Week honors students

Robert Thomas

Student-employees, such as sophomore illustration major Josh Swedlund who works as a videographer with NMU’s Communications office, provide many indispensable services that universities like NMU need to operate.

“I not only take and edit video, I also do some graphic design and take pictures,” he said. Swedlund learns valuable skills in the process.

“[In these projects], you need to be able to effectively communicate the point you’re trying to get across,” he said. Sunday, April 13 marks the beginning of National Student Employment Week (NSEW), an opportunity for universities to recognize the contributions made by student employees.

According to Jim Gadzinski, director of Career Services and the Academic and Career Advisement Center (ACAC), NMU couldn’t function efficiently without the dedication of its 1,260 current student employees ranging from Dining Services members, to office receptionists, to graduate teaching assistants.  “The university runs on lots of student employment,” Gadzinski said. “Most departments have student employees. There are very few that don’t.”

Hosted by Career Services, NSEW also aims to bring attention to the benefits of the student employee experience. Whether for food, entertainment, rent or paying tuition, it’s a matter of fact that most college students need an income to support themselves. But as a professional adviser, Gadzinski encourages students to understand that jobs can be more than just a paycheck.

“You need money to survive,” Gadzinski said. “But I really believe that by working on campus or working in any job, you learn a lot of things outside of the classroom.” Tyler Dettloff, a graduate teaching assistant with the English department, teaches EN 111 College Composition while taking  two graduate level classes. Dettloff’s work as a teaching assistant illustrates how students can use a job to bolster what they are learning.

“I’m lucky enough to have full reign over the classroom organization,” Dettloff said. “[And] the more I write and discuss in my own graduate classes about classroom management, the better I become at classroom management.”

NMU’s contribution to NSEW is to  encourage employers on campus and around the community to acknowledge the dedication of student employees such as Swedlund and Dettloff. As part of NSEW,  Public TV 13 Producer/Director Bob Thomson, on behalf of Career Services, produces an annual video displaying the many faces of NMU’s student employees.

“That’s the main thing, to make sure we get that opportunity to recognize the students who help make this campus run efficiently,” Thomson said.