When sophomore Brandon Brown found out he was named Lakeland's "Student Employee of the Year," he was certainly appreciative — though a bit perplexed.
"Where I'm from, when you're hired to work, you work — no excuses," said the New Orleans native. "So when I'm given an award for doing the job I was hired to do, I didn't understand the reason for the award. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, but I'm just doing my job."
Brown does his job — dining service head supervisor — with dedication, passion, integrity and creativity. He stands out so regularly that Joe Johnson, Lakeland's executive chef and assistant director of dining services, felt compelled to nominate him for the award.
"Brandon's quality of work has always been top notch," wrote Johnson on the nomination form. "He takes great pride in keeping the standard at a high level … He has an eye for detail and it shows."
Johnson added: "He has proven himself to be a star performer."
Each year, the Student Employment Department names the Student Employee of the Year based on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution to the position.
In addition to his strong work ethic and positive attitude, Brown has brought some southern flavor to Lakeland's dessert selection. Johnson wrote that Brown's "pecan pie is out of this world."
"I haven't been able to bring crawfish here yet, but I've been able to bring some pies and pastry ideas," Brown said with a smile.
As for his award, Brown said he appreciates the honor, but added that working in dining services is reward enough.
"The people I work with are not just friends to me; they are mentors and teammates," he said. "The way I look at it, I get to hang out with great people for a few hours, and they pay me for it."
The other student employees nominated for this award were:
- Caitlin Bailey — Campus card office
- Daniel Carriveau — Campus Center desk
- Elizabeth Raddatz — Muskie Mart
- Janel Weir — Housekeeping
- Jenny Kjin — Residence Life
- Kimberly Daane — Psychology
- Mackenzie Merriman — Women's softball
- Thomas Pibal — Accompanist piano fellowship