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Student Employee of the Year Award

 

 

 

Candace Cravey
Student Assistant, Crimson Tide Foundation

The UA Department of Human Resources is proud to highlight the accomplishments of Student Assistants that contribute to the essential daily operations of The University of Alabama.


For the Crimson Tide Foundation, student assistants work to aid staff members in a variety of ways. Primarily, they are responsible for managing the reception desk, assisting visitors, answering phone calls and managing the Foundation’s main email account. They also prepare and distribute mass mailings and UPS shipments, take inventory, work registration and serve as hosts at events including donor tours and receptions, sideline pre-game access for football games, Nick at Noon, Scrimmage viewing parties, and countless more. Their role even extends to compiling research and updating basic donor information, errands, deliveries and assisting with special projects.

Candace’s supervisor, Lindsey Blumenthal, describes that Candace’s role far exceeded the responsibilities required of her student a job and wrote wonderful things about Candace in her nomination for Student Employee of the Year. Below are some of the insights she shared with our office: 

Q: How has this student demonstrated reliability in the workplace?
Candace has had a significant impact on our department through the processes she has impacted and the tremendous asset she has been to our staff whose loads have been lightened by her ability to manage important projects. Beyond that, her natural happiness and the joy she displays in helping others and making a difference to those she works with is beyond compare.

Q: How has this student demonstrated above average quality of work?
Candace quickly became the leader among our student employees. While she has no distinction in title or pay, it is evident that she is considered the lead student employee by both our staff and her peers. During the past year, Candace assumed a large responsibility of managing our gift acknowledgement process. I noticed that she was staying late on several occasions to get projects complete for one staff member or another after she had finished the day’s acknowledgement letters. Our Staff was so comfortable with her, they preferred that she stay their primary “point person” because she had a way of quickly understanding what was required and getting it done correctly.

Q: How has this student demonstrated initiative at work?
Candace is constantly looking for ways to grow and improve herself professionally and ways she can positively impact our department. That is very rare in a student employee. If she sees a project that another student was working on and did not finish, she is quick to ask if she can help complete it. She desires to do more than the job calls for. Her commitment to excellence in the workplace is an example for all those who work with her. A specific example of her initiative, and the resulting impact on our department was that she organized and created a methodical system for updating our Athletic Director’s Administrative Assistant with the information needed to create individual, personalized letters from the A.D. to donors meeting certain criteria. This is a very labor intensive, and detail-oriented task that must be completed with absolute accuracy. She saw where we could improve our process of reporting this information, and worked to do just that. This is not a task that has ever been entrusted to a student employee before, but she has executed it flawlessly.

Q: How has this student demonstrated professionalism in the workplace?
During the past year, Candace assumed a large responsibility of managing our gift acknowledgement process. Soon after she started managing that project, it became apparent to me how vital she was to our entire staff. I noticed that she was staying late on several occasions to get projects complete for one staff member or another after she had finished the day’s acknowledgement letters. Because it is in her nature to be helpful and responsible, she would never tell a staff member that she didn’t have time to complete their project, so she was staying late (sometimes on her own time) to get it done. Because of the professionalism she demonstrated in her work, we established that Candace would be able to accept a project from a staff member and then delegate it to another student employee based on their schedules and strengths.

Q: How has this student made a unique contribution to the workplace?
I have never supervised a student employee who was as invested in the success of the department as Candace is. She approaches everything with a positive attitude, which lifts everyone around her. She is very intelligent, but is able to break down complex ideas so that anyone can understand. She often goes out of her way to explain or mentor another student employee who may be having a difficult time understanding a project or task. She does this with a smile and a helpful attitude so that the other student appreciates her help. She is a stellar role model for our other student employees, encouraging them to be their best, as she strives to be every day.

She also has great care, concern and compassion for others. She is extremely thoughtful and displays genuine concern for those she works with. That is also quite rare to find these days.

 

The University of Alabama employs more than 4,000 student employees in any given academic year.  If you are interested in learning more about providing student employment opportunities or working as a Student Assistant, please contact Austin Fann at 348-4354 or afann@fa.ua.edu.