April 12, 2007
James named top SIUC student employee
James, of Karnak, received the award Wednesday (April 12) in a ceremony at the SIUC Student Center. A senior majoring in kinesiology, with a teacher education specialization, she is the daughter of Charles E. and Sharon D. James of Simpson.
The ceremony, held annually in conjunction with National Student Employment Week, also recognized award finalists Krista L. Riggs, a senior finance student from Quincy, and Matthew C. Yardley, a senior from West Point, Utah, majoring in mortuary science.
James receives a $300 scholarship as the Student Employee of the Year while Riggs and Yardley each receive $100 scholarships. Employing about 4,000 students, SIUC operates one of the largest such programs of its kind in the nation. The financial aid office sponsors the annual award and selects winners on the basis of criteria from the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators, including reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution. There were 23 nominations for the 2007 award.
James works in the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Sheila Cheatham, administrative assistant, Jami Evans, an office systems specialist and Director Will Devenport nominated James, a 3 1/2 year worker in the office. According to Cheatham, James provides significant assistance with the Illinois Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and works with internships for the Information Systems Technologies programs. During the fall, she participated in a quarter-time undergraduate research assistant position in the kinesiology department while employed part-time in Paducah and earning a 4.0 GPA as a full-time student.
James was "very surprised" to be named the Student Employee of the Year for 2007. She spends weekends at her family home near Metropolis and that's helped her juggle her many activities while still working part-time retail. She also enjoys being involved in the Physical Health Educators Organizations, a registered student organization at SIUC involved in community work, recruitment and fund-raising. The group is now help helping prepare for the April 28 Relay for Life.
"I would love to find a job teaching elementary education somewhere here in Southern Illinois" upon graduation, James said.
In praising James for her broad skills, Cheatham wrote that she "truly cares about the impression the school makes both within and outside the SIUC community." Cheatham also noted, "Melody comes in each day with an enthusiastic attitude and shows great professionalism by constantly accepting new challenges."
Riggs, the daughter of Michael N. and Rebecca L. Riggs, is the student office manager for the marketing and public information unit of University Housing. Crystal Bouhl, coordinator of marketing, associate directors Lisa Marks and Glenn Stine, and student graphic designer Nick Marler nominated Riggs. They cited her work as project manager for University Housing's Mid-Year Update, along with her work as a tour guide and efforts to promote all areas of the University. Riggs is a member of the Dawg Pound during basketball games at the SIU Arena. After she graduates, she plans to open a Peoria-area real estate brokerage office and create a charity for single parents.
Yardley, the son of Clyde E. and Gail R. Yardley, works in the dean's office of the College of Engineering. Administrative aide Janet Meadows nominated Yardley, a Weaver State University transfer who with his wife, Susanna, anticipates the birth of their first child in July. According to Meadows, Yardley multi-tasks well, assisting the office with his computer skills, mailroom knowledge, helping with the college's commencement and reception and in other ways. A talented musician, Yardley is active with the youth in his church, spending two years in Paraguay.
Caption: Student Employee of the Year — Melody A. James of Karnak was named the 2007 Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Employee of the Year in a ceremony at the SIUC Student Center Wednesday. James, a senior majoring in kinesiology, with a teacher education specialization, is the daughter of Charles E. and Sharon D. James of Simpson. She was honored for her work in the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.
James is flanked by award finalists Matthew C. Yardley, a senior from West Point, Utah and Krista Riggs, a senior finance student from Quincy. Riggs was honored for her work in University Housing’s marketing and public information unit while Yardley was recognized for his efforts in the dean’s office of the College of Engineering.
The financial aid office sponsors the annual award and selects winners on the basis of criteria from the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators, including reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution.
Photo by Russell Bailey