University Celebrates Top Student Workers

Makayla James and Chanel Ebanks

Neuroscience junior Makayla James (left) and marketing senior Chanel Ebanks attend a luncheon recognizing the University's student workers. Both work in the Student Union.

Five student workers at UT Dallas have been recognized by their supervisors for their professionalism, work ethic and performance as part of National Student Employment Week.

The week, held each year in April, recognizes exceptional student workers on campus. On-campus events included a luncheon, ice cream social and a coffee and doughnut break.

During the luncheon, UT Dallas presented its Student Employee of the Year Award to Francesca Ursua, a child learning and development senior who works as a Supplemental Instruction leader in the Office of Undergraduate Education Student Success Center

“As a mentor to eight Supplemental Instruction leaders, this student employee demonstrates servant leadership each day. She consistently asks about others’ well-being before ever talking about herself, volunteers for new tasks on a regular basis and is humble about her achievements,” her nomination letter stated. 

Award finalists and their campus employers included marketing, information, technology and management graduate student Hua Bai, Naveen Jindal School of Management Development and Alumni Relations; healthcare studies junior Ivana Le, Living Learning Communities; psychology junior Lavanya Desai, Residential Life; and child learning and development senior Dana Moseley, Student Transition Programs.

“Many UT Dallas student employees serve on the front line of campus offices, providing superior service while serving as office and center ambassadors. Through on-campus employment, students develop workforce readiness skills and build resiliency to be successful in today's economy,” said Renee Patchin, interim director of the Career Center. 

“We appreciate the efforts of our student employees every day,” she said. “This week we celebrate their countless contributions and accomplishments supporting the University's mission.” 

The annual Student Employee of the Year Award program is coordinated by the Career Center and led by the student employment coordinator. Representatives from the center honored the nominees, and presented them with certificates, plaques and a small scholarship at ceremonies held in their respective departments.

A committee of faculty and staff reviewed nominations and rated them on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution. 

This year’s nominees included Maribel Velazquez, Rebecca Wu, Alejandro Lazos, Jordan Tucker, Rajagopal Srinivasan, Kathryn McCord, Brent Hanish, Arindrajit Roy, Carion Jackson, Isaac Kuhn, Muneendra Halasur Shiva Shankar SwamyCaleb Crow, Mark Nwokocha, Ashik Ghani, Charlotte Guzman-Russell, Tung “Tyler” Do and Melanie Burks.

2016 Student Employee Awards

Student Employeeof the Year

Francesca Ursua, Student Success Center



Hua Bai, Naveen Jindal School of Management Development and Alumni Relations 


Ivana Le, Living Learning Communities


Lavanya Desai, Residential Life


Dana Moseley, Student Transition Programs


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].