Advancement opportunity: Student Employee of the Year awarded

Madison Dennis Editor-in-chief

Jessica Hicks, grad student in management and marketing, didn’t set out to be a star employee. Rather, when she first attended Pitt C.A.R.E.S. as a freshman, someone happened to tell her about a job opening in the economics department in Kelce.

She didn’t get the position.

There wasn’t a spot available for her in the economics department. Instead, her name was forwarded to the College of Business, where she started her first day of her freshman year.

“I was the youngest students working there,” Hicks said.

Now, more than  four years later, Hicks has been awarded the Student Employee of the Year award.

Hicks said that she believes she received the award simply because she took advantage of opportunities presented to her.

In the past, she has conducted research for the College, advised students with questions, and aided the Dean, Richard Dearth, in projects. A major project Hicks has headed, creating and maintaining a catalog of faculty publications required for the College of Business accreditation, took about a year to complete and involved a lot of responsibility.

“Once the opportunity came along with the accreditation project I knew it was my chance to show Dr. Dearth I was responsible, organized, and could be trusted with an assignment of this magnitude,”  Hicks said.

On a day-to-day basis, Hicks job changes.

“My everyday isn’t really planned,” Hicks said. “Some weeks I will be working on projects and attending meetings.”

Hicks’ job description depends on what her tasks for the day are.

“I primarily come to work prepared for anything,” Hicks said.

However, her work ethic helps her whether she is involved in everyday tasks such as receiving the mail or larger ones such as designing a mural for Kelce.

“No matter how small the deed, you should always strive to do your best,” Hicks said. “The job at hand has been entrusted to you for a reason – because that person trusts you to complete it.”

More than helping her develop a work ethic, working in the College of Business has also helped Hicks grow in multiple ways.

“When I came to PSU, I had no idea how to be organized or efficient until I joined organizations and began working,” Hicks said. “Being able to work with others, to be confident in my co-workers, to be organized, and have a positive attitude will surely help me during my professional career.”

Hicks also advises student workers to appreciate their jobs on campus. According to Hicks, the access to great mentors and the chance to play a role in the inner workings of PSU is an invaluable experience. She also stands behind a mentality to go “above and beyond.”

“Try to do more than just what is asked of you on a daily basis,” said Hicks. “It only takes one person to recognize those positive actions and change your life forever.”

PSU also awarded a student who works off-campus with a Student Employee of the Year title. This year, Emily Eddy, a junior in education, teaches pre-kindergarten students at Cornerstone Family Church as the learning center coordinator. The runners up were also named in each category. In the on-campus division, Brock Skaggs and Kathleen Ismert came in first and second respectively. In the off-campus division, Trevor Elliot and Brian Gustafson came in first and second respectively.


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