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May 17, 2018
Jessica Vest, an archivist at Northwest Missouri State University, is the Missouri Student Employment Supervisor of the Year, the University announced Thursday during a surprise presentation to Vest.
The state award is sponsored by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators (MASEA) and annually recognizes a faculty or staff student employment supervisor for their characteristics of mentoring, professionalism and leadership.
Each year, student employees, staff and faculty at individual institutions nominate student employee supervisors for institutional recognition. MASEA member institutions then submit their Student Employment Supervisor of the Year honorees for state and regional consideration.
Vest was recognized April 2 as Northwest’s Student Employment Supervisor of the Year during the University’s annual Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony. She joined the Northwest staff in 2013 and oversees University Archives, which is housed in the B.D. Owens Library.
Elizabeth Ohlde, who graduated from Northwest this spring with her bachelor’s degree in communication with a public relations emphasis, nominated Vest for the award. Ohlde worked with Vest for a year and a half and said Vest’s mentorship prepared her for professional work and shaped her to be a better employee. Ohlde commended Vest for entrusting her with projects and teaching her the skills necessary to complete them.
“Jessica letting me work on projects by myself helps my confidence in the work setting,” Ohlde wrote in her nomination. “She shows that she has trust in her student employees. I always feel like she appreciates my work and that I have room to fail.”
Ohlde added, “Jessica’s constant feedback is helpful in the growth of a young employee like me.”
As the University’s archivist, Vest is responsible for cataloging and maintaining pieces of Northwest’s history; as a student employee supervisor, she equips students with hands-on techniques, training and skills in that area. Additionally, she performs executive assistant functions at Owens Library, which creates varied tasks for the students that work with her.
“Jess is serious about thinking ahead and giving her employees clear cut direction and purposeful tasks,” Hannah Christian, a research librarian at Owens Library said. “As a result, her student employees are invaluable contributors to the library staff. Under her guidance, they learn how to do tasks like ordering supplies, researching the prices of antique books and answering the phone with professionalism. She does a careful job of training on each task and provides support and guidance along the way but ultimately lets the students gain experience and confidence by teaching them to perform the tasks independently.”
Kathy Hart, Northwest’s director of library services and operations, said, “Jessica is an exemplary student employee supervisor. Her leadership and mentoring of student employees is a tremendous asset to B.D. Owens Library and Northwest.”
Northwest’s internationally benchmarked student employment program offers about 1,200 jobs to students in all areas of campus, integrating students into University operations while providing them opportunities to gain profession-based experience and build their résumés on the campus.
MASEA began recognizing student employment supervisors in 2015, and a Northwest staff member has won the Missouri award in each of the first four years it has been given. Previous recipients are Kirk Skoglund in Academic and Retention Services, Jeremy Waldeier in the Office of Admissions, and Renee Riedel in Career Services.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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