WMU News

Top student employee, student supervisor named

March 26, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University has named Jennifer S. Smith as Student Employee of the Year and Scott P. Hennessy as Supervisor of the Year. The two were honored at a February reception during WMU's 2004's observance of Student Employment Appreciation Week.

Smith of Kalamazoo is scheduled to graduate in April with a major in biomedical sciences and minors in chemistry, management and psychology. She has worked at the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office all of her University career. Smith received high praise for her professionalism, efficiency, strong work ethic, initiative, warm personality and good sense of humor as well as her willingness to take on extra tasks, no matter how large, small or difficult.

Brian Kantz, Miller Auditorium Ticket Office manager, commended Smith for being a major part of the auditorium's operations. Kantz noted several examples in his nomination, including her advocacy for Miller's student and part-time employees, development of a ticket sales plan for targeted patron groups, and creativity and thoroughness when training new ticket office staff.

"Jenny is the rock of consistency in my office. It will be a difficult day when she graduates," he wrote. "She sees our ticket office as an extension of the show people see on stage. She understands that the ticket office is the first act in the patrons' experience at Miller Auditorium."

Hennessy, student outreach coordinator for WMU's Office of Admissions and Orientation, supervises 40 student employees and numerous student volunteers who interact with prospective students through such high-profile activities as the Campus Tour and Student Ambassador programs; the WMU Information Center; and special telephone, Web and e-mail information and counseling services.

The Kalamazoo resident was nominated by many of his student workers. They consistently cited him for being a good boss and friend, always putting their educations first, and maintaining a positive, lively work environment marked by professionalism and mutual respect.

"Scott instills in all of us a sense of pride in our work. He makes us feel as though every day is an opportunity to make a difference," one student nominator wrote.

Another student nominator noted that Hennessy has helped develop WMU's Student Ambassador Program into a successful tool for recruitment as well as a highly effective service that educates students about the transition from high school to college.

"The WMU Student Ambassador Program...is a model for colleges and ambassador programs nationwide," the nominator wrote. "Through his (Hennessy's) guidance and example, I have learned the meaning of teamwork, leadership and true professionalism--skills that I will carry with me not only as I prepare to enter the work force, but also throughout the rest of my life."

A former student employee himself, Hennessy joined the admissions and orientation office in 1992 as a graduate assistant. He was hired as a full-time assistant director for the office one year later and promoted to his current position in 1999. He earned two degrees from WMU, a bachelor of business administration in 1991 and a master of arts in organizational communication in 1995.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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