Staff member named Michigan's student-employee supervisor of the year

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Alexia Alexander holding her Michigan award certificate.

Alexia Alexander shows off her state award certificate.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators has chosen its Student Supervisor of the Year for the state of Michigan, and the honor goes to a Western Michigan University staff member.

Alexia Alexander, of Kalamazoo, interim associate director of financial literacy, planning and outreach in WMU's Student Financial Aid office, was announced in May as MASEA's pick for Michigan's top supervisor of students for 2018. The award recognizes the outstanding leadership, professionalism and mentoring of student employment supervisors.

WMU announced in February that Alexander had been selected as WMU's 2018 Student Supervisor of the Year. The announcement was made at an awards reception held during the University's 32nd annual Student Employee Appreciation Week. Also earning awards were Jon Curtis, of Portage, who was named the Gary L. Belleville Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year, and Kimberly Carroll, of Kalamazoo, who was named the Graduate Student Employee of the Year.

To be eligible to participate in the regional competition, institutions that are MASEA members must submit the name of their school's supervisors and student employees of the year. MASEA membership is open to institutions in the 14 states that make up the Midwest region.

Alexander

Alexander has been a WMU employee since January 2018. The unit she directs in Student Financial Aid promotes, educates and supports a holistic and inclusive financial wellness culture at WMU through presentations, workshops, peer-to-peer counseling and other activities.

In nominating her for WMU's award, one student cited her for being a "great supervisor and mentor," as demonstrated in part by her willingness to take a personal interest in student employees; share her skills, knowledge and expertise; and provide career guidance as well as constructive feedback.

"Ms. Alexander makes it a priority to do one-on-one meetings with me weekly. We collaborate on our agenda items ahead of time and set aside one-hour blocks to meet face-to-face," another student wrote. "When Ms. Alexander is with me, she is fully present and gives me her undivided attention. She shows curiosity in my work and ideas, and is strategic in helping me to overcome potential obstacles."

Curtis

Curtis, who expects to graduate in June 2020, is a junior majoring in gender and women's studies. When named Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year, Curtis had worked in the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students since spring 2015 as the student office manager.

In that position, Curtis was an effective leader, assigning and allocating numerous tasks to student employees as well as answering client questions, making client referrals, and conducting presentations for WMU students and staff members, among many other duties.

"Jon has been an incredible student employee for the past several years for their professionalism, hard-work ethic, program development and coordination of events," the supervisor nominating Curtis wrote.

Among the activities Curtis was singled out for was helping to create WMU's first trans art fest for National Trans Day of Visibility. For that and other activities, Curtis also received a 2018 Office of Diversity and Inclusion Excellence in Diversity Award.

Carroll

Carroll, who expects to graduate June 23, is pursuing a master's degree in social work. At the time she was named Graduate Student Employee of the Year, she had been employed in the University's Residence Life office for close to a year as a graduate assistant hall director.

In that role, Carroll assists her hall director, primarily by supervising the front desk, including training, hiring and scheduling student workers; setting the hall's program agenda and advising its student government; and serving on campus committees.

"Kim's worthiness for this honor comes from consistently exceeding job expectations," her supervisor wrote in nominating her.

Visit WMU's Student Employee Appreciation Week website for photos of all three award winners and a listing of this year's nominees.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.