Philip Shippy — Staff writer
Dordt University will be handing out the first-ever Dordt Student Employee of the Year Award during this year’s National Student Employment Week. The two winners will be recognized and honored for their hard work and excellence sometime between April 11 and April 14.
Students were nominated for the award by their supervisors based on five key attributes: leadership, teamwork, work ethic, attitude, and problem solving. These nominations were discussed by a five-member committee of Dordt staff from “across [Dordt’s] campus at different levels all the way from the vice-president level, director level, and even an administrative assistant,” Kyle Achterhoff, Director of Student Employment, said.
Dordt decided to create this award in order to shine a light on the Student Employment department as a whole and on the students whose work deserves to be seen. According to Achterhoff, over half of all students work on campus.
“If we didn’t have those 750-plus students working,” Achterhoff said, “I’m not sure how well Dordt would function.”
Because of the essential role student employees fill, Achterhoff wanted to emphasize and show appreciation for them.
“Dordt has a Faculty of the Year and a Staff Employee of the Year, and it only made sense to broaden that to also include our student employees,” Achterhoff said.
In order to have been eligible for nomination, students must have held their current job for the entire 2022-2023 school year and must have been in good standing with Dordt. Then, each student’s supervisor had to fill out a questionnaire for the student, rating and writing extensive comments on the five key attributes.
This year, 17 students were nominated, all of whom could have won, Achterhoff said.
“And there are even more across campus that would be deserving,” Achterhoff anticipates that as more supervisors learn about the award, more students will be nominated in the coming years.
While the winners will receive the greatest honors, all 17 nominees will be recognized and honored as part of the award.
Dordt plans for this to be an annual award, although there might not be two winners every time. This year’s race was close enough that the committee decided to honor two students equally.
The award is only one of the plans Dordt has for the National Student Employment Week. Achterhoff’s office will be giving “a special gift to all student employees,” Achterhoff said, as well as “random acts of appreciation” throughout the week.
Photo credit: Dordt University