Student Employee of the year - 2024

Student Employee of the Year


The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, in conjunction with the National Association of Student Employment Administrators, is holding its 34th annual Student Employee of the Year Program.

Each year, one outstanding UCCS student employee is chosen as Student Employee of the Year. The selected student receives a $200 award from the Student Employment Office and is entered in the regional and state competitions.

Click here to see past winners!

2024 Student Employee of the year

Camille Dysart

Throughout my 20-year career working with future social workers, I have not met a more capable and passionate individual than Camille. Her strengths include: the desire for constant self-improvement—evident in her motivation to always grow and learn, professionalism—shown by her drive to develop and implement culturally competent, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and empowering ideas in our research.

Student Employee of the year

Her dedication shines through in her constant gathering and analysis of new information, always propelling our work forward. Additionally, her leadership is evident in her countless moments of critical thinking and analysis, particularly in how we can best support youth with mental health conditions.




Picture of Alexis Kube
Alexis Kube

Our MOSAIC outreach strategy and effectiveness would not be as strong and progressive had Alexis not been the one leading. She is simply an inspiration to both the professional MOSAIC staff and her fellow student employees. Every morning, she checks in with every member of the team and personally asks if they need any help from her. She has made it a point to visit my office personally to check in on how I have been settling and has never rejected the call to go assist the team during events, tabling, and collaborations with a big smile on her face. Alexis Kube is perhaps one of the biggest backbones for our department and UCCS truly would be run like a well-oiled machine if we had five more Alexis Kubes at the helm.  Therefore, I formally endorse and recommend Alexis as the UC Student Employee of the Year due to her unshakeable dedication, her ocean-deep empathy, and her clear and inspiring leadership here at the Multicultural Office of Student Access, Inclusiveness, and Community and LGBTQ+ Resource Center.

Picture of Brenna Hoff
Brenna Hoff

Brenna has been a team member in the Office of the Registrar for more than two years. During this time, I have found her to be a conscientious and dedicated individual who thrives in a fast-paced, detail-orientated environment. Brenna’s interpersonal and communications skills are excellent. Brenna exhibits a professional demeanor which is crucial, especially when communicating with difficult individuals. Brenna handles stressful and intense situations at the front desk and over the phone in a professional, composed manner. Brenna approaches unusual situations effectively by asking appropriate questions to gather the relevant information to research and resolve an issue herself or provide a supervisor with a robust understanding of the situation. She performs the duties and responsibilities of a staff member.

Picture of Caroline Wooten
Caroline Wooten

Caroline is truly exceptional – a person who brings an infectious blend of warmth, approachability, and unwavering determination to the UCCS College of Education. With her bubbly and personable demeanor, she effortlessly creates an inviting atmosphere, making every interaction a joyous experience that resonates with colleagues and peers alike. Beyond her vibrant persona, Caroline effortlessly navigates both light-hearted chats and serious discussions with sincerity and grace. She possesses a unique ability to strike a balance between being the colleague you can count on for a friendly chat and the professional who gets things done efficiently and effectively. Caroline's distinct blend of approachability and dedication makes her an invaluable asset to our team. Her impact is not just seen in the tasks she undertakes but is deeply woven into the fabric of the relationships she nurtures and the transformative initiatives she spearheads.

Picture of Jillian Swedensky
Jillian Swedensky

Jillian has taken the initiative to assist in orienting and training new static lab assistants. She constantly displays respect, patience and a positive attitude toward her coworkers, peers, and supervisor. She remains flexible with her hours and has adjusted her personal schedule multiple times to provide coverage and support for her peers when her expertise is needed for challenging lab set ups.  Jillian has worked to streamline our inventory by removing supplies that are no longer used in our department. She has also trained new employees on the inventory process. She is sensitive to the fact that as she graduates that we need someone who can step into her role, so she has trained a junior student to manage our Outlook calendar and help to ensure that our shifts are covered. This fall our department created a new Peer Skills tutoring program. Jillian stepped into the Skills Peer tutor position in our nursing department. Jillian takes time to carefully instruct students in the skills she has mastered and exhibits pride in her work, excellent problem-solving skills, and can manage multiple tasks simultaneously.


Picture of Olivia Santonastaso
Olivia Santonastaso

Oliva has always been a champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  When Olivia began her time in Orientation, she was an Administrative Assistant.  As she has progressed though her time here at UCCS, she was selected as a Lead for this role.  This promotion entailed supporting and leading a diverse team of five to six other Administrative Assistants.  Oliva has always advocated for an inclusive environment, where all members of the team are treated as equals and know that thier voices and individual backgrounds are not forgotten.  Olivia's organization and leadership skills are unmatched.  Each team member has a clear understanding of objectives and can ensure that their input is considered.  This strong commitment to DEI also is applied to the many incoming students that Oliva supports during Orientation and onboarding.

Picture of Orion Capela
Orion Capela

Orion has spent countless hours prior to the retreats on careful planning and coordination with attendees, staff, faculty, and community partnerships. The retreats consisted of several moving parts, including connecting with facilitators, schedule creation, registration, food and snack acquisition, and location confirmation. Orion navigated all the components efficiently while remaining open to communication with each person. Orion made sure participants were kept well informed throughout the process and promotion of the retreats. Their diligent work helped in securing the success of both retreats. They have brought so much creativity, innovation and in keeping with the needs of the students prioritized accessibility. Orion also made sure to invite facilitators from marginalized backgrounds in efforts to elevate specific voices and incorporate various representations.

Picture of Samantah McComas
Samantah McComas

Samantha is a team player and strong collaborator. Her co-workers depend on her greatly in the development of their own work. She is also a campus collaborator. One of the roles she stepped into during my time working with her was to work with our campus partners on ensuring they have a strong understanding of our program and finding ways to partner with them. She set partnership meetings, sent regular emails to ensure continuous connection, and supported our campus partners in creating content for the UCCSlead pathway book. Samantha is the first one to volunteer and the last one to leave an event. She is a joy to work with because of her dedication and willingness to ask for help when necessary and valued not just by myself, but by her co-workers. She is a strong, positive, and infectious leader. She has supported, impacted, and encouraged the students that she works with, and our office team. She is someone I truly depended on.

Nominating a Student

Supervisors may nominate any number of student employees for Student Employee of the Year by submitting a Campus Nomination Form and a one page Submission Letter. Up to three letters of reference may also be submitted and will be used in judging the UCCS competition only.

Return the completed forms to the Student Employment Office by 4:00pm, Friday, February 2, 2024. (the Campus Nomination Form and one page Submission Letter are word documents which should be completed and submitted via the Campus Nomination Form link and adding attachments.  Late nomination forms will not be accepted.

Students must meet the following criteria in order to be nominated:

  1. Students must be work study, hourly or salaried student
    employees at UCCS.
  2. Students must have completed or expect to complete at least
    six months of part-time or three months of full-time employment
    with UCCS between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.
  3. Students must be in a UCCS degree program and enrolled in at least a half-time
    credit load for both fall and spring terms.

The Student Employment Advisory Committee will select the winner.