Forty-nine Cal Poly student employees were nominated for the Outstanding Employee of the Year award in honor of Student Employee Week this week, but only one could be named the winner.
The award went to computer science junior Glen Beebe who has improved the Robert E. Kennedy Library website during the past two years with his computer programming knowledge. The honor includes a small monetary deposit and Beebe’s name and picture added to a perpetual plaque.
Not only did Beebe win for Cal Poly, but the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators awarded him winner of the Northern California Region and Western Regional winner, meaning he was chosen out of 600 applicants from all of the 13 states that participate in the program.
This is the first time that a college has ever had three Western Regional winners.
“It was unexpected because I had no idea that I was in the running for the other two as well,” Beebe said. “Just winning Student of the Year for Cal Poly was by itself amazing, but the other two just blew me away.”
Beebe’s proudest achievement is an interactive infographic on Book Ban Week, which he collaborated with art and design students to achieve, he said. The graphic details the top 70 banned books, includes a survey and has a number of interactive features. More than 24 libraries linked the infographic to their website, which led to an increase in page visits.
He also created an add-on for Illiad, an inter-library loan program that allows other libraries to add Cal Poly to their system. Beebe was also chosen to help re-design the library website, which led to an increase in page visits and diversity in the viewers.
“I’d like to think that they knew that I had the skills and could count on me to get the job done,” Beebe said.
The students’ supervisors nominated their employees and the winners were blindly chosen by an anonymous committee. Among the 49 students that Cal Poly nominated, two other students received special recognition.
Manufacturing engineering senior Samuel Kaplan was awarded first-runner up for his work as a technician in the manufacturing lab.
In the past year, he has written a machine code for the design mold for the re-construction of the lighthouse, was responsible for installing more than $300,000 worth of equipment into the automation lab, as well as volunteering for a number of other projects.
Kaplan said his favorite project that he worked on was installing the lab equipment.
Second-runner up agricultural communications senior Jennifer Ray juggles two jobs — College Librarian Student Assistant and Editor-in-Chief for the Brock Center of Agricultural Communications.
In the library, Ray works closely with the agricultural department where she established herself as a dependable employee and has developed a close relationship with the staff over the years.
As Editor-in-Chief, she is responsible for the Ag Circle magazine that is published three times a year. This includes writing and editing for the magazine, promotional brochures and social media.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with other students to create something that is so professional and something that we are so proud of,” Ray said.
All of the winners thanked their coworkers and supervisors for their support throughout their career.