Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease student assistant named 2012 Student Employee of the Year

Event caps a week of celebrations recognizing FIU’s student employees

Zackari Abeyta, an undergraduate work study student in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease, was named 2012 Student Employee of the Year. The announcement was made at the university’s third annual Student Employee of the Year Awards (SEOTY) ceremony April 12.

The Division of Human Resources received 191 nomination for the 2012 Student Employee of the Year. Winner Zackari Abeyta walks the red carpet to receive his award.

“Zack is very respectful, very responsible. He has a great positive attitude that catches on in the lab,” says Lisa Schneper, assistant professor in the department and the person who nominated him for the award.

A biology major, Abeyta share duties with lab members tasked with organizing and improving systems for chemical inventory and making complex laboratory sterile media. He takes great initiative in making sure the job gets done. Schneper says Abeyta has repaired equipment pumps, worked beyond his scheduled hours, and more to ensure that the lab maintains compliance with all safety measures.

“He’s really a great colleague in the lab,” says Schneper. “He’s earned the trust and confidence of everyone.”

FIU employs 2,862 student employees. The recipient of the SEOTY award is chosen based on who best embodies service excellence, dedication, and whose academic achievements remain exceptional.

Finalists for the award were also honored. Congratulations go out to:

4th Runner Up: Jocelyn Cardenas of Student Financial Services

3rd Runner Up: Theresa Ladaga of University Advancement/Annual Giving

2nd Runner Up: Amanda Garcia of External Relations

1st Runner Up: Zahra Arbabi Aski of Campus Life

Attending the pinning ceremony at BBC, Nathaniel Edwards says, “It’s cool to be recognized.”

Earlier in the week, all of the university’s student employees were invited to a pinning ceremony at Biscayne Bay Campus that recognized all of the student employees’ efforts and contributions to university life. Biology major Nathaniel Edwards, an office assistant in the Center for Leadership & Service, attended. He says he appreciated the sentiment behind the ceremony.

“It’s awesome,” the sophomore said. “I like my coworkers and my boss. It’s a fun group, so I’m happy they like me, too.”