Geography major Kenley Triplett ’20 is this year’s UNC Charlotte Student Employee of the Year. She was recognized for her work with the Cone University Center and the Popp Martin Student Union, where she had been employed since fall 2017.
Initially, Triplett began as an information desk attendant in the Popp Martin Student Union; she was one of approximately 20 student employees who staff the Union Information Desk from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. The Information Desk interacts with an average of 12,000 visitors during the week.
By fall 2019, Triplett was promoted to the student lead for the Student Union Information Desk due to her demonstrated leadership abilities and work ethic. Triplett was nominated by Michael Avery, assistant director at the Cone University Center, who cited her growth as a “teacher and mentor to the students she supervises on a daily basis” and the development of new training programs.
One of Triplett’s greatest accomplishments was proposing and implementing a plan to merge the Student Union information attendants and the Cone University Center receptionists and Information Desk staff. In only two months, she fully trained and integrated all employees and schedules for both buildings.
“The Student Union and Cone Center are more customer service-oriented, productive and well-run venues because of the dedication, resourcefulness, professionalism, innovation and genuine warmth shown by Kenley,” said Avery.
Typically, the Human Resources Department hosts a Student Employment Recognition breakfast in April to celebrate the Student Employee of the Year and the other exemplary student workers nominated for the honor.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was canceled this year, but Teresa Shook, the University’s student employment coordinator, and Triplett’s colleagues wanted to ensure she received her award. Triplett, who continued to work as an essential employee on campus, was surprised on her last day as Shook and her colleagues presented her an engraved “Norm the Niner” statue.
The theme for this year’s award was “worth your weight in gold.” Shook, in speaking of the roughly 5,000 student employees, said, “Their contributions to the University workforce are so useful and valuable that we could not manage without them. Kenley and our other student workers are truly worth their weight in gold.”
The other nominees for the 2020 Student Employee of the Year were:
- Grayson Henley - Botanical Gardens
- Savannah Demao - College of Computing and Informatics Advising Center
- Olivia Pike - Computer Science
- Marisol Alvarez - Social Work
- Genevieve Wiegleb - Venture Outdoor Leadership
- Nakeyah Terry - Middle, Secondary & K-12 Education
- Symonne Martin - University Advancement
- Joaly Canseco - Special Education
- Adam Ellis - Research and Economic Development
- Roman Maise - UREC
- Miguel Miller - SAC and Venue Management
- Monique Mann - Donor Relations