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This month’s spotlight features Jolaine Zweifel, computer specialist in the CITE department. Before she came to Northwest, she attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, with an emphasis in Dance. After earning her undergraduate degree, she fell in love with Tom Zweifel, got married and moved to Maryville where they started their family. Ten years later, she decided to get back into the workforce part-time and took a class about using computers. At the time, the graduate assistant teaching the class encouraged her to go back to school and learn more about the computer industry. Zweifel took her advice and went on to obtain a master’s degree in Computer Studies here at Northwest. She has been employed at Northwest since 1996 and has been in the CITE office for 11 years. We would like to spotlight Zweifel for her expertise and dedication in helping create a new student employment online orientation that launched earlier this fall.
In August of 2010, Zweifel was approached by Paula McLain, Coordinator of Student Employment, to champion a project that would help onboard new student employees starting a new job on campus. The idea was to revamp the student employment online orientation. This project would update and create a more interactive model where new student employees would be able to engage and learn through video and activities narrated by their peers. CITE agreed to take on the project and Zweifel organized their team of seven student employees, and started the design process. After working with both student programmers and student videographers in the initial planning phase, the team chose to move forward on the project. Their plan was to write new software and hire student actors who would essentially navigate new student employees through a set of activities to learn the ins and outs of having an on-campus job.
The team endured many trials along the way. Originally expectations were to finish the project by the end of spring of 2011 term. Even though the video production went well, the student programmers kept running into snags with the development of the software. The team lost key players to graduation that spring with the program undone. The summer left CITE with two capable students to finish the project, but as it turns out, shortly after the start of the summer block, both of these student employees went to other commitments. In mid-July, Computer Science faculty, Dr. Carol Spradling, guided Zweifel to a student in the master’s program whom Spradling felt could pick up and finish the project. Purna Annapureddy started in July and did an amazing job pulling the project together. Two other graduate students started in the fall 2011 trimester to help carry the project toward completion. Come December 2011, the project was mostly complete accept for a few major issues. Unfortunately, these 3 students graduated and moved on. Two new students were hired for spring 2012. One of these student employees, Gautham Sura, was able to help Zweifel clear the hurdles and bring the project to completion.
Zweifel states, “Sura has been a positive force for this student employment project. He has learned a great deal, but mostly has shown how he can learn new technologies quickly and apply his knowledge effectively.” Zweifel goes on to boast that Sura has done an “outstanding job closing the gap and pushing the project to completion.” When asked what this entire process has taught her, Zweifel stated, “I learned that the complexities of this kind of project and the newer technologies that it contains do take a great deal of effort, learning and coordination to make it all work together…And we could have never done this without the dedicated student employees in the project, especially Clayton Scott, Purna Annapureddy and Gautham Sura.”
In closing, we would like to thank Zweifel and her team for all of their efforts in the success of launching the new student employment online orientation. Student Employment has moved forward to a new level in developing our student employees because of this team’s efforts. Please take a minute to review all of the student employees who have worked on this project along the way. If you would like to see the new online orientation, please visit http://cite.nwmissouri.edu/se_orientation.