Recognizing student achievements: A Q&A with the student employee of the year
Maria Bareman was recently announced as this year’s PLNU Student Employee of the Year. Bareman, senior, was selected from 14 other nominees out of the estimated 650 student employees on campus. Supervisors submit nominations in early January. A selection committee is then compiled to evaluate and choose a winner.
Bareman works as the alternate media production coordinator in the Disability Resource Center. The Point Weekly, PLNU's student newspaper, sat down with her to discuss her position and why she won the award.
The Point Weekly: Was it exciting to win the award?
Bareman: Oh, it was really exciting! I was really honored. Just to have that recognition from my boss, even if I hadn’t won, just the fact that my boss [Pat Curly] nominated me, meant a lot. A lot of the work is done independently, so it doesn’t really feel like I’m doing something really important.
PW: Who do you work with in the Center?
Bareman: We’ve had a few legally blind students; some might be coming next year. Yet most of the problems are dyslexic or a reading disability. ADD is also common with the students who come to the center. We deal with a lot of hearing disabilities as well, but most common is reading disabilities.
PW: What is your favorite part of your job?
Bareman: There are two things that are my favorite. The first is being able to help students with disabilities on campus. When I’m doing any type of work, I want it to be meaningful. I also like trying to build a team of people who can help the students. This could be a job in which you sit at a computer all day, but instead we’ve made it a very interactive experience between students and workers.
PW: What are you planning to do with this skill after college?
Bareman: Next year I will be on part-time staff with the Disability Resource Center, and I will be able to help even more with this program. I am a literature-education major, and in the future, I am going to get a teacher credential, and I will be qualified to teach any age from elementary to high school age.
PW: What about this job has changed you personally?
Bareman: Personally, I grew the most in the first semester, when I was promoted to coordinator. Taking on all the responsibility suddenly helped me gain a lot of confidence. For the first time in my life I had to supervise other people, I felt that I was putting a mark on something and not just getting by.
Written by Chad Rubin