News Date: 

Source: The Red and Black


Published, April 11, 2007

Francesca Valente's personnel file is "bursting with comments," said one Ramsey center Official - all of them positive.

As an aquatics senior manager at the Ramsey Center, Valente works about 20 hours a week at the pool, contributing whenever and wherever she can - lifeguarding, managing the pool and teaching swim classes.

"It is rare to find someone who will try everything," said Matt Hackett, associate director of student affairs at the Ramsey Center. "This recipient will try everything. Her personnel file is just bursting with comments."

Valente, a senior from Marietta, was chosen from 2,200 student workers on campus as the first University of Georgia Student Employee of the Year.

Valente, along with 103 other top student employees, was honored Tuesday during a luncheon at the Georgia Center as part of the University's celebration of National Student Employee Week, taking place at universities across the nation this week.

Valente will go on to compete at the regional level.

The awards were organized by the Student Employment Office in the Career Center.

A committee from the office picked nominees based on letters of nomination from a student's employer that included statements about the student's quality of work, professionalism and contribution to their department.

Food services employee Isaac Lew and Campus Transit bus driver Demarrio McClary were named first and second runner-up.

McClary, a senior from Augusta, started working for Campus Transit in 2004.

This year, he won the state transit rodeo, competing against 30 career bus operators from around the state in tests of driving laws and safety.

He will go on to represent Georgia at the International Transit Rodeo in May.

Lew, a training specialist in Food Services, has changed how the department interacts with its Spanish-speaking employees, said his nominator, Kris Ingmundson.

Lew, a senior from Atlanta, translated the deparment's three-hour training program, two-day food safety seminar and several manuals into Spanish.

Ingmundson said the employees feel comfortable coming to him for help.

"He makes sure English isn't a stumbling block to learning the details of that process," Ingmundson said.

Because all of the job skill sets were so different, picking the top student worker was difficult, said Christie Sanders, career consultant and assistant director of the career center.

Sanders was a member of the committee that selected the top student employee and said there were some applicants, like Valente, whose nomination form would continuously float to the top.

"All of us had her in our top group," Sanders said. "It was not just in the job she did, but how she did it."

Every student nominated received a certificate of appreciation.

Assistant Director of the Career Center and head of Student Employment Services Ronnie Swoopes encouraged employers in all campus departments to treat their student employees this week.

"Bring them cookies, take them to lunch," he said. "Do something every day during the course of the week to recognize them."


Published by The Red and Black, April 11, 2007