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Apr 23, 2014

2013-14 JMU Student Employee of the Year: Erica Estes

Erica EstesErica Estes (purple) with UREC Professional Staff Members
Keala Mason, Eric Nickel, and Hilary Bride.

The JMU Student Work Experience Center has named Erica Estes, UREC Operation Supervisor, the 2013-14 Student Employee of the Year! Erica was nominated by Eric Nickel, Director of University Recreation; Hilary Bride, Assistant Director for Operations; and Keala Mason, Coordinator of Sport Clubs, Informal Recreation and Youth Programs.

Erica was nominated because she is a mature, dedicated, and thoughtful young woman who truly has a passion for James Madison University and University Recreation. In the past two years of working at UREC, Erica has served in various roles within the department and achieved the highest position for a student employee at JMU, as an Operation Supervisor. As part of her job description, Erica is responsible for the operations of two major facilities. This includes supervision of 300+ employees, programing and risk management, set-ups and logistics, providing first responder care, educating participants, providing customer service, working with a variety of populations, enforcing policies and procedures, and serving on interview panels.

Erica is customer-service oriented and has a high quality of work ethic. She consistently provides help and acts as a wealth of a resource to each and every one of our participants. She will initiate conversation with participants to ensure that they have the information about our programs, services, and other opportunities. She will always smile and greet people as they enter the facility, as well as when they are using our program spaces. She ‘models the way’ that we encourage our student employees to behave both on and off shift.

Erica shines in her professionalism and always asks how she can improve the staff around her. Specifically, she asks for opportunities to be involved on committees and asks for special projects that will enhance the community at JMU and in UREC. An example is her voluntary service this past summer on a core committee for UREC that redefined our policies and procedures. Another example is that she has also taken on the role as Engagement Coordinator for NIRSA, our National Campus Recreation Organization, and works closely with the campus liaison to involve our students with NIRSA. She is actively engaged in her academics, UREC, the campus recreation profession and the NIRSA organization.

Erica is extremely reliable. Not only does Erica do this on a day-to-day basis, but she consistently exceeds the expectations of the professional staff members at UREC. She is always willing to help, no matter what the request. For instance, throughout Summer Camp she worked as an Operations Supervisor and it was not necessarily a requirement of her position to help at camp, but she did on a daily basis. One of the days was particularly hectic, so Erica took care of the set up and the supplies for our snack activity which was very helpful. She did so with a smile and a positive attitude.

Erica is unique as a student employee. Erica’s contribution to her academics is reflected in her almost perfect GPA in the JMU Kinesiology department studying Exercise Science. In addition to being a leader in her program, she has also achieved the second level of leadership, Gold Level Feather, in our UREC Student Leadership series. She is one of only 4 students who hold this level of leadership. She demonstrates additional high caliber qualities as a facilitator for the Madison Collaborative, the campus wide initiative on Ethical Decision Making. In addition, she is involved with East Rockingham High School as an Assistant Varsity Softball Coach, which clearly demonstrates that she is passionate for recreation and wellness, no matter what the venue to help may be.

She is also certified in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogens. She has her DiSC Leadership Style Certification and actively uses that training to approach conflict management, customer service, and behavioral management issues amongst other student employees.

Erica demonstrates leadership each shift and each day through her attention to detail, being proactive on her duties and holding the team around her accountable. She demonstrates our Service Ethic daily and truly does embody the JMU Student Employee of the Year. She truly inspires the student and professional staff and embodies our motto of Motivating Madison into Motion. 

Learn more about UREC Student Employment!