Student employees take center stage this week

Student employees take center stage this week

From left: Fabrizio Darby, Kristophe Smith-Walker, Meera Patel, and Nathalia Torres.
By Nailah Edmead

From left: Fabrizio Darby, Kristophe Smith-Walker, Meera Patel, and Nathalia Torres.

Student employees take center stage this week

By Nailah Edmead
This year’s Student Employment Week offers a chance to celebrate students who develop their own practical skills while providing services and support for the university community through various positions within the Division of Student Affairs.

Whether you’ve received assistance at the front desk of a residential college, rented a towel from the Herbert Wellness Center, or welcomed our newest ’Canes to campus, student employees of the Division of Student Affairs have impacted your University experience. During Student Employment Week, from April 11 to 15, the division recognizes, appreciates, and encourages student employees across campus. Read how their roles working in the Division of Student Affairs has helped them develop invaluable personal and professional skills. 

Fabrizio Darby, a junior and health science and biology major from Jamaica, shares how his roles as a student experience coordinator at the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and as a President’s 100 tour guide have provided him with community and professional experience. 

“As an international student, I initially experienced a culture shock and wasn’t too eager to communicate with others. Realizing how daunting it can be as a first-year to get involved on campus, I decided I wanted to be in a position to help others get involved. As a student experience coordinator, I appreciate my 1-on-1 time with students and exist as a liaison with other community partners. It not only helps fulfill my passion of civic engagement, but teaches me valuable communications skills and forces time-management. In the same way, being a tour guide to prospective students allows me to embrace my school spirit and share information about a campus I love.”  

Kristophe Smith-Walker, a junior studying economics, worked as a student experience coordinator his first year and is now a student assistant with Student Activities & Student Organizations. He emphasizes how the roles have taught him project management skills and leadership qualities that shine through in his personal life. 

“Helping plan student events and contribute ideas to campus programming connects me to the student body and helps me advocate on behalf of my peers. With such close proximity to professional staff, I learn how to see a project through from start to finish and overcome obstacles on the way. Through this, I can also be of better help to my friends, leaning on my experience in administrative positions to help guide them through their own college experience.”  

Meera Patel, a junior studying microbiology, immunology, and public health, expresses her desire for a career in higher education. Working as a residential desk assistant, a wellness facility assistant, and an orientation program coordinator, Patel has gained an array of transferable skills from her roles within student affairs. 

“Besides being great ways to meet diverse students on campus, my opportunities have led me in the direction of my future. I’ve learned how an institution operates and work with staff that have become mentors to me. I also am on the frontline in student experience, and see how rewarding it is to create something that impacts my peers. As I pursue a master’s degree in higher education, my roles in student affairs offer valuable insight on how to manage people and treat them with kindness and respect.”  

Nathalia Torres, a senior studying sociology and criminology with a public health and health management and policy minor, served as an orientation leader for the Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement center and is now a student assistant. Also involved in various student programming committees, she expresses her gratitude for being a part of spaces that create lasting impacts on both her peers and herself. 

“As a student assistant, I make sure we are welcoming our newest ’Canes and their families, including commuter and transfer students. As a transfer student myself, OCSI has become not just a workspace but a family. The office has taught me leadership skills and has built my confidence. My time as a part of Category 5 and the Homecoming Executive Committee has brought me around a group of spirted canes and allowed me to develop social skills and advocate for people to step out of their comfort zones. From the event logistics knowledge to the problem-solving skills, I’m sure I will apply my experience in whatever career I decide.”