For the first time since the inception of the National Student Employee of the Year Program in 2006, a UC Davis Student has advanced to become recognized as the Northern California 2009 Student Employee of the Year.
Kyle Dubs, a senior communication major, has been working as a resident student firefighter on campus since September 2006, logging an average of 80 hours per month split between four 14 hour shifts and one 24 hour shift.
“I feel really honored,” Dubs said. “This is a really big deal and I’m glad that I’m able to give back to the university. Working with the fire department has been a really unique experience for me. It’s like a second family, everyone is really close and helpful.“
Forty-six UC Davis students were nominated for the awards, which took place Friday afternoon in Memorial Union II. Dubs was one of three finalists selected by a committee of five people to receive the student employee of the year award for his work.
“We decided to split the awards into three categories this year,” said Effie Forson, Student Employment Center assistant and junior nutrition sciences major.
The three awards were for students who exemplified principles of the UC Davis community, principles of the greater community (referring to Davis and Yolo County) and principles of the entire community, which refers to the interaction of the campus with its surrounding environment.
“There were over 4,300 hundred students employed in positions across campus at the end of the fall quarter, and 2,300 more with unpaid internships,” said Monica Pena-Villegas, assistant director of the Student Employment Center.
Eligibility for the award is determined by several factors: the student must be enrolled full time at UC Davis, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5, work at least 10 hours per week and have been employed for a minimum of six months in the position for which they are being nominated.
Long Nguyen, a senior psychology major, and Danielle McTaggart, a junior human development major, were also nominated as finalists for student employees of the year in consideration of their excellent work records.
Areas of consideration for the award include: reliability, quality of work, initiative, uniqueness of contribution to UC Davis, contribution to the community and displaying principles of the community.
“Long’s commitment to Freeborn Hall and his incredible work ethic made him indispensable to this operation,” said Cecilia Villalobos, Nguyen’s Supervisor at Freeborn hall. “As a student manager, he not only supervises and motivates his own peers, he truly inspires them to be better employees.“
Of the three finalists, Nguyen is the only one who does not intend to pursue his current career outside of college. McTaggart, who is currently working as a babysitter, plans to continue working with children after college, specifically addressing the needs of disabled children.
The three each received a plaque documenting their achievements, a $75 gift certificate to the UC Davis Bookstore and will have their names engraved on the Student Employees of the Year plaque at the Student Employment Center in Dutton hall.
The program was first made possible by a grant from UPS, but has since been funded by an administrative allowance from the Financial Aid Center.
CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at email@example.com