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National Student Employment Week 2024

Monmouth University is celebrating 28 years of honoring student employees by participating in National Student Employment Week, April 8–April 12, 2024. The week showcases the importance of student employment in higher education, recognizes those students who perform outstanding work while in college, and thanks employers who hire and make the program such a success! The Student Employee and Supervisor of the Year awards will be announced during the week via the Student Employment website and social media.

Congratulations and thank you to Monmouth University’s 760 student employees and 108 on- and off-campus supervisors participating in the National Student Employment Week! The Student Employment team is looking forward to celebrating and honoring Monmouth University’s student employees. We will be having some great giveaways and other events starting Monday, April 8th.

The Purpose of the Week

  • To enhance awareness of student employment and its important role in higher education experience.
  • To recognize and reward the vital work that our student employees perform both on and off campus while attending college.
  • To thank all the employers, who hire students for part-time positions and make the student employment program such a success. 

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming events!

Student Employee of the Year 2024

Sofia D'Alessandro headshot

Sofia D’Alessandro, Office Assistant at School of Education, Dean’s Office

Supervisor: Rebecca Hanly, Assistant to the Dean

NSEA recognized Sophia as the winner nationally in the category of Critical Thinking for her work as Office Assistant for the School of Education. Her nomination letter was one of 31 universities throughout the US including small, large, public, and private Universities. Here are a few schools on the list: Auburn, Boston, Loyola, Purdue, George Washington, Miami, Texas and Oklahoma. Congratulations!

Favorite Student Employment Memory: I have many memorable moments from my student employment, but my favorite one is when I got the chance to help plan various events for the School of Education. Being able to dive into the world of event planning, from creating invitations, flyers, and other decor to picking out food options and watching the event come together successfully, is always a great and rewarding experience. As I gained more experience, I was given more responsibilities, such as co-hosting first-year events that introduced new education students to the School of Education through games like Jeopardy and Kahoot. These events were always enjoyable and highlights of my semester.

Please share what your job has given you: No words can truly express what working as an office assistant in the Dean’s Office for the School of Education has meant to me over the past two years. As someone who is working towards becoming a teacher, being surrounded by passionate educators and leaders who want the best for their students has been a great source of inspiration for me, and I have taken much of that inspiration into my own teaching philosophy. Having an incredible boss who encourages me to learn new skills, take risks, and respect my input as a member of the team has given me the confidence to grow not only as a student and employee but also as a person. When I applied for this job during my freshman year, I never could have imagined the connections I would make and the knowledge I would gain. All these experiences have forever changed me and my future career. I am grateful for every memory and for everyone who has supported me throughout this journey.

Read Sofia D’Alessandro’s nomination letter

I would like to nominate Sofia D’Alessandro for Monmouth University’s Student Employee of the Year 2024. Sofia could be nominated as an exemplary student employee in any of the five categories, but I think the trait she best exemplifies is critical thinking. Many student workers do their job and nothing more, and there are limits to the kinds of tasks you can give them and expect success. Since the day she began to work in the Dean’s Office a little over two years ago, Sofia has soaked in every experience, task, and bit of information presented to build her own knowledge system of the School of Education. She then applies that ever-evolving knowledge to every task given to her. With Sofia, I know that I can give her a job that is complex and challenging, and even if something unexpected happens, she will use critical thinking to adjust and get the job done at a high level of quality.

After her first year working with me in the SOE Dean’s Office, it was apparent that Sofia could keep up with multiple priorities, including long-term projects. So, during the summer of 2023 at the Dean’s request, we set out to fully revise and edit the School of Education website. After taking WordPress training, Sofia set about creating a system through Google sheets of tracking each page and sub-page (approximately 250 of them!). Through this sheet she would keep up with whether a page was assigned to a faculty or staff member for review, was in progress, or was complete. Although we shared this spreadsheet, Sofia was the one who built it and made 75% or more of the actual website changes. As anyone who has edited a complex set of webpages before knows, one change can set off a cascade of other changes. Sofia would always see ahead to what these potential problems would be (for example, removing a page causing dead links in other places), and alert me to them, or most often, go ahead and solve the problem and then tell me about it to confirm she had done the right thing. When we needed to change something that we had not learned how to do in our training, Sofia would “just Google it” and figure out how to do it. If we did reach the limit of our editing abilities, then together we would construct a diagram and/or detailed instructions for the Webmaster of what we needed done to the page. As this project has continued for several months now, Sofia understands that some of our original assumptions about how this would play out have changed, and she has adjusted. The Dean is very pleased with the progress we have made, and I know it never would have come this far without Sofia.

Another area that Sofia uses critical thinking is with the creation of posters and flyers, in both print and digital formats. No matter the topic or event that needs promoting, Sofia will use all the resources at her disposal to make the best visual possible. It is challenging to balance giving enough information while maintaining a clear, aesthetically pleasing visual–and of course following brand and logo guidelines too. To strike that balance, Sofia experiments with the design elements and then consults others around the office for opinions and advice. She does not settle for “good enough;” she will keep searching for a better solution or a new idea. She will often mock up two or three versions of something and then we’ll talk about the pros and cons of each one before making a final decision. Not only is her perspective as a student valuable, but I also value her opinions and judgments as highly as I do those of my regular, full-time colleagues.

Finally, I would like to stress that Sofia’s critical thinking allows her to fully understand her role. I have had other student workers who might focus on just the tasks I give them, or just the customer service aspect (answering the phone, greeting visitors). They would not put it all together. Sofia understands that it is ALL part of the job. During her first summer (2022), I asked her to organize a long- neglected storage area in the basement of McAllan. Some might find this to be just tedious grunt work— and it was. Sofia saw beyond that, however, and now all the office staff and some faculty go to that storage room multiple times in a week and are able to find needed items. Programs and events go more smoothly, and often we are able to avoid making purchases because we know exactly what we have and where it is. I would also like to mention that she understands the entire mission of the University (serving students), such that she applies things she has learned in this position to her other job in First Year Advising (FYA). When she noticed that FYA regularly sent requests to the Webmaster for simple website changes, she asked if they didn’t know how to use WordPress. They did not, and so through her encouragement and guidance, the FYA staff are now taking training to be able to do website editing on their own!

In summary, Sofia exhibits critical thinking every day she comes to the office—she doesn’t just “do work,” she makes decisions about how to do things based on what she knows about the mission and values of the School of Education and Monmouth University. As we look ahead to her senior year in 2024-25, it is bittersweet because we both know that her time on campus (and thus on the job) will be less and less due to student teaching. Not surprisingly, Sofia herself has been reminding me that I need to look for a new student worker that she can help transition into her role. I know that Sofia will be an exemplary teacher when she graduates, and I trust that her experiences on the job here, both using and honing her critical thinking skills, will be a benefit to her future students, colleagues, and supervisor.

Supervisor of the Year Award 2024

Harry Termyna

Harry M. Termyna, Career Coach, Career Development

Nominators: Jessica Bisciotti, Sonia Naples, Kyra Widecki

Favorite Student Employment Memory: Seeing the amazing student staff members grow during their time at Monmouth and become more confident in their roles each and every shift! Also, reflecting on our commendable progress during our end of semester breakfasts!

Previously: Student Employee at Monmouth University

Read Harry Termyna’s nomination letter

Working for Career Development has been a transformative, memorable, and amazing experience, and that is all because of our amazing supervisor, Harry Termyna. Writing this letter I speak for myself, Jessica Bisciotti, and on behalf of my coworkers, Sonia Naples and Kyra Widecki. Together, we believe Harry should be named supervisor of the year for the following reasons.

First, we believe that Harry has done an especially amazing job integrating the three of us as members of the staff. The Career Development office is a very tight knit group that works together to serve all Monmouth University students. So it can feel a bit intimidating for a newer employee to fit in and find their place among the group. But Harry has gone out of his way to make us all feel like valuable, important, and irreplaceable parts of this team. From our very first days as student employees to now, Harry gives us real and meaningful work to do, and always makes sure we know how appreciated our work really is. While we are all student workers, Harry has made sure we never feel that we are only student workers.

Harry has also gone above and beyond to become a mentor to each one of us in our own ways. For me personally, Harry became an advisor for the Senior Class Council, where I serve as the Vice President. Every time I come in to work he makes it a point to talk about how things are going, recap meetings together, and help me navigate the challenging task of planning and executing senior week. Harry will sit and listen to my thoughts or concerns without ever shutting me down, and offers thoughtful advice for me whenever he can.

Finally, Harry has done a great job instilling the mission of our department into each one of us. When I joined the department as a first year student just one month into my education, securing a job was the last thing on my mind. I may not have understood why creating a resume was important or why networking mattered, but in no time at all Harry shaped me into a proactive student who can give real career advice to my peers and classmates. I’ve gotten to work on real student resumes, meet with students to discuss internships, and overall adopted the mission of Career Development as my own. I think this became really clear for all three of us when we saw just how seriously we took the career fair this year, and how personally invested we were in the success of the event. Because of Harry, each one of us has become a passionate member of the Career Development team, and we now all embody these values because of him.

Below I’ve included remarks from Sonia and Kyra on why they believe Harry deserves this honor, and we hope that you are able to officially recognize him for how much he’s impacted each of us as student employees.

My name is Sonia Naples, and I believe that Harry deserves nothing less than this award. I have been working for career development for almost two years, and he has been the best mentor and boss I could have ever asked for. When I come to work, I feel like one of the members of the staff. He always makes sure to ask me about how my week is going and how I am doing. But even more than that, when it comes to work, he goes above and beyond to make sure we’re always learning and challenging ourselves. Harry is a mentor to me and is always there when I need guidance on a task. When teaching us how to do things around the office, he appreciates when we ask questions and makes sure we understand what we are doing. He has taught us not only Career Development tasks, but skills that I can take with me after I graduate. Harry is the type of boss that makes you feel happy to come to work everyday. I truly believe he is absolutely deserving of this award!

My name is Kyra Widecki, and having worked with Harry for a little over a year, I can say that he undoubtedly goes above and beyond when it comes to making me feel valued and acknowledged. I don’t go a single day of work where he doesn’t ask me how my weekend was, how my classes are, how my friends are and is always there when I need to rant. Harry has such an approachable demeanor and a genuine interest in our successes. He always makes sure I am involved in decision making processes and does a great job at recognizing our individual strengths. For example, he helped me get out of my comfort zone when it came to tabling events and presentations. If I was uncomfortable or nervous he would talk me through it and make sure there was nothing to worry about and that he would stay by my side. Harry not only listens but he helps cultivate a workplace where everyone feels like they are an integral part of the team. I help Harry with resumes and any projects needed for our events and I couldn’t be more excited to do so. Harry deserves this special recognition for being such an amazing supervisor, boss and friend

About the Student Employee of the Year Award

The National Student Employment Association (NSEA) sponsors a program for Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY). Nominations were submitted to the Student Employment Office in February 2024. A committee at MU reviewed the nominations and picked one winner that best meets the criteria of at least one of the NSEA award categories, then submit that nomination to national committee.

We will recognize Monmouth University Student Employee of the Year winner and all campus nominees during National Student Employment Week ( April 8-12) .

Each spring, NSEA coordinates a selection process and chooses the National Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) to recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who work while attending college. This year, NSEA is going to award winners in each of the following categories: Community Service, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership, Technology & Innovation, and Critical Thinking

Nomination of a candidate requires a one-page submission letter to the Student Employment Office highlighting the student’s accomplishments. As you will see in the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Competencies list, the National Student Employment Association modeled their categories off of this competencies list.

Student Appreciation Week – April 8-12

  • Promotional giveaways every day!
    • Media Monday
    • Trivia Tuesday
    • We Appreciate You Wednesday
    • Thankful Thursday
    • Find It Friday
  • Swag goodie bags delivered to departments
  • Deck the Door contest
    • This is a fun event to work collaboratively with your student employees to create a door display for the week.
  • The April 10 issue of The Outlook will feature a Thank You page paying tribute to student employees