Kristen Woods, a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville junior majoring in corporate and organizational communications, unknowingly greeted Student Employee of the Year officials and well-wishers with the same politeness and efficiency she routinely displays as a general office clerk in the Kimmel Student Involvement Center.
It was only after a bouquet of red and white balloons came through the door this past month, that she began looking around for the intended recipient. Woods, of Red Bud, was surprised with the news that she is the 2019 Student Employee of the Year, an honor given by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Approximately 1,800 SIUE student workers were eligible for the award.
The award recognizes Woods for her dependability, courtesy, professionalism and ability to exceed expectations. It came with a plaque and a $500 SIUE scholarship.
“This is a pinnacle award. We’re here to celebrate the best of the best,” said Denise Cobb, PhD, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We want to congratulate Kristen for representing herself and the University so extraordinarily well. Having a gem like Kristen reflects on the success of the entire campus.”
“Kristen is the perfect person to greet the students and staff who visit our office, and she always does so with a smile,” said Vivian Rodgers, office support associate for the Kimmel Student Involvement Center, who nominated Woods.
“Kristen is always willing to help with projects and often takes the initiative to change practices that may be outdated or could be done more efficiently,” Rodgers continued. “Although she is a student, Kristen does not treat her position as just a student job. She approaches her role and responsibilities with great care, commitment and work ethic. Kristen far exceeds the expectations of her position. She has great autonomy and is an excellent self-starter.”
“I am so excited. It shows that I do care about this job,” said Woods, who has worked at the Kimmel Student Involvement Center for the past two years. “For me, it’s more than just showing up for work. Sometimes my tasks can be tedious, but that doesn’t mean they are not important.”
First runner-up for SIUE Student Employee of the Year was Cody Rettinghouse, of New Athens. Rettinghouse works for Learning Support Services. Corey Wachter, of Elizabeth, was the second runner-up. Wachter works for Campus Recreation. Rettinghouse and Wachter are both third-year School of Pharmacy students.
PHOTO: Kristen Woods, center, a SIUE junior majoring in corporate and organizational communications, was named the 2019 Student Employee of the Year. Congratulating her are Denise Cobb, PhD, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, left, and Vivian Rodgers, office support associate for the Kimmel Student Involvement Center, who nominated Woods.