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Student Employee of the Year & Graduate Assistant of the Year Gallery and Winners

Student Employee of the Year logo.

Student Employee of the Year 2024 Winner

Madison Gremillion (she/her)

Department/Office: U-Engage/Office of Undergraduate Research

Class level: Senior

Major: Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Chemistry

What her nominator said: Maddie exemplifies leadership and teamwork and collaboration! Her eagerness to step in and provide leadership to the rest of the student staff is a step above most employees. She is an exceptional listener and clear when she delegates projects to others about expectations. She always brings new ideas to the table, thinks critically, and is a leader for thinking outside the box to bring more inclusive practices for our programs. She is empathetic to the other students, and is always there to give warm hugs when needed.  She has provided professional development coaching to other staff, modelling exceptional communication in our meetings, and always being proactive and happy to adapt when needed.

She led the charge to change Research Day to Student Showcase for Artists and Scholars to be more inclusive of students from across the disciplines. To be successful with this major change to a decades-old tradition she developed a "dog and pony" show campaign to reach out to all colleges and all department faculty, scheduling over 10 different campus meetings, attending many herself and organizing for other staff to attend if she was unavailable. Maddie is now starting the final steps for creating the Student Showcase into a successful campus-wide program, even though she is also mothering her newborn daughter, Maeven, who was born in late December.  Maddie is an amazing human being!

Headshot of Madison Gremillion

Congratulations to the Student Employee of the year, Madison Gremillion! Madison will receive a $500 scholarship to recognize this accomplishment.

Top 5 SEOTY Nominees 2024

Jackie Teteris (she/her)

Department/Office: Admissions

Class level: Senior

Major: Business Administration: Management with Minors in Political Science and Psychology

What her nominator said: Jackie is amazing! Jackie has taken the lead on a few different projects. She created and implemented a panel training program for the Student Ambassador team and took the lead planning a Friday Program event for students coming to town early for a prospective student visit. Jackie has actively helping us plan for Destination UNC Admitted Student Days and is always quick to provide insight and ideas into the student perspective and also helps troubleshoot solutions to any complications that arise during planning and day of events.

Headshot of Jackie Teteris

Esmeralda (Ezi) Garcia (he/him/she/her)

Department/Office: Cesar Chavez Cultural Center and Undocumented Student Services

Class level: Junior

Major: Human Services

What his nominator said: Ezi has demonstrated deep commitment to social justice and equity. Ezi demonstrates extraordinary work ethic and has independently grown several working relationships with other student staff. He serves as a leader among our student staff. Ezi consistently thinks about the student experience and has cultivated our social media page to more effectively serve students if there was a problem in the center that mysteriously got solved, it is likely that Ezi quietly went about orchestrating the solution.

Headshot of Ezi Garcia

Amaris Perez (she/her)

Department/Office: Dining Services

Class level: Sophomore

Major: Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health

What her nominator said: Amaris is highly valued and relied upon by the leadership and management within Dining Services. Her insights help make Holmes a more collaborative and positive environment. She will always express her joyful, welcoming, and caring spirit her fellow workers benefit from her ability to encourage, empower, and train each individual so they too become valued and productive members of the team. She exemplifies what it means to be a servant leader never shying away from taking on even the hardest and most difficult tasks, all while elbow deep in dish water and a smile on her face.

Headshot of Amaris Perez.

Hannah Rueter (she/her)

Department/Office: Advancement Operations

Class level: Master's Student

Program: First-year Master’s student in Speech Language Pathology 

What her nominator said: Hannah is a valuable asset to the Advancement team the volume of work she is able to get done around her grad workload is phenomenal. Hannah helped train and onboarded other student employees her leadership has a quiet, patient and caring style. Hannah has done thousands of record updates over the years sent out hundreds of receipts and thank you cards to acknowledge and thank donors and spent countless hours recording video thank you calls to donors. Hannah is a rock star and deserves the highest of kudos for her contributions.

Headshot of Hannah Rueter

Graduate Assistant of the year

Danielle DeSalvo (she/her)

Position: Graduate Assistant in the Center for Career Readiness

Program: Second-year Master’s student in Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling

What her nominator said: Danielle has excelled throughout her employment at the Center for Career Readiness. Danielle takes a proactive approach and plans for presentations ahead of time, is very meticulous and organized in her presentations, structures communicated material very well, and is effective in presentation skills, she makes an active effort to research all audiences before meeting with them and presenting material to others. Danielle takes the time to present material in a creative way including PowerPoint presentations as well as social media posts. Takes time to research new student content and present them effectively and brings a positive, authentic attitude when working with others. Danielle is attentive to building on various group member perspectives and asks for help when needed. Danielle excels in finding solutions & leading others.

A presentation modality had to be changed last minute due to some circumstances. The group met to find constructive solutions. Danielle came to us with an out of the box solution that would attend to the presenter needs as well as our staffing availability ensuring that the needs of both parties were attended to. Danielle also created new resources for students. She took the time to research new information for helping students apply to graduate school, presented handouts and flyers to be used with students.

Headshot of Danielle DeSalvo.

Congratulations to the Graduate Assistant of the year, Danielle DeSalvo! Danielle will receive a $500 scholarship to recognize this accomplishment.

Top 5 GA Nominees 2024

Aleah Harris (she/her)

Position: Graduate Assistant for the Student Success Resource Center for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Second-year Master's student in Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling

What her nominator said: Aleah meticulously reviews hundreds of academic progress reports every semester; to identify the students in need of support and referral. She uses the knowledge gained in her program to identify those who may have otherwise "fallen through the cracks." Her impact has been so well-established and appreciated that NHS replicated the role and hired a GA of their own this year. Aleah embodies the deepest hope for all assistantships, i.e., working compassionately to apply what she learns in her graduate program to her role.

Headshot of Aleah Harris.

Tara Diltz (she/her)

Position: Graduate Assistant for the Assault Survivor’s Advocacy Program (ASAP)

Program: Second-year Master’s student in Criminal Justice

What his nominator said: Tara is viewed as a leader by our student advocates and displays effective and clear communication while navigating challenging conversations she continues to be committed to educating herself at UNITE sessions and campus events on DEIA issues. She has also exemplified her ability to find novel and creative solutions to complex problems as it relates to gender-based violence to provide trauma informed care, survivors must have an advocate that is willing to find the solution or information that best fits their situation which can require critical thinking and she does just that.

Headshot of Tara Diltz.

Kath Drake (she/her)

Position: Graduate Assistant for the Disability Resource Center 

Program: Second-year Doctoral student in Counseling Psychology

What her nominator said: Kath goes above and beyond to not only help her students but staff members and faculty as well. Her work ethic is commendable and stands out among other graduate assistants. Kath has shown equity and inclusion by attending UNITE trainings as well as throwing herself in multi-cultural research. Kath did an amazing job representing in our office that is beyond what I would expect from a graduate assistant. Kath uses critical thinking and problem solving during our staff meetings to share important case contexts and make decisions quickly.

Headshot of Kath Drake.

Freddie Horn (he/him)

Position: Graduate Assistant for the Bear Pantry

Program: First-year Master’s student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

What her nominator said: Freddie has a great work ethic. He ensures Pantry guests get their needs met. No matter the weather—crazy cold, snowy, wet or hot--Freddie makes the trips to procure pantry food. Freddie is responsible for significant high-quality communication with Pantry guests communication starts with his positive, welcoming and inclusive engagement with guests. Freddie displays leadership in recruiting, scheduling, orienting, training and supervising.

Headshot of Freddie Horn.