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16 students honored with CSB, SJU and team employment awards

Grace Schneider, Ethan Berndt and the Student Activities and Leadership Development team have been named Student Employees/Team of the Year at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

The winners were announced as part of National Student Employee Appreciation Week April 9-15.

Student nominees were evaluated on how they display leadership. The specific criteria was as follows:

  • Motivates and inspires others through encouragement and by building trust
  • Strives to take the lead in workplace scenarios and are open to change/new ideas
  • Is passionate in the act of mentorship and training of fellow student employees

Team nominees were evaluated on how well the team works collaboratively on a common project, service or goal. The selected team needed to exhibit synergy – where the team performs in a way that is greater than the sum of its parts.

CSB Student Employee of the Year

Schneider, a senior art major from Rockville, Minnesota is the student manager in the Saint John’s Paint Shop.

“In the nearly four years she has been working in my department Grace has excelled,” said Rob Stoeckel, Saint John’s Paint and Finishing department coordinator. “She quickly moved up the ranks to student supervisor and then to the top position of manager.”

As student manager, Schneider is responsible for up to nine other employees. Her responsibilities include training new employees in the trade, ensuring that they stay on task and having a working knowledge of the various and extensive product lines.

“In addition, she must have a working knowledge of physical plant safety protocols, assure that those standards are upheld on the job and be able to work ‘on the fly’ as events and scheduling often fluctuate and the team may need to be moved at a moment’s notice to another open space,’ Stoeckel continued. “On top of all of that, she helps to ensure that the crew does the best most professional job possible.

“Grace’s demeanor is such that she brings her team together through her outstanding disposition. She is approachable, fun, intelligent and hardworking. She listens to others on her team, she acknowledges their accomplishments and their ideas and she motivates her team even when the conditions make it difficult to do so. She thoughtfully and compassionately gives constructive advice in order to improve results,” Stoeckel said.

SJU Student Employee of the Year

Berndt, a senior accounting major from Sartell, Minnesota, serves as a teaching assistant and tutor in the accounting and finance department.

“His leadership role in the Department of Accounting and Finance has greatly assisted our professors, his fellow TAs, our department and most importantly our students,” said Boz Bostrom, professor of accounting and finance. “Ethan has been a TA and tutor in our department for the past two years. His two primary tasks in this role are to support faculty in preparation and administration for their courses and other department initiatives and to tutor students in primarily the lower‐level accounting courses.”

Berndt regularly helps faculty prepare for classes, allowing them to teach in an effective manner. He does a lot of behind-the-scenes work preparing case studies or other questions, problems or templates which professors use in the classroom.

Berndt has also helped the accounting and finance department with a variety of initiatives. He serves at recruiting events, admission events and advising events. He researches changes to the new CPA exam in order to help faculty evaluate how they should change the program. He prepares work schedules for other TAs and tutors in the departments. He designs and creates posters, flyers and other advertisements for department events and student recognition.

“Most importantly, Ethan tutors students with their accounting homework and when studying for

accounting quizzes, case studies and exams,” Bostrom said. “He consistently greets students with a smile and a positive attitude, showing them that he is eager and happy to help. He does a great job in encouraging and helping students without simply giving them answers to problems. Accounting is a difficult subject, but Ethan helps make it easier to understand for our students.”

CSB and SJU Student Employee Team of the Year

The members of the 14-person Student Activities and Leadership Development team are:

  • James Arzapalo (sophomore, global business leadership major, Rogers, Minnesota)
  • Ashlyn Berg (sophomore, nursing major, Aitkin, Minnesota)
  • Zoe Dalziel (senior, psychology major, St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Stacey Delgado (sophomore, communication major, Chicago, Illinois)
  • Kobe Forbes (first-year student, physics major, Nassau, The Bahamas)
  • Emily Hed (junior, computer science major, Chaska, Minnesota)
  • Ashanti Humes (first-year student, accounting major, Nassau, The Bahamas)
  • Kao Kou Xiong (senior, accounting major, St. Paul, Minnesota)
  • Julian Mares (senior, political science major, La Puente, California)
  • Maggie McConville (sophomore, communication major, St. Paul, Minnesota)
  • Emma Muller (senior, psychology major, Bemidji, Minnesota)
  • Kelly Rivera (sophomore, nursing major, Houston, Texas)
  • Emma Smith (junior, psychology/pre-occupational therapy major, South St. Paul, Minnesota)
  • Emma Zobitz (senior, biology major, Chisago City, Minnesota)

“To describe the state of the SALD department this last year as ‘tumultuous’ would be an understatement,” said Aaron Voth, interim director of Student Activities and Leadership Development. “Actually, the last 2‐3 years have been like that in this department, but this last semester in particular was particularly challenging.

“First, they had to come up with engaging programs that drew students out of their COVID seclusion and reintroduce their peers to what a vibrant campus life can look like. With student engagement at an all-time low the last two‐plus years, this was no small task. Yet this student team was up to the challenge and consistently provided meaningful, engaging, inclusive programming for the entire campus community. They came up with new and creative ways to program and provide our community with the types of co‐curricular opportunities that had been lacking the last few years of COVID. They have been instrumental in building back the culture of student clubs on our campus, giving students a sense of place, belonging and purpose.”

The students did this all of fall semester without a professional staff member in the programming role, which meant they had to carry much of the burden of not only of their own work, but of leading the department in that regard. If that wasn’t challenging enough, one month into the semester the other remaining professional staff member in the department resigned abruptly, leaving the department without a single professional staff member present.

“Collectively they formed a much stronger team dynamic than had previously existed and really became a more integrated group,” Voth added. “They really went above and beyond what is typically expected from a group of student workers and performed at a much higher level of competency and responsibility than most student teams operate at.

“I think the greatest strength of this team is how much they care. They care for each other, they care about their peers, they care about their work and doing the best that they can. They care about making a difference on our campus through their efforts. I am so impressed by their resiliency and their commitment to their work. They really do inspire me in my own work,” Voth said.

2022-23 CSB and SJU Student Employee of the Year nominees

Student / Department / Nominator:

Ethan Berndt / Accounting and Finance / Boz Bostrom

Samantha Dietrick / The Study / Theresa Anderson

Leah Fraher / School of Theology and Seminary Development Office / Theresa Reichert

Kiara Frederick / Theater and Art / Marie Reszel

Andrew Horgan / Sexton Dining / Linda Jones

Sonja Hoversten / Chemistry / Lisa Gentile

Aretha McDonald / Well-Being Center / Tamara Hennes-Vix

Kaylee Ringstad / CSB Institutional Advancement / Connie Matz

Grace Schneider / SJU Paint Shop / Rob Stoeckel

Grace Terlinden / Well-Being Center / Dani Lindner

Gretchen Tran / CSB Institutional Advancement / Lisa Miller

2022-23 Student Team of the Year nominees

Student Team / Nominator:

CSB Campus Recreation – Group Exercise / Amanda Anderson

CSB Residential Life / Maddy Youngs

Biology – Lead Lab Teaching Assistants / Carol Jansky

IT Services – Help Desk / Ann Kuhl

Mary Commons Information Desk / Jennifer Hylla

Political Science / Elizabeth Harvieux

Student Activities and Leadership Development / Aaron Voth

Grace Schneider

Grace Schneider

Ethan Berndt

Ethan Berndt

SALD group

The Student Activities and Leadership Team.