Bedene named student employee of the year for university and state of Kansas

  Monday, April 9, 2018 2:00 AM
  Milestones, News

Pittsburg, KS

Bedene named student employee of the year for university and state of Kansas

The desire by Michaela Bedene to take charge, achieve success, and excel was what made her stand out to judges as the clear choice as Pittsburg State's 2017-18 Student Employee of the Year.

It also made her stand out as the winner for the entire state of Kansas — a surprise announcement made during the 29th Student Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony on Monday afternoon in the Overman Student Center. The ceremony was hosted by the Office of Career Services.  

Bedene, a sophomore nursing student who works at the Registrar's Office, was one of 26 finalists to be nominated for the award from the more than 600 student employees working on the Pittsburg State campus.  

"In the less than two years that she has been part of our team, she performs and develops procedures that improve efficiency and customer service," her nominator, Debbie Greve, wrote. "She is professional, and her dedication and thorough knowledge of the processes serves this office, our students, and this university unlike any other student employee. She fully embraces the ability to assist where she is most needed and works diligently to provide the best service to not only this office, but all those we serve."  

Bedene, who is from Franklin, Kansas, was presented with a framed certificate and a medallion that she may wear around her neck during her commencement ceremony in 2020.   

During the awards ceremony, Pittsburg State President Steve Scott, who was once a student employee on campus himself, said the university couldn't operate without student employees.   

"Your roles are extremely important to us," he said. "In a word, you're awesome."  

In turn, Scott noted, the students benefit from employment beyond just a paycheck. Their colleagues in offices and departments across campus often serve as surrogate parents, encouraging the students when they have upcoming tests, asking how their weekends went, and advising them to seek medical help if they sound or look sick, he said.  

"This has been a second family for me, for sure," Bedene said of her fellow employees in the Registrar's Office following the ceremony. "They've helped me feel connected and have been very supportive."  

Bedene said her job also has helped her prepare for her future career by allowing her to learn customer service skills and how to relate to people from many walks of life.  

Also recognized were first runner-up Jaycie Polhlopek, a junior in exercise science from Franklin, Kansas, who works in Alumni and Constituent Relations, and second runner-up Kiersten Morris, a senior in nursing from Cheney, Kansas, who works in Health, Human Performance and Recreation. They, along with all finalists, received medallions to wear at commencement.  

Sydney Anselmi, a two-time alumna and former student employee who now works as director of community engagement in University Strategic Initiatives, served as the keynote speaker.  

Also during the ceremony, Pittsburg State presented representatives from the City of Pittsburg with the 2018 Sponsor Appreciation Award. Mayor Jeremy Johnson read an official proclamation recognizing April 9 as "Student Employment Day in Pittsburg," and encouraged the finalists and winners to consider staying in Pittsburg after graduation to work at or own businesses and make a difference.  


— Pitt —