ISU employers recognize student employees


Shelby Hockey, computer science major, accepts the Student Employee of the Year Award from the ISU Financial Aid office. Hockey was accompanied by advisors of the Computer Science Department, who nominated her for the award. The award honors “reliability, quality of work, professionalism, and uniqueness of contribution to Iowa State University.”

John Kruse

ISU employers recognized their employees’ hard work Feb. 25 at the annual Student Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony.

“They are doing things that full time workers don’t do, and that deserves to be recognized,” said Ann Wessman, program manager for the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Every year, the Office of Student Financial Aid offers campus employers the opportunity to nominate their employees who posses excellent work ethic and professionalism. This year, employers recognized 88 nominees, with Shelby Hockey, junior in computer science and undergraduate administrative assistant for the Department of Computer Science, winning the award as Student Employee of the Year.

“I’m still pretty shocked to be honest,” Hockey said. “It’s nice when you get to learn that you are appreciated.”

This marks the third year that the Office of Student Financial Aid has conducted this ceremony. Winners of the award will then move to be judged for a statewide award. Winners of the state ceremony can then be considered for national recognition.

“I am on several awards committees and this is by far the hardest award to win,” Wessman said.

Students nominated for the award must be hired by a campus employer, work six months at their current position and be nominated by their corresponding professor with a letter explaining their excellence in the workplace.

“It’s always a nice opportunity to recognize the students,” said Mack Shelley, professor of political science.

Shelley nominated Samantha Haase, senior in political science and research assistant and secretary, for her excellence in handling a large work load, while still producing exceptional results.

“Sometimes student workers can feel underappreciated, so it’s nice to know you are recognized for your hard work,” Haase said.

On top of holding two positions for the Department of Political Science, Haase also worked as a legal assistant for the Legal Aid Society of Story County.

“I think she was working three different times at one time while working for me, and she still did all the heavy lifting for me,” Shelley said.

Students like Haase were all recognized for their efforts with a certificate acknowledging their hard work. Three of the 88 nominees were brought forth for special recognition of their accomplishments, and Hockey, the winner of the award, was selected for her efforts in the Department of Computer Science. Among other accomplishments, Hockey also worked toward updating and ensuring accuracy for online grants.

“She excels at putting her superiors and peers’ needs before her own,” Wessman said, when speaking about Hockey.

During the ceremony, Matthew Goodman, owner of The Fighting Burrito and Ames City Council representative, spoke to the nominees on how their hard work and confidence will inspire others along the way.

“Mold your arrogance into confidence and you will inspire others to move along that line,” Goodman said.

Wessman said she hopes for the ceremony to continue for many more years because she feels that recognizing student employees’ hard work is essential.

“You all should be proud to be in the company of such an amazing group,” Wessman said to the nominees.