April 14, 2008

Dunnigan wins dual student employee honors

by Andrea Hahn

student employees

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale student Jarin E. Dunnigan has a nice addition to his resume. Not only is he the 2008 SIUC Student Employee of the Year, he is also the 2008 State of Illinois Student Employee of the Year.

Dunnigan and the two SIUC finalists, Julia N. Kozuck and Alexa R. Young, received their certificates and awards at a morning ceremony today (April 14). Dunnigan receives a $400 scholarship and the two finalists each receive a $200 scholarship. As the statewide winner, Dunnigan also receives a $75 cash award from the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators (MASEA) and a certificate of award from MASEA in conjunction with the National Student Employment Association.

Dunnigan, the son of Darin and Krystal Dunnigan, hails from Flora, in Clay County. He will graduate next month with two bachelor's degrees, one in administration of justice with a minor in forensic science, and the other in psychology.

Dunnigan joined the SIUC Department of Public Safety Saluki Patrol in April 2006. He started as an officer and is now a lieutenant with the patrol. In his current position, he supervises 16 other student employees. His responsibilities include scheduling daily duty rosters, arranging training schedules, keeping and reporting statistics, maintaining equipment inventory sheets and interviewing prospective employees of the Saluki Patrol.

Dunnigan was instrumental in the transition and day-to-day operation of the Night Safety Transit Service. He works self-assigned details with other Saluki Patrol officers at special events, with the Night Safety Transit Service and at Morris Library and the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building. His supervisors say he always maintains a high degree of professionalism and has earned respect throughout the police department.

As a high school student in Flora, Dunnigan participated in Jobs for Illinois Graduates, a statewide program used in more than 50 high schools that features a curriculum combining classroom and community activities. His current plans include graduate studies at SIUC in the master's degree program for administration of justice.

According to his award nomination material, Dunnigan's "self-discipline, courage, compassion, dedication to public service and great integrity" made him the "perfect choice" for SIUC Student Employee of the Year.

Kozuck, the daughter of Mark Kozuck and John and Cheri Razim, is from Roscoe, in Winnebago County. She graduated cum laude in December 2007 with a bachelor's degree in German studies, and is finishing her bachelor's degree in speech communication with a specialization in organizational communication now.

Kozuck joined the University Housing team in 2004, initially as a tour guide and office assistant. Her "can-do" attitude took her far beyond that job description. For example, she helped set up a better way to archive "Daily Egyptian" articles pertaining to University Housing, making the system more user-friendly and efficient. Kozuck accepted a promotion to Student Tour Guide Manager, which included management of the University Housing tour program and compilation of a new student employee-training manual. Her supervisors say she is a helpful trainer for new employees and also maintains a professional rapport with University Housing staff. They add that she is a "an asset to the recruitment and retention efforts of the University." Kozuck was also a member of the Student Orientation Advisement Registration (SOAR) staff and acts now as a supplemental instruction facilitator.

Kozuck involves herself with other areas of campus life. She was a member and vice president of her residence hall council, and was among the undergraduates representing the College of Liberal Arts during the introduction of the SIUC Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the membership coordinator for SIUC Students for Barack Obama. She shows strong academic achievement, including earning several scholarships such as the Liedloff Scholarship and the Buschek Award for Travel as well as appearing on the Dean's List for her college.

Her nomination material indicates Kozuck "understands that she is always a representative of this University and of University Housing and works to be a positive reflection of our organizations."

Young, the daughter of Larry and Renee Young of Lockport, in Will County, is a junior majoring in elementary education with an emphasis on science. She works with the SIUC Student Center Scheduling Office, where her professionalism and creativity are valued as much as is her initiative. Young revamped some of the routine tasks to improve output and professionalism within the office, particularly as regards new technology. Young also works with the SOAR office.

She is busy away from the office, too, as she contributes to other aspects of campus life. Young is co-chair of the Relay for Life-Kids Activities committee, volunteers as a Student Life Adviser and a volunteer fifth-grade reading tutor at Carbondale New School. She is a member of the SIUC Elementary Education Student Organization and a handpicked member of the new Dawgpound Student Organization.

Young is committed to enhancing the SIUC student experience, her nominating materials say, noting "her contribution to the scheduling office is unique in that she has become a 'face' of the Student Center."


SIUC's Student Employee of the Year Winner and Finalists  – From left are finalist Alexa R. Young (Lockport), employed with the SIUC Student Center Scheduling Office; SIUC and state of Illinois winner Jarin E. Dunnigan (Flora), a member of the SIUC Saluki Patrol employed by the SIUC Department of Public Safety; and Julia N. Kozuck (Roscoe), a member of the University Housing team.

Photo by Steve Buhman