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Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) Professor Amanda Chetwynd was in attendance on Wednesday Week Eight to present the winners of Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU)’s Student Employee of the Year Awards with their certificates.
The awards, organised by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) and promoted through LUSU’s employment service, Job Shop, acknowledge students who balance their academic work with a part-time job.
Awards were presented in the categories of On-Campus, Off-Campus and International Student.
Making the presentation, Professor Chetwynd stressed the importance of part-time work, “first of all because it actually gives students some money, but as well as that it’s very important in terms of work experience.
It’s something we’re really trying to do now at Lancaster, to create more opportunities for work experience.”
The On-Campus Award was won by Joe Mullins, who has worked for the University’s UK Student Recruitment and Outreach. Mullins has worked as a mentor for Year 12 students, and also as a student ambassador.
Mullins’s nominators noted that “Joe impressed us with his motivation, engagement and genuine concern.”
Mullins was also presented with the Overall Institutional Award for being judged to have gone above and beyond the duties required by his employment.
Speaking after the presentation, Mullins told SCAN that he was “genuinely shocked” to have won, saying that “I was shocked to get the first award, never mind the overall award.”
The winner of the Off-Campus award was another outreach employee, Emily White. Speaking to SCAN, she explained that her work largely involved attending Higher Education conventions off-campus, as well as presenting to prospective students on the university experience at Lancaster.
White’s nominators praised her for being “very committed, an excellent communicator, and this is evidenced by her ability to engage with students.”
White added that “I think it’s really important [to have a job at university] because it adds to your CV […] and for me it’s really helped to make my uni experience, I’ve learnt so much more about Lancaster and I feel really passionate about university because of my job.”
The International category of the awards was won by Chirag Gude, who worked to redevelop Pendle College’s website. In his absence, Gude’s award was accepted to Pendle College Administrator Jill Harpley.
In particular, Professor Chetwynd outlined, Gude “used his own experience and insight as an international student to contribute a global outlook, guiding the college to the more modern and international outlook which it wished to achieve.”
Presenting the Overall Institutional Award to Mullins, LUSU President George Gardiner said that “to be able to work exceptionally well in your workplace on top of doing your degree I think is a fantastic achievement, and it’s really important to recognise that.”
Job Shop Co-Ordinator Julie McLoughlin, who oversaw the awards process and sat on the judging panel alongside Professor Chetwynd and LUSU Vice-President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) Matt Saint, spoke of the variation in the number of nominations between years, saying of this year’s field: “It’s nice to get nominations that are really worth of the award, rather than just being nominated for the sake of being nominated.”