April 13, 2004

SIUC honors Student Employee of the Year

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - A "team player and innovator" at SIU Press is Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Student Employee of the Year.

With 6,000 student workers, SIUC runs one of the largest such programs in the country. The financial aid office sponsors the annual award, selecting winners based on their reliability, initiative, professionalism and the quality and uniqueness of their work.Aaron N. Richart, a senior majoring in electronic systems technologies from Robinson, received the award today (April 13) during a reception at Lentz Hall, held annually in conjunction with National Student Employment Week.

Also recognized during today's ceremony were the two finalists for the award: Andrea L. Wolfe, a sophomore in speech communication from Du Quoin, and Luke K. Sherrill, a senior in psychology from Jacksonville.

Richart, the son of Donald and Kathy Richart, is "a true colleague respected by the editors and support professionals here at the Press and an integral part of our operation," wrote SIU Press Associate Director Susan H. Wilson in a letter nominating Richart. "Aaron's contribution to SIU Press is significant: He has initiated, set up and maintained a new method of selling scholarly books online."

Richart created online stores that attract and keep a large number of returning customers.

"His work . . . has been innovative, and more important at this time of reduced state budgets and a depressed economy, financially successful," Wilson wrote.

Richart also maintains Press file servers, workstations and software.

"He possesses a professional maturity far beyond his years and a dedication to his job that is inspiring to those around him," Wilson said.

Richart will receive a $500 scholarship on April 22 during Chancellor Walter V. Wendler's "Excellence Through Commitment" awards dinner.

Wolfe, the daughter of Joseph and Karen Wolfe of Du Quoin, handles a variety of tasks for graduate programs in Workforce Education and Development. She is responsible for word processing, maintaining accurate records and helps solve technological programs.

In her nominating letter, Professor Marcia A. Anderson wrote, "Part of her responsibilities includes the scheduling of master's and doctoral committee meetings for program planning and oral defense of research papers. Coordinating the schedules of students, professors and business professionals can be very challenging, but Andrea is excellent at finding a way to get the task accomplished quickly and professionally."

Anderson said Wolfe "has also proven her ability to relate well to the diverse graduate student population we serve on campus and across the U.S."

Sherrill, the son of Steve and Sue Sherrill of Jacksonsville, works in the psychology department's behavioral neuroscience laboratory. He conducts animal behavioral assessments, training and shaping animal behavior, handling and caring for laboratory rats, and building and maintaining laboratory equipment, among other duties.

In nominating Sherrill, Professor Douglas C. Smith wrote, "His irreproachable reliability, high standards of quality, initiative and professionalism are further enhanced by his cheerful disposition, enthusiasm to learn and willingness to assist in all aspects of the research. For Luke, working in the lab provides an opportunity to understand and possibly find help for a life-threatening situation."