BYU to name student employee of 2017

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Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Student Employee of 2016, Nathan Hawks, teaches children how to draw animals at the Bean Life Science Museum. (Jaren Wilkey) 

Student employees on the BYU campus have the opportunity to be recognized for their hard work every single year.

BYU employees are awarded by their employer every year for the outstanding work experience during National Student Employment Week. This year’s Appreciation Week will be held from March 27 to 31. The Student Employee of the Year will be named on March 27.

Director of student employment Kathleen Christensen said student employees are important because without them the school would have to shut down.

BYU fills 15,000 to 20,000 student jobs every year, and some students can have more than one job.

“The cool thing about BYU jobs is that we are different from other schools because other schools usually hire full-time staff to do the jobs,” Christensen said. “BYU students can learn things in their jobs that will help them later in life, whether it is working at home, researching or helping them go on to grad school.”

All departments are encouraged to nominate one student employee for the student employee awards program.

“It is a win-win situation for everybody, and each student can get something out of working, including jobs that some would never even think of,” Christensen said.

Students must be current BYU student employees and are expected to complete six months or more of part-time employment, or three months full-time employment during the previous academic year to qualify for the nomination.

The winner will receive a certification of appreciation, and all departments will have the opportunity to honor their nominated student employees.

Bean Life Science Museum Educator Nathan Hawks won the student employee of the year last year after being nominated by his supervisor, Katy Knight, who is the museum’s education administrator. He has worked in the Bean Museum for a total of three years.

“Working while in school is a great experience, and it teaches you lessons you just can’t learn in the classroom,” Hawks said. “I’ve had a lot of doors open for me through my employment at BYU, and I’m extremely grateful for that.”

Hawks said the great part of student employment is these jobs can work around the student’s class schedule, which is something working off campus doesn’t always offer.

He said he loves his job and being awarded made him feel like he contributed to the museum in a positive way.

“The fact that BYU seeks out people who are trying to succeed not just in school but in work helps promote the value of hard and honest work, something we know is important to our Heavenly Father,” Hawks said.

There will be one winner and no runner-up this year. This year’s nominations for Student Employee of the Year have closed. The presentation of the award will be held on March 27 at 11 a.m. in room 3220 of the Wilkinson Student Center.

Interviews, photographs and refreshments will follow after the presentation.

Wade Ashton, manager of staff and administrative employment at BYU, said the program receives many nominations for Student Employee of the Year from diverse departments all over campus.

“Each nominee is a highly valued contributor to their department and performs important functions in an exceptional manner and only one can be awarded but so many are deserving,” Ashton said.

Ashton said all the individuals nominated represent the overall quality of thousands of student employees serving all over the campus.

“I don’t know of any other University who is able to rely so heavily on a student workforce, which is a testament to caliber of our student employees who faithfully observe the Honor Code and practice those principles at work,” Ashton said.