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Joshua Absher, '14, awarded National Student Employee of the Year

From the National Student Employment Association's website:

Mr. Absher worked as an in-class Teaching Associate for Dr. Jan Pearce at Berea College. During the past year, Dr. Pearce relied on Joshua because of some family issues and to say that she is proud of the contributions that he made would be putting it mildly. A small snippet was extracted from the actual nomination form that was submitted by Dr. Jan Pearce for each of NSEA's nomination criteria below:

Though only an undergraduate, Josh covered both of my robotics courses for all of my absences. This entailed arriving to each class in advance of the students, setting up a large amount of very expensive and complicated robotic equipment, crating and giving lectures, helping students and fielding student questions, trouble-shooting any equipment failures, tearing down and securing all of the equipment at the end of each class.

Quality of Work
If Josh were a junior colleague, I would rate his level of skill in developing student learning as unusually high; as an undergraduate, I rate his quality of work as a Teaching Associate as truly exceptional.

Josh's capacity for understanding how to take appropriate initiative is excellent. He is able to operate independently, and understands when to check in, report back and ask questions.

Josh has an absolutely impeccable sense of professionalism. As a Teaching Associate, he is caring, organized, proactive and forward looking.

Uniqueness of Contribution
In the 21 years I have worked at Berea College, I have supervised labor students in every term as well as in many summers. In all that time, I have written only two "perfect" labor evaluations. Josh's was one of these two perfect evaluations; he is a truly unusual undergraduate student worker.

Because of the importance of this award, Berea College decided to present the award at the Commencement Ceremony held on May 4, 2014. Josh received this award in front of his peers, faculty, staff, his family and others that were in attendance. The ceremony was uplifting and it was the perfect venue for such an award.

The process to be considered for the National Student Employee of the Year begins at the institutional level. The candidate must be selected as the state winner and Regional winner in order to compete at the National level. The candidates are rated on the following five (5) criteria's: Reliability, Quality of Work, Initiative, Professionalism and Uniqueness of Contribution.

There were a total of 2,018 nominations from across the United States for the 2014 Student Employee of the Year.

Ann Mitchell
2014 NSEA President