Student Employees 2012

Outstanding student employees -- SIU Carbondale honored outstanding student employees today (April 10) at a breakfast recognition ceremony.  From left are finalist Sarah Self, Student Employee of the Year 2011-2012 Jacob D. Huffstutler, and finalist Prisciliano Fabian.  (Photo by Andrea Hahn) Download Photo Here

April 10, 2012

Huffstutler named Student Employee of the Year

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale honored outstanding student employees today (April 10) at a breakfast recognition ceremony.

Jacob D. Huffstutler, a senior physics major from Mt. Vernon, is this year’s Student Employee of the Year.  Finalists were Prisciliano Fabian, a graduate student from Alto Pass majoring in workforce education and development, with a specialization in family and consumer science; and Sarah Self, a senior currently of Carbondale majoring in university studies.

Huffstutler is a laboratory assistant working with Richard West, a lecturer in the physics department.  West said Huffstutler has, in the two years he has worked in the laboratory, become “an integral part of our lab.”

Part of what makes Huffstutler so capable in the lab, West said, is his ability to relate what he learns in the classroom to the laboratory activities.  He is also able to take what he learns to help tutor fellow students as a supplemental instructor.  Further, Huffstutler was able to take his laboratory experience and apply it to his own classwork.  He wrote four research papers for upper division physics research courses based on his laboratory work, which was focused on carbon dioxide sequestration in organic rocks and clays.   His papers weren’t just suitable for the classroom.  Huffstutler co-authored an article forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journal “Preprints of Symposia,” a publication from the American Chemical Society’s national meeting.

Fabian is a campus visit program student worker with Undergraduate admissions.  Paul Copeland, a customer service assistant in that department, nominated him for the honor.

Copeland praised Fabian for exceptional dedication to the fundamentals of his job, including his self-motivation, and also for his initiative and drive.  He gave several examples of Fabian’s commitment extending beyond the usual.  For example, he keeps himself up to date on new Registered Student Organizations to enhance his presentation of the campus when talking to prospective students.  Overall, in fact, he consistently receives positive feedback from prospective students and their families.

Self is a Safe Zone Program lead trainer for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Resource Center.  Wendy Weinhold, center coordinator, nominated her for the award.

“Sarah models so many of the qualities you seek to recognize in our student employees,” Weinhold wrote in her nomination letter.  “She is a reliable professional who produces high-quality work without any prompting.”

Weinhold went on to note how often Self volunteers extra, non-paid time, at the Center and at the Rainbow Café safe meeting site because of her dedication to the mission of the Center, her overall compassion for her fellow students, and, simply, her organizational skills and self-motivation.

SIU Carbondale employs approximately 4,400 student employees annually, with an annual payroll of at least $11 million each year.

Terri Harfst, director of the Office of Financial Aid, noted that student employees make a significant impact on the campus community and on the area economy as well.

She noted, too, that the paychecks, as important as they are, represent only part of the advantages of student employment.  She referred to her own days as a student employee at SIU Carbondale at the Student Recreation Center, where she not only built her resume, but also made life-long friends and a lasting support system.

“You are doing more than just going to work,” she told the students at the breakfast.  “You are going to work and making a difference.”

Other nominees were:

• Phillip Bickart, Recreational Sports and Services, Chicago

• Angela Bolling, Morris Library, Carterville

• Ryan McKennedy, Marketing, Carbondale

• Chad Magner, Student Health Service, Grenada

• Christine C. Minton, Management, Wheaton

• Arielle Thompson, University Housing, Chicago

• Courtney Vinyard, University College/Saluki First Year, Norris City