NSEA Student Employee of the Year
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Rachel Wonderlich
Iowa State University
Named National Student Employee of the Year 2016

Rachel Wonderlich with Supervisor Brenda Allen on left and 2016 NSEA President Ann Wessman on right
Rachel Wonderlich with Supervisor Brenda Allen on left and 2016 NSEA President Ann Wessman on right

This year's National Student Employee of the Year award winner, Rachel Wonderlich, is a senior majoring in child and family services from Ollie, Iowa. She has been employed since September 2014 with ISU Extension and Outreach, providing support for 4-H staff and volunteers throughout the state of Iowa. Her professionalism, enthusiasm, and attention to detail have served her well, as has her willingness to seek feedback and constantly improve her skills.

Rachel partnered with a field staff member to put together a 3-day track for the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference on the topic of global citizenship, presented educational workshops to youth and staff across the state via webinar, and prepared and delivered two staff development workshops. She has reached out to interview individuals as far away as Ghana to tell the story of what global citizenship means and relate its importance. She also created two new websites and a monthly newsletter to help spread the message, contacting staff from other states to discern what had been successful for them.

Rachel was the inaugural student hired for this role, helping to shape the structure and expectations going forward. Her efforts have reached across all of Iowa's 99 counties, touching up to 25,000 individuals.

The Student Employee of the Year program continues to be one of NSEA's finest endeavors. It is truly remarkable the way colleges and universities unite to show support for the accomplishments of its student employees. I think Rachel's comments though, highlight the positive impact that employers can have on student employees, and the responsibility we bear in ensuring that they succeed:

"The awards are an acknowledgement of the hard work, initiative, etc. that I brought to my job. But for me, it's more than that - it's something I can hold in my very hands and say "Not only did I survive, but I conquered those tests in life." Because of that, I will always be eternally grateful to my supervisors and coworkers."

The National Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) is selected from Regional winners. This year, 2856 students were nominated for SEOTY in their respective region-766 in MASEA, 501 in NEASEA, 1029 in SASEA, 560 in WASEA-a 3.25% increase over last year's 2766 nominations.

Ann Wessman
2016 NSEA President

Previous NSEA Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Winners

2016 2016 Rachel Wonderlich, Iowa State University – MASEA
2015 Coleman Tharpe, The University of Texas at Austin – SASEA
2014 Joshua Absher, Berea College – MASEA
2013 TJ Nguyen, Auburn University – SASEA
2012 Cassandra Gribbons, Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University – SASEA
2011 Travis Huhn, Marquette University – MASEA
2010 Ryan Stevens, University of Montana, Missoula – WASEA
2009 Barron Neil Gilbert, Valdosta State University – SASEA
2008 Jessica Scruggs, Berea College – MASEA
2007 Ivan Markov, University of Missouri-Kansas City – MASEA
2006 Chris Lauer, St. John's University – MASEA
2005 Daniel Hamrin, Marquette Unviersity – MASEA
2004 Ryan Fikes, Texas A & M University – SASEA
2003 Eric Stromstad, University of Minnesota – MASEA
2002 April Lee, University of Findlay – MASEA
2001 Katherine Grams, Louisiana State University – SASEA
2000 Valeri Schaefer, U of Colorado at Colorado Springs – WASEA
1999 Justin Hallquist, U of Minnestoa – MASEA
1998 Jason Miller, Berea College – MASEA
1997 Charlotte Teneback, College of Charleston – SASEA
1996 Jennifer O'Neil, Bowdoin College – NEASEA
1995 Theresa Chi Yan Lui, U Hawaii/Manoa – WASEA

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