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University of Iowa News Release


April 13, 2011

UI names Katherine Jones 2011 Student Employee of the Year

jonesWhen UI student Katherine Jones started working at the Iowa Cancer Consortium (ICC), she did the things most student workers do, such as filing, data management and making phone calls. But later, she took on more responsibility, helping organize a conference and preparing reports on the connection between radon gas and cancer. For being such a valuable asset to the ICC, Jones has been named Student Employee of the Year at the University of Iowa.

Jones, from Swisher, is a clerk at the ICC, part of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI. The ICC is a partnership of researchers, legislators, health care providers, faith-based organizations, public health agencies, family caregivers, cancer survivors, volunteers and many other Iowans who work together to conquer cancer.

Working at the ICC since June 2009, Jones started doing regular activities, such as filing, data management and calling ICC members, but she soon took on additional responsibilities such as facilitating meetings, providing input on recruitment activities and planning outreach across the state. Jones also helped make the ICC's Iowa Cancer Summit a success, communicating with speakers, exhibitors and sponsors, and helping with registration, said ICC director Sara Comstock, who nominated Jones for the award.

Jones, who is pursuing a master of public health degree in the College of Public Health, also helped bring cancer resources and tools to the Latino community in Des Moines though a series of forums about a different cancer topic each month, including one about the link between cancer and radon. She later continued her work on the cancer/radon connection, preparing reports on what other states had done to address radon in comparison to Iowa.

"She embodies the characteristics that are so desirable when working with students: she's not only dependable but regularly goes above and beyond, she has a thirst for knowledge which has allowed her to grow but has brought new ideas to our work team and she is energetic and engaging," Comstock said.

The National Student Employment Association sponsors the National Student Employee of the Year competition and winners are announced in conjunction with National Student Employment Week, which runs from Sunday, April 10, through Saturday, April 16. Students are selected based on the following criteria: reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution.

In addition to the campus winner, seven student employees were recognized for their work with certificates of distinction and appreciation. On Thursday, April 21, UI President Sally Mason will host a luncheon at her home for the student winners. The university encourages all units to participate in celebrating the efforts of their student hourly employees during National Student Employment Week.

Certificates of distinction were awarded to the following students, listed by hometown:

Clive: Elizabeth Baird, assistant coordinator to Educational Experiences, UI Hospitals and Clinics Marketing and Communications.
Norwalk: Joshua Viggers, technician, Department of Anesthesia

Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:

Ames: Meredith Parsons, lab assistant, Department of Internal Medicine
Bettendorf: Samantha Terrill, marketing intern, UI Health Care Marketing and Communications
Davenport: Kathleen Goff, laboratory assistant, Department of Geoscience
Iowa City: Amber Sheely, acquisitions and rapid cataloging library assistant, Main Library

Hefei, Anhui: Xue Xiao, research assistant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Cynthia Seyfer, Student Financial Aid, 319-335-1460,; George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services, 319-384-0012,