Alvin Gonzales

Susan Jere Patrick with the Office of Financial Aid presents the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Employee of the Year Award to Alvin Gonzales, a graduate student from Evergreen Park majoring in computer science. Gonzales, employed by the Department of Public Safety, designed a campus safety app during his employment with the department. (Photo by Steve Buhman)

March 31, 2017

Alvin Gonzales named ‘Student Employee of the Year’

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale honored outstanding student employees with a reception and award presentation today (March 31) in appreciation of the contributions they make to the university.  

Alvin Gonzales, a graduate student from Evergreen Park, majoring in computer science, is this year’s Student Employee of the Year. Jennifer St. Louis, a junior from Carbondale, majoring in health care management, is the runner-up. 

Gonzales is a technical assistant with the SIU Department of Public Safety. Bernadette Barnes, Local Area Network administrator with traffic and public safety, nominated him. 

His work with public safety has benefited the entire campus. Gonzales was instrumental in creating and developing the SIU SafeWalk smart device application. The app allows SIU students, faculty and staff to request a Saluki Patrol officer to escort them as they walk on campus at night. 

“One of the greatest things about Alvin is his resourcefulness – and also his attention to detail,” Barnes said.  She noted that creating and launching SIU SafeWalk required Gonzales to write source code for the server and for Android, iOS and Windows phone versions, to have knowledge of Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP, Android SDK and SQL. He adjusted the existing software to make the app user-friendly and map interactive. The app is available from the Department of Public Safety website, GooglePlay and iTunes stores. 

“Creating the SIU SafeWalk app is an example of going above and beyond his job duties,” Barnes said. “It was an opportunity that Alvin grabbed and ran with.” 

Gonzalez is a member of the Quantum Information Research Group in the Department of Physics. He recently presented his research at a meeting of the American Physical Society. He is a past volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity, and he was a language partner volunteer. 

St. Louis is an IT technician for SalukiTech. Abby Razer, IT technical associate with campus information technology office, nominated her. 

St. Louis is responsible for handling and managing daily operation of SIU’s campus-wide printing and software licensing, and she provides support for IT’s use of Microsoft SharePoint. St. Louis created a more efficient student payroll verification system. Razer said the new system reduced the department’s student payroll workload “by at least 50 percent.” 

“Jennifer is an adaptable individual who leads by example,” Razer wrote in her nomination letter. “On a daily basis, I am impressed with her attention to detail. She has my highest recommendation for the student employee of the year.” 

Other nominees for the 2017 SIU Student Employee of the Year were:

• Ogboda Alamon, Porto-Novo, Benin, nominated by Jean Stift, Center for International Education

• Marissa Amposta, Mundelein, nominated by Barbara Bickel, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

• Amber Billings, Carbondale, nominated by Andria Nix, School of Allied Health

• Savanah Bullock, Benton, nominated by Beverly Baker, University Housing

• Katherine Decker, East Peoria, nominated by Lichange Wang, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

• Jarett Dewitt, Orland Park, nominated by D. Scott Frisch, School of Architecture

• Caroline Dunn, Crestwood, nominated by Marian Woodside, Department of Psychology

• Shelby Heckert, Sikeston, Mo., nominated by Todd Dugan, flight services

• Leah Johns, currently of Carbondale, nominated by Trent Stevens, MEDPREP – Medical Education Preparatory-SMC

• Renee Kinzinger, New Athens, nominated by Susan Graham, College of Agricultural Sciences, Dean’s Office

• Marisa Murphy, Palatine, nominated by Beth Heren, Center for Learning Support Services

• Andrew Parton, Minooka, nominated by Nancy McCalla, Department of Agribusiness Economics

• Sabrina Waz, Algonquin, nominated by Cara Doerr, College of Applied Sciences and Arts

• Kyle Whittington, Elkville, nominated by Barbara Tuthill, School of Medicine – Carbondale administration CORE-SMC