CU Boulder has several thousand student employees who perform countless services with enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative. The University community depends on their contributions for the efficient and effective operation of CU Boulder. Each year we recognize students who have demonstrated exemplary work, choosing one Student Employee of the Year. Join us in celebrating the rest of the 2021-22 Student Employee of the Year Nominees.

Congratulations to our Student Employee of the Year Hunter Sherraden!

About Hunter

Year: Undergraduate Student
Major: Integrative Physiology

Hunter was nominated by Abbey Strusz, Erica Schomer and Brie Jutte Waterman from New Student and Family Programs, where he serves as a Journey Leader Mentor.

Hunter will ask the hard questions. Hunter will bring his concerns to his supervisors and be ready to brainstorm solutions or will come up with ideas for the solutions already.

Per his nominators, “Hunter represents the best of CU Boulder and has been a huge asset to our team in the last year. Hunter is a relational leader who challenges our team of students and professional staff and peers to do better. Hunter will notice an issue or inconsistency with the way the office is executing a task, and rather than staying quiet or not saying anything, Hunter will ask the hard questions. Hunter will bring his concerns to his supervisors and be ready to brainstorm solutions or will come up with ideas for the solutions already. For example, when the team was really struggling after handling a lot of angry parent phone calls after COVID-19 first hit, Hunter was able to let us know that many on the team were struggling and feeling underappreciated. He advocated for his peers and was able to speak on behalf of some of the students who were not brave enough to share their concerns with us. As a result of his advocacy, the Program Coordinators were able to advocate to their director and help get a pay increase for the Journey Leader Mentor position this year to compensate the students for the additional roles and responsibilities they were being asked to take on due to the pandemic impacts.

Another example of Hunter bringing his ideas and innovation to the table is his feedback on the online orientation for students. He noticed some gaps in information that we were sharing with students about Health and Wellness and took his knowledge from his own major in Integrated Physiology and his passion for Public Health and provided us with a report of ideas to add into the Online Experience.

One of Hunter’s accomplishments over the past year has been his work on our student leader orientation presentation called Being a Buff, which is a peer-to-peer presentation that our Journey Leaders present to our new incoming students at orientation during Fall and Spring Welcomes. They share information about important campus resources, the best study places on campus, how to navigate the Buff Bus, and much more! This presentation has gone under many iterations and edits and Hunter always volunteers to contribute to the ever-changing format of the presentation. He knows and values how crucial this information is and knows that having the platform to share this knowledge with up to 7,000 new incoming students is an important responsibility. He is also always one of the first people to volunteer to present and is a strong public speaker who is willing to share his own personal story and be vulnerable with the students about his own experiences as a new student on campus.

During the pandemic, the Journey Leader Mentors work shifted to remote. We had to find a way to communicate with the students as they came on and off shift, so we created an “On the Clock” chat on Microsoft Teams that we add our students to each day as they come on and off the shift. After a few months the chat was loading slowly, and we all started to notice our Teams chat was suffering. Hunter used his critical thinking and problem-solving skills to suggest that each month we make a new “On the Clock” chat that way the chat would be faster and not get bogged down with the excess chats and GIFS. This system has been incredibly helpful and is what we still currently use today. Hunter also used his skills in leadership and professionalism as he has learned to help coach others on shift during this remote time. Some of the newer Journey Leader Mentors needed extra support and help navigating the systems and learning everything, especially while being remote. Hunter uses his leadership skills and professionalism to give constructive feedback and support to our newer staff members while he is on shift with them.

For all of these reasons and many more, we truly believe Hunter is an exceptional student employee of the year.”

Congratulations to our first runner-up Max Gannett!

About Max

Year: Undergraduate
Major: Information Science

Max was nominated by Erin Penberthy in Career Services where he works as an Embedded Student Assistant for CMCI.

 Max is accountable, positive, thoughtful and engaged. He does not just do what is asked of him but continuously steps up to take on more projects, to learn new skills and to be a positive liaison to Career Services.

Per his nominators, “During his three years working as a student employee for Career Services, Max has held several roles. Prior to and during spring semester of 2020, Max worked as a CliftonStrengths Peer Coach, engaging with students one-on-one to help them realize, understand and contextualize their own strengths in both their personal and professional lives. Max made a tremendous impact on this program, not only positively influencing the students he engaged with but also collaborating effectively with his peers and Career Service's professional staff members. The positive interactions were evidenced by the high ratings he received on post-appointment surveys and in unsolicited feedback from students.

One student wrote the following after their strengths chat with Max:

I truly appreciated having an outlet for once and being able to have deeper than a surface-level conversation with a new person. You reassured me in a lot of areas where I felt like my strengths were flaws and I am working on loving those strengths equally in order to be the best version of myself. My roommate and I are on much better terms and I have been engaging with her more often to facilitate conversations.

Max has impacted Career Services positively through his kind and thoughtful interactions and through additional projects that support the entire department. Max has completed several projects to analyze large pieces of data about student interaction with Career Services. At least three times over the last year, Max reviewed 1,000+ lines of qualitative data and pulled out themes that were used for decision making and reporting. With an eye for constant improvement, Max also initiated several tasks and projects that he thought would benefit the office. 

In the summer of 2020, Career Services underwent a reorganization which involved shifting Max's role to support the Embedded Career Advising Team for CMCI. Max quickly adapted to these significant changes in his work and began hosting drop-in hours for students with questions around topics related to professional development. With little notice, Max confidently hosted a weekly resume writing workshop that supported 80+ students in Fall 2020. His adaptability and knowledge around these topics demonstrate his strong sense of professionalism, work ethic and career management. As Max has taught and partnered with others on topics related to their professional development he has grown in his own conceptions of his future career.

Throughout the transition and amongst numerous roles and expectations, Max is accountable, positive, thoughtful and engaged. He does not just do what is asked of him but continuously steps up to take on more projects, to learn new skills and to be a positive liaison to Career Services. Max is well known amongst the Career Services staff as a go-to team member and someone willing to step up and take on new projects. He's used his skills around data analysis (learned from his major in Information Science) to present on the impact of the CliftonStrengths Peer Coaching Program. He also learned both Handshake and Buff Portal Advising and then conducted trainings on these platforms to additional students not only demonstrating his strong commitment to the team, but also his aptitude for digital technology.

Max is truly exemplary in all the projects he takes on, and more than that, is a joy to work with. Anyone who engages with Max, whether it be peer student employees, student clients or professional staff members, is left with a smile on their face as a result of his authenticity, genuine care for others, willingness to help in any way he can and positive demeanor. It has been a tremendous joy supervising Max."