Students who went ‘above the call of duty’ honored with Y-Work Awards

Students who went ‘above the call of duty’ honored with Y-Work Awards

Ten Yale undergraduates who have made contributions to the community ranging from scheduling employee shifts for Yale Hospitality to connecting incarcerated inmates with Yale Library resources for the Yale Prison Education Initiative have been honored with the Y-Work Awards for Outstanding Undergraduate Student Employees.

The Y-Work Award is given annually to 10 students whose dedication to their temporary jobs had a positive impact on the campus community. The awards, first presented in 2019, were created by the Yale University Dean’s Office and the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

Yale University Dean Marvin Chun presented the awards at a ceremony at the Schwarzman Center’s newly opened bar, The Well. At the event, which was attended by the honored students and their supervisors, Chun said that many college students had been nominated for the award.

The students here this afternoon clearly stood out for their dedication and professionalism in the workplace, as well as their initiative and innovation in going above and beyond the call of duty,” he said. He praised supervisors for their mentorship of students and for providing university employees with opportunities that allowed them to “learn beyond the classroom and make valuable and lasting contributions to the Yale community.” He also credited supervisors for imparting to their student employees “lifelong skills that will serve them well for years to come.”

Below are the students and their award citations.

Akweley Lartey ’23, Peer Liaison and Office Staff, Office of LGBTQ Resources

Supervisor: Seth Wallace, Assistant Director, Office of LGBTQ Resources

Akweley has been instrumental in stabilizing the LGBTQ community during the challenges of the pandemic. She is a leader in the Office of LGBTQ Resources, with a significant focus on the experiences and needs of transgender and non-binary people of color. Her supervisor notes that she “has become a pillar of the Yale LGBTQ community and a resource for people seeking connection and representation … and her contributions will live on for years to come.”

Eddy Tzintzun-Tapia ’22, Yale Pathways Intern, Office of New Haven Affairs

Supervisor: Maria Parente, Coordinator of Community Science Programs

Pathways hosts more than 150 STEM events each year to connect local K-12 public school students with Yale resources, faculty, and students. Eddy was instrumental in turning this work into a new virtual format during the pandemic. She took on the role of teaching assistant and advisor and was a constant and committed presence in an ever-changing workplace. Her supervisor noted Eddy’s direct impact on local youth, noting her “ability to engage a diverse set of students who come from a variety of experiences” and increase student participation in Pathways programming.”

Gabrielle Colangelo ’22, Yale Library/Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI) Project Student Coordinator, Yale Library

Supervisors: Emily Horning, director of undergraduate research education and outreach, Yale Library; and Zelda Roland, director of the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall

Gabby has been deeply involved in the Research Request Network, which connects incarcerated YPEI students to campus library resources for their research and is responsible for engaging Yale in a collaborative relationship with other similar programs across the state. . She has also used her deep and contagious passion for library access to expand the program and engage other curators and collections at the university. Her supervisor notes that ‘Gabby’s impact on this program and the incarcerated students is incalculable and will be felt long after they graduate.’”

kendra libby ’22, research assistant, cell biology

Supervisor: Xiaolei Su, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Yale School of Medicine

Kendra is a core member of Su Lab, where she conducts cancer immunology research and mentors third-year students. Her work has opened the door to many experiments and could potentially lead to the development of a new cancer therapy for leukemia and lymphoma. In her nomination, her supervisor applauded her ‘courage in exploring new scientific territory, assimilating new knowledge and forming new ideas’”.

robin gallagher ’22, Chief Graduation Usher, Office of the Secretary and Vice President of University Life

Supervisor: Heather Calabrese, Director of Campus Events, Secretary’s Office

Robin has worked in the graduation office since her freshman year at Yale and, as head usher, is responsible for interviewing, hiring, training, and supervising 50 student ushers. Robin takes leadership when needed, proactively solves problems, and serves as a role model for other student employees. Her supervisor noted that the graduating students, who had missed out on much of their Yale experience during the pandemic, ‘felt celebrated for their accomplishments in part as a result of Robin’s contributions’ to the commencement ceremony.”

read cioffi ’24, Trumbull College Dining Hall Student Manager, Yale Hospitality

Supervisor: Kory Marie Evasick, General Manager, Trumbull Dining Hall

Lea has been an integral part of Yale Hospitality’s commitment to excellence, particularly during the unprecedented time of COVID operations – leading duty shifts, training other student managers, handling essential office work and more to keep the Trumbull Dining Hall in operation. Her supervisor notes that Lea ‘always comes in with a smile on her face and infectious positivity…this alone contributes to our culture of respect, positivity and kindness.’”

Anna Albright ’23, communications specialist, Yale School of Public Health, Office of Public Relations

Supervisor: Kayla Steinberg, Digital and Social Media Strategist, Yale School of Public Health

Anna has helped the School of Public Health become a leader in the public health conversation on social media. During her time working as a communications specialist, the school’s Instagram following has increased fivefold and the content has had a huge impact on both engagement and education, something particularly important during the pandemic and current plague of misinformation online. . Her supervisor notes that ‘Anna’s initiative and innovation have helped us achieve our school-wide education and recruitment goals and have probably also saved lives along the way.’”

Ryan Flynn ’22, Undergraduate Learning Assistant (ULA), Department of Physics

Supervisor: Adriane Steinacker, Associate Professor of Physics

Ryan provides key support to students as ULA, facilitating discussions, explaining difficult concepts, and guiding students to the correct solution path for problems. Ryan has impeccable knowledge, but he also has the rare ability to break down complicated concepts to make them more accessible and put his teammates at ease and help boost their confidence. His supervisor notes that ‘Ryan is fully functioning at the level of a graduate student, if not above, and his generosity to his fellow students goes far beyond the call of duty.’”

Kunchok Sonam’22, student worker, Yale University Dean’s Office (YCDO)

Supervisors: Julie Sweigard, director of administrative affairs; Therese Barbuto, Senior Administrative Assistant, YCDO; Clare Schlegel, Senior Administrative Assistant, YCDO; Silvia Decastro, senior administrative assistant, YCDO; Lisa Pitoniak, administrative assistant, YCDO; and Kathleen Galo, Senior Executive Assistant, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Kunchok’s dedication to his work at the YCDO is evidenced by his record of SIX separate nominations for the Y-Work Award. He has become a staple of Warner House and is always proactive, dependable, cheerful and friendly. One supervisor noted that he is “open-minded and won’t hesitate to suggest ways to innovate…he is always suggesting ways to improve things and he is one of the best students we have had in years at YCDO.”

Andrew Scott ’23, technical student, Student Technology Collaborative, ITS

Supervisor: Sarah Luckart, Student Technology Collaborative Program Manager

Andrew completed all optional training as a technical student and serves as the sole administrative coordinator for over 60 technical students, a role that includes scheduling other employees’ shifts, writing and documenting procedures and policies, and organizing training. His supervisor noted that he regularly takes initiative and is constantly looking for ways to improve the Student Technology Program, concluding that “if I had one wish, it would be for all of my employees to be more like Andrew.”

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