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National Student Employment Week (NSEW)

Every year, the National Student Employment Association (NSEA) declares the second full week in April to be National Student Employment Week (NSEW). It was established to increase public awareness and to recognize students who work while attending college. It’s our chance to thank UIC student employees for their hard work and dedication! In 2024, it will be held April 8th-12th, 2024. For the past thirty-one years, in conjunction with NSEA, UIC has celebrated National Student Employment Week.


2023 Student Employee of the Year Heading link

“Ryan Lemke was hired in September 2021 as the University Library’s first Accessibility Intern. She has worked for almost two years in this position and was awarded the Library Student Employee Award for her distinguished work in May 2022. While we had a set of goals for this position, Ryan’s contributions have exceeded our expectations.  The Library Accessibility Committee appreciates Ryan’s flexibility in attending our monthly meetings. In these meetings she reports to the group on her completed projects and shares thoughts and ideas regarding future work. She collaborates with multiple library employees on various on-going projects that support and promote accessibility. She is a highly valued team member. The majority of Ryan’s work hours are remote and she manages her time excellently. She regularly provides detailed reports on her progress. Ryan’s work focuses on projects assigned by the committee and her supervisor. On her own initiative she also suggests projects in line with library accessibility work. Her work on displays, title recommendations to broaden our collection’s representations of authors with disabilities, accessibility features of EBooks and reviewing streaming media captioning was essential to meeting the Library Accessibility Committee’s goals for 2021. Her work on transportation options, describing the DCC Zine Collection and investigating low-sensory spaces were a major contribution to 2022 goals. One of her projects, investigating the accessibility features of EBook platforms led to a conference proposal, in which she co-presented with library faculty in May of 2022. She is currently working on identifying training videos and tutorials that will be shared with all library staff on issues related to service animals, apparent and non-apparent disabilities and ableist language.  She is also collaborating with faculty on analyzing the results of a survey for students with accommodations about library services. Ryan’s contributions are outstanding and involve collaborations with multiple library departments. Her work expands access to library resources for the whole campus community and directly supports students, staff and faculty in multiple ways.”

– Catherine Lantz, Reference & Instruction Librarian and Associate Professor

“I know Ryan because we both serve on the Library Accessibility Committee. She has led several committee initiatives, representing the perspectives of a student, a student employee, and a person with an apparent disability; her insights have been of tremendous value to this library group. Ryan’s work for the committee has been extensive and excellent including writing a ready-for-publication literature review of articles about “low sensory and neurodivergent friendly academic libraries.”  She and I collaborated on two projects during this academic year: writing a survey and analyzing the results to give the Library guidance on refurbishing a study room as a low-sensory space for individual use; and identifying and designing a group space for students with sensitivities to fluorescent lighting and noise and who need sensory objects to create their personal calm.  She led both of these efforts and was extraordinarily productive completing them while keeping focus on her academic work. I have learned many important lessons from Ryan as we worked together on the committee and on specific projects, especially how to be inclusive as we think about Library users and their needs.  She has tremendous grace and patience as she helps us create a physical environment for all students who come into Library spaces.”

– Linda Naru, Associate University Librarian

“I’ve long been an admirer of the next-level accessibility work Ryan has undertaken at the Library. Ryan has also undertaken impactful work to chronicle UIC’s Disability Cultural Center and our efforts to build disability culture, and I’ll be focusing on this collaboration. To offer a bit of context: the UIC Disability Cultural Center is one of the first of its kind– when we were founded in 2018 as the result of student activism, we were one of a handful of centers dedicated to disability community, culture, and identity. That number is growing: when we hosted the inaugural Symposium on Disability Cultural Centers in Higher Education last summer, we learned that there are now about 12, with 16 more in progress. Ryan reached out to us last year as she was working to archive our Crip Wisdom zne on the Library website, in order to build context for a thoughtful and accurate finding aid. She interviewed me and Jordan Alcantar, an undergraduate and then graduate employee at the Disability Cultural Center who was instrumental in bringing this zine into fruition. The zine is an annual collection of short quotes from various disability community thought leaders that were each originally included at the beginning of our weekly newsletter. Ryan’s finding aid and her work to archive this zine does important work to give permanence to the zine and its intentions to connect UIC’s community to a whole legacy and an ongoing network of disability activism as well as art and culture that honors intersectional disabled experiences. Not just that, but the finding aid Ryan wrote demonstrates a sensitive and thoughtful account of what disability culture is all about. I’m also grateful for the way Ryan’s work honors and gives permanence to the impactful contributions of another undergraduate employee– these contributions all too often get forgotten when students graduate. Not only is Ryan executing next-level accessibility work for the Library, but she is also doing important cultural work of “leaving evidence,” in the formulation of disability justice activist Mia Mingus.”

– Margaret Fink, Director, Disability Cultural Center

Ryan Lemke, Library Aide, University Library

Ryan Lemke

Library Aide, University Library

2023 Supervisor of the Year Heading link

“She is the most hardworking and dedicated supervisor I’ve had the pleasure of working under. Not only does she manage hundreds of students taking her classes each semester, she does so in a manner in which she improves on with each semester to come. We, as her student employees, are in charge of developing lesson plans, presenting them to the classes, creating and grading assignments, and answering some of the hundreds of emails students send to her. These tasks require a tremendous amount of preparation and training, which Simona provides graciously and meticulously each semester before classes start. Being able to teach a class requires soft skills such as responsibility, organization, leadership, time management, but most importantly, communication. I believe I can speak on behalf of all of her student employees and say that working under Simona has made us more confident in our interpersonal skills that I’m sure will greatly benefit us as our careers progress.  She has trained us on many computer skills, such as how to create professional presentations, answer a shared inbox, deal with third party Blackboard applications, and even design websites. She also encourages responsibility and creativity when it comes to designing presentations/class lectures and assignments, which make the job even more enjoyable and allows us to relate to our work more. And even though she is very clear about the high expectations she holds us to, she is extremely understanding when it comes to feeling overwhelmed. She understands what it’s like to be a student balancing classes, clubs, and a personal life on top of working under her and doesn’t force us in any way to take on more than we can handle…”

– Tamanna Dhore, Student Employee

“I believe Simona Narubin deserves to be nominated as supervisor of the year because not only meets the criteria but goes above and beyond in all areas through her work in the ENGR 100 course. Simona regularly provides mentorship and training to her student employees to enhance professional development. She usually does this through training seminars both online (during the pandemic) and in person before the start of each semester. Simona’s methods of incorporating the feedback from students who have taken the course, her teaching assistants’ critique, and her own experiences as a former UIC student, enhance our skill development during these seminars.  Simona has excellent communication with her student employees and she regularly provides feedback/assistance with work performance during her bi-weekly check-in meetings. In my experience, Simona has always made time to support and be there to assist her student employees.  She is a kind, caring, yet firm and fair boss who has always shown an understanding of the rigors of being a student and student employee which is evidenced by her making the check-in meetings bi-weekly and only for 30 minutes on Saturdays…”

–  Kemuel J. Roberts, Student Employee

Simona Narubin, Associate Director of Assessment and Education, Administration, College of Engineering

Simona Narubin

Associate Director of Assessment and Education, Administration, College of Engineering

Student Employee of the Year Heading link

Departments can nominate student employees based on their exceptional work performance.

Nomination letters must have an attached nomination form along with a letter of support.

Nomination Criteria for Student Employee of the Year

  • Overall excellence in all aspects of work performance and position responsibilities.
  •  Overall service orientation that is consistently responsive.
  •  Currently enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago for at least six (6) credit hours.
  •  Working as a student employee (e-class SA) for the current department for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Employee’s unique contribution to their hiring unit (i.e. quality of work, quantity of work, initiative, creative/originality, ability to meet challenges, impact on unit or department).

Deadline: Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 by 5:00pm via (Subject Header: SEOTY 2024).

Supervisor of the Year Heading link

Student Employees can nominate their department supervisor based on their excellent mentorship and leadership performance.

Nomination letters must have an attached nomination form along with a paragraph of support.

Nomination Criteria for Supervisor of the Year

  • Must be an active 100% FTE Supervisor at UIC that hires under Student Employment (e-class SA)
  • Provides mentorship and training to students to enhance professional development
  • Enhances student employee’s skill development
  • Supervisor has excellent communication with student employee and provides feedback/assistance with work performance
  • Provides an understanding of being a student and student employee

Deadline: Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 by 5:00pm via (Subject Header: SUPER 2024)


Ways to Celebrate Your Student Employees Heading link

  • Create recognition posts on social media using #UICNSEW2024 and #NSEW2024
  • Write thank you letters
  • Dedicate a portion of your department newsletter, website or staff meeting to recognition of students
  • Throw a pizza party luncheon
  • Create a “Compliment Jar” filled with notes from staff members expressing their gratitude
  • Distribute “Work/Life Balance” gift bags (notebooks, pens, tea, relaxation tips, etc.)
  • Host a team gathering to learn more about each student employee
  • Create awards showcasing each student employees unique characteristics

Career Development Webinars

Share your Student Employee Highlights! Heading link

Write a highlight from your student employee experience and grab an appreciation candy bag! Submissions will be shared on our social media and included in our National Student Employee Week office board.

Monday, April 8, 2024         12:00PM-2:00PM CST         SCE Tower, White Oak Room

For more information and to register, visit Handshake:

Guide to On-Campus Employment Heading link

Learn how to navigate Handshake and search for employment on-campus. We will review FAQs for on-campus opportunities and share tips to enhance your job search!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024      2:00PM-3:00PM CST     SCE Tower, Room 613

For more information and to register, visit Handshake:

How to Identify Your Skills! Heading link

Need help identifying skills to include in your resume? Learn how to identify your skills and apply them throughout your resume.


Friday, April 12, 2024     1:00PM-2:00PM CST   SCE Tower, Room 613

For more information and to register, visit Handshake: