2018 Student Employment Appreciation Week

The 2nd week of April each year is designated by the National Student Employment Association to recognize the substantial contributions of students who work on campus at Universities and Colleges. Prairie View A&M University student employees develop inter-personal skills that are invaluable in any career as well as being better prepared for the job market after graduation. PVAMU benefits from employing students to better support our departmental goals and staffing needs across campus. Experience is just one benefit that students come away with after their time working on campus. Student employees often need to take out fewer loans to help pay for their education by earning a significant part of their college expenses through the “Earn & Learn” program. We are proud to employ over 1,200 student employees during the 17-18 academic year which is a large increase from past years. The additional student employees are reflective of the growth in enrollment and interest in PVAMU.

Dr. Corey Bradford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs was a student employee during his college years and understands the importance of this program for each student. He is a strong believer and supporter in the development and training of our student employees and is the largest sponsor of the Student Employee Appreciation Week activities. This year had an even greater number of programs and opportunities for student employees to work together in groups or to participate in learning new skills. Each day a new activity was presented and often a new group of student employees enjoying the opportunity.

Each day, the Student Employment Office held a drawing where a randomly selected student employee won a $25 Panther Card prize. The winners of these drawings were Olufunmilayo Ibironke, Chika Cosmas, Deonte’ Davis, Taylor Shumaker and Tahjai Gibson. On Monday April 9, 2018, the Ms. Kim Gay, a librarian from the JB Coleman library hosted a resume workshop to assist students in updating and revamping their resumes prior to looking for summer jobs or entering the job market after graduation. Also there were shuttles available to take student employees to get a discounted lunch or dinner at Smashburger in Cypress.

A photo/video scavenger hunt took place on Tuesday April 10, 2018. Participants learned about campus historical facts and where plaques, statues or buildings are located. Student employees raced against the clock to find specified locations and snap a photo of the group with that sign, statue or building. Once they were done there was a pizza party for them in the Panther Room in the Athletic Administration Building. Wednesday April 11, 2018 the Student Employment Office collaborated with the Campus Activity Board for “Hump Day” activities; inflatable basketball hoops, archery and human foosball were all part of the fun. The first 50 student employees that stopped by the Student Employment Office received a ticket for a free Bahama Bucks snow cone. On Thursday April 12, 2018, there was Game Night, food trucks and a DJ on the front lawn of the Memorial Student Center. There were board games as well as sack races, bean bag toss, touch football and tug of war. Student employees could also enjoy the food samplings from Southern Taste and Sweet Ride food trucks. The first 40 students to stop by the Student Employment Office that morning received a ticket for 1 free item off either truck. Student employees could also munch on free popcorn, chips or pickles and enjoy bottled water as well.

The 2nd Annual Student Employee of the Year Award Ceremony and luncheon was also held on Friday April 13, 2018. This was the 2nd year to honor a Graduate and an Undergraduate Student Employee for the invaluable services they perform with dedication and initiative in their respective departments’. Selection was based on initiative, professionalism, unique contributions, reliability, and quality of work in their department.

The 2018 Student Employee of the Year for our Undergraduate category is Tyla Bryant. Tyla works as a Student Assistant in the Human Resources Office. She was nominated by Ms. Radhika Ayyar, the Executive Director of Human Resources. She is always eager to help with projects that come up in the Human Resources office as well as going above and beyond the call of duty. She headed the committee that planned the activities for the 2018 Student Employee Appreciation Week. According to her supervisor,”this is the first time we see an empowered and highly focused student who selflessly has worked to give recognition to all student workers”. Also,” Tyla is not only an excellent role model for our student workers, but leads by sheer example of the 4Cs for the other staff and students who seek employment through our office, “ says Director Ayyar.

The 2018 Student Employee of the Year for our Graduate category is Adekanmbi Abayomi. Adekanmbi works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center. He was nominated by his supervisor Research Scientist Ram Ray. According to his supervisor, Adekanmbi is an exceptional member of his team. He has helped to develop a web app to further his research and is optimizing his time at Prairie View to learn all he can. He is always willing to learn and participate in different research symposiums. Over the past 18 months, he has been an invaluable member of the research team led by Dr. Ray.

Two finalists for each category were also recognized for their achievements at the Student Employee of the Year Awards ceremony. The Undergraduate finalists named were Mia Carter and Khaliah Knighten. Mia Carter works in the Human Resources Office as a Student Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Mr. Reginald Willis. Khaliah Knighten works in the Student Housing/ University Square office as a Desk Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Latayshia Reggans. The GraduateAssistant finalists were Walter Merrell and Venesha Vaughn. Walter Merrell works at the Northwest Houston Campus as a Graduate Assistant and was nominated by his supervisor, Ms. Valerie Mendoza Milan. Venesha Vaughn works in The Testing Center as a Graduate Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Mr. Jeremy Sample. The winners, finalists and their supervisors as well as the selection committee were invited to attend a recognition luncheon with Interim Provost Dr. James Palmer and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Dr. Corey Bradford.

The last exciting activity of the week was, Friday April 13, 2018, the 3rd Annual “Battle of the Year” Bowling Tournament at Panther Lanes. Six teams participated, a team from the Library, Human Resources Office, Bowling Alley, Housing departments and two teams from Rec Sports. The winning team received a trophy to put up in their department. Winning members from the Rec Sports teams were Alexis Burton, Shelby Hart, Dunan McCray, Kayla Marsh, Jada Davis, Korbin Lawson and Jailin Singleton. The Student Employee of the Year Award ceremony and luncheon was also held on Friday April 13, 2018. This was the 2nd year to honor a Graduate and an Undergraduate Student Employee for the invaluable services they perform with dedication and initiative in their respective departments. Selection was based on initiative, professionalism, unique contributions, reliability, and quality of work in their department.

The 2018 Student Employee of the Year for the Undergraduate category is Tyla Bryant. Tyla works as a Student Hourly Assistant in the Human Resources Office. She was nominated by Radhika Ayyar, the Director of Human Resources. She is always willing to help with projects that come up in the Human Resources office as well as going above and beyond the call of duty. She planned the 2018 Student Employee Appreciation Week. According to her supervisor,” this is the first time we see an empowered and highly focused student who selflessly has worked to give recognition to all student workers.” Also, “Tyla is not only an excellent role model for our student workers, but leads by sheer example of the 4Cs for the other staff and students who seek employment through our office,” states Director Ayyar.

The 2018 Student Employee of the Year for our Graduate category is Adekanmbi Abayomi. Adekanmbi works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center. He was nominated by his supervisor Research Scientist Ram Ray. According to his supervisor, “Adekanmbi is an exceptional member of his team. He has helped to develop a web app to further his research and is optimizing his time at Prairie View to learn all he can.” He is always willing to learn and participate in different research symposiums. Over the past 18 months, he has been an invaluable member of the research team led by Dr. Ray.

Two finalists for each category were also recognized for their achievements at the Student Employee of the Year Awards Luncheon. The Undergraduate finalists were Mia Carter and Khaliah Knighten. Mia Carter works in the Human Resources Office as a Student Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Mr. Reginald Willis. Khaliah Knighten works in the Student Housing/ University Square office as a Desk Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Latayshia Reggans. The Graduate finalists were Walter Merrell and Venesha Vaughn. Walter Merrell works at the Northwest Houston Campus as a Graduate Assistant and was nominated by his supervisor, Valerie Mendoza Milan. Venesha Vaughn works in The Testing Center as a Graduate Assistant and was nominated by her supervisor, Jeremy Sample.

The winners, finalists and their supervisors as well as the selection committee were invited to attend a luncheon with Interim Provost Dr. John Palmer and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Dr. Corey Bradford. The luncheon was held in the President’s Dining Room on April 13, 2018. The winners and finalists received a plaque of recognition. The Student Employee of the Year recipients were also awarded Panther Packs, valued at $125.

We would like to recognize all this year’s nominated student employees.

This week would not have been possible without the support of Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Dr. Corey Bradford, Campus Activities Program and many other partners and colleagues on our campus.