DATE:  April 11, 2006       
CONTACT: Sharon Herrera, Job Developer, Career Services, (361) 825- 5976; or Melissa Goonan, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2337    
University Center Student Director Named Student Employee of the Year at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Junior marketing major Lori Balerio selected from field of 17 finalists

During the more than two years that Lori Balerio has worked in the University Center at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi her supervisors have been more than just impressed with her work, they’ve come to rely on her input when making decisions on policies and procedures that keep the Center running smoothly.

Today Balerio, a junior marketing major and honor student, was named Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Student Employee of the year. Balerio, who has gone from entry-level employee to one of the most responsible positions any student can hold while working at the University, was chosen from a field of 17 finalists nominated from the ranks of A&M-Corpus Christi’s 821 student workers.

The Student Employee of the Year award is sponsored by the National Student Employment Association (NSEA) to recognize students for superior work qualities in the areas of reliability, quality of work, initiative, and professionalism while attending college. The contest is sponsored by the University’s departments of Career Services and Financial Aid.

Balerio’s name has been forwarded to the NSEA regional competition which will announce a winner on Thursday, April 13. If chosen, Balerio will be eligible for the national award which, in 2004, was awarded to A&M-Corpus Christi student Ryan Fikes.

“Lori is the consummate professional who is always ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” said Z. Paul Reynolds, assistant director of the University Center. “She’s always willing to step out of her student roll and really dig deep into problems to find the solution that works best for everyone.”

As one of two Student Directors for the University Center, Lori works closely with administrators to ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of the facility. She is responsible for supervising student managers, office crew and administrative assistants. She works approximately 10 hours each week “on the floor” and another 10 hours in the administrative office where she oversees student work schedules.

“The quality of Lori’s work is beyond reproach,” said Reynolds. “She’s able to get it right the first time around in almost every situation and she is easily able to interact with both executive administration and her peers and employees.”

The other Student Employee of the Year nominees were: Daniel Cooper, Special Projects; Cody Eyring, Accounting; Christina Ferrino, Library Systems; Michelle Franks, Disability Services; Nicole Fuentes, Family Life Center; Tiffany Herrera, Student Affairs; Shannon Jansky, Library-Circulation; Cassie Kidman, Recreational Sports; Amy Beth Ledwig, Provost/VP Academic Affairs; Abby Loveladdy, Human Resources; Veronica Medina, Fiscal Affairs; Nancy Ngwa, Marketing and Communications; Walter Pantke, Mail Services; Amanda Perales, Institutional Advancement; Ashley Ray, Career Services; and Angelica Villarreal, Financial Aid.