The Sarah Johnson Outstanding Student Employee of the Year Award is awarded each year to the employee with the greatest reliability, quality of work, initiative, teamwork and contribution to Purdue Dining & Catering. This distinction is given to only one recipient, an employee who has shown outstanding dedication to their work and stands out in their nomination.
Andrea Hallmen, 2016 award winner, has long been a member of the PD&C community. At the time of her nomination, Andrea was the Student Coordinator at Ford Dining Court. She was responsible for the hiring, training, and motivating over a hundred student employees working at Ford. Andrea was required to be very hands-on, often attending recruiting events and aiding with the Jumpstart program. As she continued to do well, she was given more responsibility, and gained skills in time management and confidence in her role. After graduation, Andrea took a job with Sodexo, a food management company. Soon after, she was offered a position as the Residential Dining Supervisor for the Athletic Dining Room, so she returned to Purdue Dining full-time.
The 2017 winner, Robert Komis, is a Student Success Intern. His job encompasses talking to incoming students about meal plans and employment, analyzing data from the student employment site, making guides and writing job descriptions, and many more tasks. Robert feels as if his job is not something he leaves at the office; the specific role that he plays is reliant on the needs of the office, not on any set job description. When he learned of his nomination, Robert wasn’t sure if he would stand out because his role is a little obscure, but because he does spend so many hours focused on his work he appreciated being recognized. He also noted that the other nominees are great employees who were deserving of the distinction as well.
The award is named for Sarah Johnson, former director of Residential Dining for University Residences, who spent over 37 years working for students at Purdue University. Sarah Johnson was involved in creating many of the residential dining practices at Purdue today, such as dining dollars, different meal plans and freestanding dining courts that serve varied foods. She oversaw the development of Residential Dining from a small operation to the many-faceted organization of today.