AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Thanh “TJ” Nguyen, a senior in mechanical engineering at Auburn University, has received the National Student Employee of the Year Award from the National Student Employment Association. The award was presented to Nguyen April 9 at a reception for the nominees at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.
Nguyen is employed by the Outreach Office of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, where he has served as technical director for the War Eagle BEST robotics program and counselor for the Science Matters summer program for children. He is responsible for maintaining technology for the office and has created user manuals for new equipment. He was nominated by Mary Lou Ewald, director of the Outreach Office.
“Nguyen’s impact on our office will last for years after he has graduated,” Ewald said. “He has raised the bar for what Auburn students can accomplish when they are committed to excellence and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those around them.”
The nominees were judged on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and the uniqueness of the student’s contribution to the employer. In order to be eligible for consideration, student employees must have worked a minimum of six months part-time or three months full-time.
“My work in COSAM Outreach has defined my Auburn experience,” Nguyen said. “Being a kid who benefited from an outreach program myself, I have always had an appreciation of the affect that reaching out to kids at a young age can have. I would not be where I am if someone hadn’t shown me what doors engineering, math and science could open for me at a young age.”
Meaghan Weir, career counselor in Auburn University’s Career Center, said “while student employment offers students career enhancing opportunities, they in turn make substantial contributions to the operation of the university and the local community.”
Auburn University celebrates National Student Employment Week annually during the second full week of April. The Career Center encourages Auburn University departments, colleges and offices as well as Auburn and Opelika area businesses to celebrate student employee contributions during National Student Employment Week.
(Written by Katherine Harding.)