By Jeff Murphy, April 16, 2020
From left to right: Jaclyn Crawford, Brooke Hasty, and Rebecca Schwartz, the top finalists for the 2020 Student Employee of the Year honors.
WARRENSBURG, MO – Dedication to a job well done paid off in the form of monetary awards ranging from $100 to $500 for three University of Central Missouri students who were the top finalists for Student Employee of the Year honors.
The annual awards program is coordinated by Human Resource and Career Services, and
with the assistance of area employers who donate financial contributions to the program.
These gifts help honor top student workers who exhibit abilities related to teamwork,
digital technology, communication, problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, intercultural
fluency, career management, and leadership. The top three honorees were selected by
a committee which reviewed nominations from individuals who know these students through
Jaclyn Crawford, a senior from Amsterdam, Missouri, who works in the School of Computer
Science and Mathematics, claimed first place, resulting in a $500 prize sponsored
by Joe Good State Farm. Qualifying for second place and a $250 prize was Brooke Hasty,
a senior from Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, who works in Accounts Payable. Her award was
sponsored by McConnell & Associates. The third-place prize of $100 sponsored by ReDiscover
went to Rebecca Schwartz, a junior from Shawnee, Kansas, who was employed in the Success
Award recipients were selected and announced during National Student Employment Week,
April 6-10. Nomination letters submitted on behalf of these award winners describe
what made them exemplary candidates for recognition.
Crawford has many different tasks in her role in the School of Mathematics and Computer
Science. She has assisted with managing the office, assisting with accreditation visit
pre-visit activities, organizing information for scholarships, photography at events,
tasks related to enrollment and loading course schedules in the Banner data management
system, and organizing special events and receptions within the school. When the office
professional is out, she serves in the role of a receptionist, communicating face-to-face
with office visitors and staff in a professional manner, always polite and listens
before responding, according to the faculty member who nominated her for the award,
Belinda Copus, assistant professor in computer science, cybersecurity and software
engineering. Copus added that Crawford has demonstrated a strong work ethic, going
above and beyond expectations.
“The Saturday before our accreditation visit started, Jaclyn came into the office
to help me,” Copus wrote. “She didn't want me to finish the tasks alone. I did not
ask her to do this, she just showed up on Saturday. I welcomed the help. Even though
the work she was doing on this project could be thought of as just ‘task’ by her,
she adopted an ethic of ‘whatever it takes’ to make the visit a success.”
As a student employee in Accounts Payable, Hasty often uses her skills as a strong
communicator to work one on one with the office manager and other staff members. Her
duties include training other student employees, scanning, indexing and reviewing
vendor payments using Xtender software. Additionally, she reviews and enters payments
to vendors in the University's accounting system, Banner.
“This is typically done by a full-time staff member but, with recent year downsizing,
we have used Brooke in lieu of a full-time employee on many occasions,” wrote Vicky
Howery, manager of accounts payable. “Within the past year, the Office of Technology
upgraded the Xtender system. Brooke was instrumental in testing some of our functionality
and reporting problems encountered so that they could be solved. Brooke’s internship
last summer involved using new software named Vyond to write Human Resources training
programs for a company in Illinois. They were impressed with her skills and have asked
her to continue with a couple of projects by working remotely during her final year
As an academic success coach in the Success Advising Center, one of Schwartz’s major
responsibilities is to campaign students to get them to come in and talk about academic
progress. The nomination letter on her behalf cited her continual efforts to be creative
in the ways she reaches out to students as well as residence hall directors in an
effort to help students succeed in their education at UCM.
“She always seems to be one step ahead of the student and understanding their need or use of technology,” wrote Katy Bird-Marcuson, academic success advisor. “As a student herself, she realizes how her peers spend their time and what a conventional way of contact is and she has been very successful in her outreach. She is also cognizant of how many outreach attempts have occurred before throwing other ideas out there. I appreciate her creative way of thinking to ensure students’ needs are being met and that we are able to provide ample support as they navigate college.”