Title

Kayla Ekart honored as UND and North Dakota Student Employee of the Year for simply doing what she loves

Authors

Kate Menzies

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-26-2013

Abstract

Kayla Ekart honored as UND and North Dakota Student Employee of the Year for simply doing what she loves

UND senior Kayla Ekart loves what she does, and she's good at it.

Bonus.

Now UND and the State of North Dakota are honoring the Bismarck native as their Student Employee of the Year.

Double bonus.

Ekart, who, outside of her normal academic pursuits, serves as a writing consultant for other students on campus, was officially recognized as UND and the state's premier student worker today (Friday, April 26), during the UND Memorial Union Leadership Awards.

All the attention, however, has, quite frankly, surprised Ekart.

"A part of me is still a little confused because I feel like I was just doing my job," she said. "It's almost like getting rewarded for doing something that I enjoy doing anyway and for doing something that will have a meaningful impact on my future."

The Student Employee of the Year is a program sponsored by the National Student Employment Association (NSEA), in which UND has been involved for the past five years.

After being selected as UND's Student Employee of the Year, Ekart's nomination form was sent on to the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators (MASEA) Regional Student Employee of the Year Committee. The Committee had the task of selecting a winner for each state in the Midwest. Ekart then was chosen to receive the North Dakota State Student Employee of the Year award.

"My peers and colleagues are such remarkable people who have supported me so much in terms of how I think of myself as a writing consultant and how I interact with writers," Ekart said. "It is an amazing feeling to know that they appreciate and see value in my contributions since they have helped me so much."

Ekart, who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in classical studies, started working for the UND Housing Office, in conjunction with the University Writing Program, as an Apartment Community Center Writing Consultant in September 2012.

Kathleen Vacek, University Writing Program coordinator, and Troy Noeldner, associate director of housing, nominated Ekart for her professionalism and quality work.

Vacek commended Ekart on her consulting abilities, sophisticated thinking and reasoning skills and her way of communicating with students.

"Kayla demonstrates excellence in all of these areas, and she successfully brings all of them together to customize assistance for each student's unique situation," Vacek said.

According to Noeldner, during Ekart's first semester on the job, the Apartment Community Center saw the number of student-requested appointments more than double and the number of students served increase by 29 percent.

Apartment residents value the individualized guidance and feedback Ekart provides, Noeldner said.

One resident said, "Kayla took the time to really get to know me as an individual and discover the most effective brainstorming method for me."

Ekart will receive a $500 scholarship and her name will be listed on the Student Employee of the Year plaque.

There were a total of twenty-one nominations submitted by UND department supervisors for this award.

"Working as a writing consultant has connected me with so many different students on campus and I have gained a lot from the relationships that have been built," Ekart said. "Because the people that I get to work with have widely diverse perspectives and personal backgrounds, my own perspective has been broadened and refined as a result."

Kate Menzies, University & Public Affairs student writer

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