This year, two talented student assistants from Kennedy Library were recognized with honors at Cal Poly’s Outstanding Student Employee of the Year awards reception. Glen Beebe, a programmer in Library Information Technology, was named Cal Poly’s top student employee out of 49 nominees from across campus, and Jennifer Ray, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science (CAFES) librarian student assistant was named second runner up. Three cheers for Glen and Jennifer!
Glen, a computer science junior, was honored for his work writing code for Kennedy Library’s website, including for an interactive experience for Banned Books Week, as well as for writing an add-on to Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) that automates the book request process. That add-on has now been made open source, and is used by over 25 libraries across the country to facilitate book loans.
“We got a couple of thank you’s from other libraries,” Glen said.
On the Banned Books Week project, Glen collaborated closely with art and design students Fiona Fung, Kate Johnson and Alan Yeh. It includes many fun interactive features, including a personal banned book survey, and more than 24 libraries linked to the infographic, leading to more page visits for Kennedy Library.
Glen’s been programming for almost as long as he can remember, and looks for opportunities to continue learning and creating, he said.
“My dad’s a computer programmer so I definitely get my foundation from watching him and being around computers my entire life,” Glen said.
That creativity is part of why he was nominated, wrote his supervisor, Conny Liegl, in the nomination form. “His generosity of spirit, team-player attitude and natural problem-solving mindset propel him to share his ideas freely and encourage others to incorporate his ideas or parts thereof,” Conny wrote.
Plus, Northern California Region and Western Regional winner
Though Glen knew Conny had nominated him for an award, there were plenty of surprises at the awards reception. Shortly after learning of his Cal Poly win, he and all in attendance learned that he was also the Northern California Region and Western Regional winner. Those honors are awarded by the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators. His recognition includes a small financial award and plaque.
“It was a surprise for sure, but quite an honor,” Glen said.
“He won and we all screamed,” said Conny.
Kennedy Library had not one, but two students honored at the luncheon. In addition to Glen’s win, student assistant Jennifer Ray was named second runner up.
Jennifer works with CAFES librarian Katherine O’Clair to help her provide research resources to agriculture students. This includes everything from updating research guides to making copies to helping teach research literacy courses.
Katherine has been delighted to see Jennifer grow as a person and a professional over the three years they have worked together, as she explained in her nomination letter for Jennifer: “I have witnessed a young freshman transform into a competent young professional with exceptional character.”
In addition to working at Kennedy Library, Jennifer is also a student assistant at the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication. Her work led her to be “nominated two times by two different people,” she said. She was recognized for her work in both positions.
“There was no doubt in my mind that she would receive an award,” Katherine said.
In the future, Jennifer plans to combine both skill sets and work in agricultural public relations, helping people understand where their food comes from, she said. After she graduates with honors this year, Jennifer will go on to pursue a graduate degree at Kansas State. Her work at Kennedy Library will be instrumental.
“To be a good communicator you need to have the knowledge to share with others,” Jennifer said.
Both Glen and Jennifer do Kennedy Library proud, as they embody Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, using their college careers to launch their futures.
Check out some of Glen’s work from Banned Books Week here.
Information on Ag Circle is available at the Brock Center’s site.