Center for Career and Professional Development

WCU Student Worker of the Year Program

About the Competition

The prestigious Student Worker of the Year competition recognizes the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who work while attending WCU. The competition begins on the campus level, and advances to the regional (Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators) and national (National Student Employment Association) levels.


The 2017-18 WCU Student Worker of the Year will receive $500, a plaque with his/her name, recognition at his/her college's award ceremony.


Nominees may include undergraduate or graduate students hired through Non Work-Study (Career Services) or Work-Study (Financial Aid). Graduate Assistant, Research or Teaching Assistants are not eligible. Students must have been employed for a minimum of 6 months part-time and who is currently working for your department. You may only nominate one student per department.

Nominate a Student

Download the Guidelines and Nomination Form and submit to Carrie Hachadurian, Student Employment Specialist, either electronically ( or by campus mail (150 Reid). The deadline to nominate a student is Noon Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.

Why Nominate?

Student workers benefit greatly by being nominated for this prestigious award. Not only is it a great way to honor a hard-working student within your department, but it is also an excellent way students can show future employers their outstanding work ethic, professionalism, and skills.

Tips on Nominating a Student

When completing the nomination packet, be sure to:

  • Describe how your student worker has gone above and beyond their duties and responsibilities;
  • Use specific examples to show how your student worker has improved life within your department;
  • Highlight your student worker's work ethic, professionalism, and style
  • Describe your worker's greatest attributes as they relate to the job and what qualities set your student worker apart from the rest.

To view previous winning nominations on a national level, visit the National Student Employee Association's website.

Previous Winners

  • 2012 Student Employee of the Year - Sofia Lilly, ambassador and tutor at the Writing and Learning Commons
  • 2013 Student Employee of the Year - Theodore Waltz, design engineer at the Center for Rapid Project Realization
  • 2014 Student Employee of the Year - Merab Mushfiq, academic skills consultant, tutor, and international student consultant at the Writing and Learning Commons
  • 2015 Student Worker of the Year - Claire Lippy, guide and leader at Basecamp Cullowhee
  • 2016 Student Worker of the Year - Kelsey Loock, architect assistant with Facilities Management
  • 2017 Student Worker of the Year - Shenandoah Ragsdale, student building manager at the Ramsey Center

2017 Student Employee of the Year Winner

Student Worker of the YearShenandoah “Shay” Ragsdale, a graduating senior majoring in Emergency Medical Care, can always be counted on to work diligently a Student Building Manager and as part of the Set Up Crew in the Ramsey Center. “She always has a smile on her face,” said supervisor Ryan Fisher. “Without a doubt, her greatest attribute is her outgoing, always positive, upbeat attitude.”

Ragsdale is responsible for the Ramsey Center after business hours, on weekends and during certain holidays in which she ensures the building is secured. In addition, she supervises student staff during events and trains incoming student staff members to a high degree of expectation. During the December 2014 graduation ceremony in which a potential bomb scare forced evacuation of the Ramsey Center, Ragsdale helped lead her crew of student workers in assembling a last-minute graduation ceremony outside in the stadium.

“She is one of the fastest learners that I have ever met and has quickly picked up on the responsibilities of nearly every position in our department,” Fisher said.

Throughout her experience working with the Ramsey Center, Ragsdale has learned how to work and communicate with people from a variety of backgrounds, she said. “This job definitely teaches you to multitask, and prioritize and delegate jobs to other people in order to get the job done” she said. “It also teaches [students] how to be a leader and how to communicate on different levels.”

When asked what advice she has for other student workers, Ragsdale suggested developing an excellent work ethic. “It doesn’t matter what you do, big or small, people are watching you and will judge your character from it.”

Runners up for the Student Worker of the Year Award include Aaron Alexander, Social Media Marketing Assistant with University Marketing; Carlton Kimber, Housekeeper with Residential Living; El Hayes, Athletic Academic Support with WCU Athletics; Kristy Gaskell, Library Assistant with Hunter Library; Kyle Smith, Technical Office Assistant with Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness; Lauren Bergnes-Sell, Office Assistant with Office of Student Transitions; Logan Long, Business Counselor Assistant with the SBTDC; Mikayla Baldwin, Cat Tran Driver with Transportation and Parking; Rachel Oliver, Course Tutor with the Writing and Learning Commons; Rachel Stamey, Orientation Leader with International Programs and Services; Steven Handy, Intramural Sports Supervisor with Campus Recreation Center;  Wesley Dixon, Lab Assistant with School of Engineering and Technology; and Joanna Woodson, Student Services Corps with the Center for Service Learning. 



Office of Web Services