career readiness and positively correlates to success in post-graduation first destination plans.”
Abigail Centers, an undergraduate research assistant at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, is the winner of the Undergraduate Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award. The senior computer science major from Marianna was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the MagLab, including a database development project and an instrumentation monitoring system, both crucial to the operation of the facility.
Centers advanced for consideration at the regional level through the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators (SASEA). Regional judges selected Centers as the 2019 SASEA Student Employee of the Year from a group of 22 finalists who were chosen to represent their institutions from a pool of 800 students nominated in the region. This is the first time FSU’s institutional winner also received the regional award.
She is now among four regional student awardees being considered for recognition by the National Student Employment Association.
“It means so much to me to be recognized as FSU’s Student Employee of the Year and the 2019 SASEA Regional Student Employee of the Year Award for something I truly enjoy doing,” said Centers. “This would not have been possible without my mentor, Dr. Julia Smith. Under her guidance, I have learned a lot about what it takes to be a computer scientist.”
Tyler Bruefach, who works in fitness facilities operations at Campus Recreation, won the Graduate Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award. A doctoral student in sociology from Stony Brook, New York, Bruefach said his growth in the position has been life-changing.
“A culture of professional development has instilled within me the skills to become a successful professional,” he said. “Most importantly, the incredible relationships forged and experiences had within and outside Campus Recreation are irreplaceable.”
FSU’s Student Employee of the Year awards are named for Tony DiBenedetto, former Tribridge chairman and CEO, who 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 character while 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 2019 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: Denis Aleman, a senior psychology major from Hialeah, was nominated by the Florida Center for Reading Research.
The Artes (Skill) Award recognizes the student employee who best demonstrates critical thinking skills in the workplace: Taegan Dennis, a senior anthropology and international affairs major from Fort Walton Beach, was nominated by Strozier Library.
The Mores (Character) Award recognizes the student employee who exemplifies outstanding professionalism in all aspects of the role: Lindsey Reyes, a senior economics major from Pembroke Pines, was nominated by the Student Government Association.
The Torch (Professionalism) Award recognizes the student employee displaying exemplary customer service: Ankit Patel, a senior chemistry major from Clewiston, was nominated by the ACE Learning Studio.
More than 100 nominations were received from departments and divisions from both the Tallahassee and Panama City campuses.
To further celebrate the critical work done by our 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 the FSU Career Center, visit career.fsu.edu.