Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Spence Guffey (right), the 2019 Student Employee of the Year, with Teresa Shook, student employment coordinator.

“I am on my way” is what one will hear from Spence Guffey when he responds to a request for technical assistance in the Cone University Center or Popp Martin Student Union.

Guffey, a computer science major and sociology minor, is the 2019 Student Employee of the Year. He has served in a variety of technical positions since November 2016.

Donna Merck, associate director of the Cone University Center, in her nomination letter, wrote, “It was immediately apparent to supervisors, managers and customers that Spence possessed outstanding special talents and experience related to all things audiovisual (AV), technical and mechanical, as well as superior customer service skills.”

Now an advanced-level technician, Guffey works on all AV events classified as complex. These events typically take place within Cone Center and the Student Union but can include those across campus such as outdoor concerts and major events hosted by the chancellor.

Merck noted Guffey’s “demonstrated teamwork, professionalism and high-caliber knowledge and skills of the mechanics and inner workings of audio, visual and projection lighting systems” led to the creation of lead special projects AV technician, a new position. In addition to his normal technician duties, Guffey assisted in effectively and efficiently modernizing the AV and production lighting systems in Cone Center and the Student Union during the last year, realizing time and cost savings for the campus.

Guffey, in reflecting on the Student Employee of the Year Award, said, “The words ‘It takes a village’ come to my mind and my heart. I would like to thank my instructors, advisory staff, supervisors, my co-workers, certainly my parents and God for cultivating within me a desire to give whatever I do 100 plus percent.”

Stephen Snipes, assistant director for technical services, wrote of Guffey, “I feel that his love for the UNC Charlotte campus and community as well as his passion for audiovisual show through his dedication to serving others. If I were given the option to hire Mr. Guffey full time upon graduation, I would not hesitate. I feel his quality of work, initiative, professionalism and contributions to not only the department but the University are unmatched.”

The 2019 Student Employment Recognition Breakfast was held on Tuesday, April 16, in the Cone University Center. This year’s event recognized the 12 student workers who were nominated for Student Employee of the Year. Each academic year, approximately 5,000 students are employed across all divisions at UNC Charlotte.

“Our students work in many different offices and departments all across campus. Their contributions are immeasurable,” said Teresa Shook, student employment coordinator, who organizes the annual event.  

The 11 other nominees for the 2019 Student Employee of the Year were:

  • Nicole Baer, an exercise science major who works at the Student Union
  • Savannah Demae, a computer science major who is employed in the College of Computing and Informatics Advising Center
  • Neariah Mandisa-Drummond, a communication studies and Spanish major who assists the Bonners Leader Program
  • Walker Griffin, a business finance major who works in University Advancement Operations
  • Baylee Harward, a marketing major who is employed in the Belk College of Business
  • Lauren Helms, a communications major who assists in New Student and Family Services
  • Grayson Hollowell, a marketing major who works for the Charlotte Teachers Institute
  • Chad Hunkler, an economics major who is employed in Housing and Residence Life
  • Morgan Luther, a kinesiology major who works in University Recreation
  • Alexia McClough, an exercise science major who helps with Student Activity Center and Venue Management
  • Cayla Moore, an exercise science major who is employed in the University Center for Academic Excellence

Photo: Spence Guffey (right), the 2019 Student Employee of the Year, with Teresa Shook, student employment coordinator.