Lauren accepting award

Written by Karen Lauritsen on April 21, 2014

Outstanding student employee of the year nominees and winner!

Cal Poly’s Outstanding Student Employee of the Year awards reception was held last week. Among the nominees were three students from Kennedy Library — Ben Kieffer, Matt Rice and Lauren Young, who was named second runner up!

Lauren is everywhere

At Kennedy Library, Lauren is a Library Research Assistance Technician (LibRAT). She’s also the chair of the Student Library Advisory Council, the founder of Symposium: Student Journal of Science and Math and a special correspondent at large for Kennedy Library Out Loud.

Elsewhere on campus, Lauren is a teacher’s assistant in the English department and has worked as a SAFER volunteer. She was, for more than a year, also an undergraduate research assistant in the microbiology laboratory and is now a department assistant in the biology department.

Brett Bodemer, humanities and social sciences librarian and general education instruction and reference coordinator, led the nomination for Lauren. It included recommendations from a large team of people who reflect Lauren’s deep involvement on campus:

  • Ellen Calcagno (Admin Analyst – CSM Biological Sciences)
  • Lisa Coffman (Lecturer in English)
  • Karen Lauritsen (Communications & Public Programs)
  • Jesse Vestermark (CAED Librarian and Chair of the Student Library Advisory Council Co-Advisor)
  • Marisa Ramirez (Digital Scholarship Services)
  • Sarah Faye Cohen (Associate University Librarian)

Lauren in a snapshot

Marisa Ramirez, who as digital scholarship services librarian has worked with Lauren as she’s launched her student-focused journal Symposium: Student Journal of Science and Math, described Lauren in a way familiar to all of her nominators:

I’ve found her ideas to be original, engaging and well-defined, reflecting her ability to translate complex concepts into plain, direct language that others can understand. She is an active, self-motivated, self-directed learner, willing to take on challenges well-beyond what is expected. She always came prepared to meetings, took copious notes, asked incisive questions, and, as I soon learned, between meetings she independently conducted additional research on the relevant topics, driven by an intrinsic desire to learn and grow.

Lauren is graduating this spring with a degree in biology and minor in English. This fall, she will attend graduate school at New York University in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. Congratulations, Lauren!

Student designers also nominated

Photo of three designers

Conny Liegl, our web designer, nominated Matt Rice and Ben Keiffer from her student design team. Here’s what she said about them in her nomination:

Matt continuously finds creative ways to push ideas further and to develop strategies for implementing his ideas—all while upholding his attention to detail. Anna Gold, university librarian, commented after seeing the final design for Banned Books Week 2012: “It’s a great display and the artwork is exceptional!”

Ben’s designs help define the visual identity of Kennedy Library. One of the biggest challenges is the library maps project, which he has taken it on as a senior project, making him a liaison between his college faculty and Kennedy Library’s leadership team, truly embracing Cal Poly’s “Learn by Doing” philosophy. About the project, Ben said, “I want to challenge myself to create a system that is user friendly and interactive, so that anyone who steps in the doors can find whatever it may be they are looking for with great ease.”

All student assistants are appreciated

The library employs around 100 students in every department. Without them, the library wouldn’t be able to offer the services and programs we do.

“We are so proud of all our student assistants, for their leadership and creative energy.” – Anna Gold

Featured photo: Lauren accepting her award from President Armstrong.

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