A Missouri Western student Evan Banks has had a very eventful three weeks because he won the Missouri Student Employee of the Year, Western Student Employee of the Year awards, the Gaston Scholarship and is now the assistant director for external relations for SGA.
Banks has worked in the Center for Academic Support (CAS) since the spring of 2016 and attributes all of his success to his co-workers.
“Any award I win I definitely think it is shared with my colleagues and bosses,” Banks said.
Banks along with five other nominees were held to specific qualifications to win this award.
The students have to be a student employee for at least six months prior, get rated one to five on attributes that they provide to the employers based on their expectations and how they go above and beyond, their leadership skills and the impact they have made on the school. Students then were judged on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution on the job.
National student employee week was April 9 through April 13. Banks found out about his awards on April 10.
Student Employment Coordinator Claudia Baer introduced Banks as this year’s winner.
“The biggest thing that stuck out about Evan was he really cares for his job and really helped with retention rates because he works with the CAS,” Baer said.
Instead of just focusing on the student employees, Baer made National Student Employment Week applicable to all Western students with resume review, a speech of the importance of campus student employees, the reception in which Banks won his awards, graduating celebration, a photo booth, t-shirt giveaways, mock interviews and a part-time job fair on the last day.
“This year we had events for everyone,” Baer said. “It was all inconclusive and we made sure everyone could participate and celebrate in someone else’s success.”
While Banks had no idea he was winning either of these awards, he is thankful but still says his work comes from his team in the CAS.
“It was humbling,” Banks said. “I owe a lot to the leadership in the CAS for giving me an environment that I can thrive in.”
Baer said all nominees could have won this year because it was a very close run, but Banks stood out from everyone this year.
“He shows passion and tells the students in the harder courses that they can succeed,” Baer said.
Baer said that this is a week that she wanted all students to be able to join in even though they are not an employee because the faculty really appreciate the student employees and want for everyone to celebrate in someone else’s success.
“I think the biggest thing is that student employment is a big thing here on campus and we couldn’t function without student employees and we appreciate everyone,” Baer said.
A few days before Banks won the Employee of the Year award, on April 7 he found out at the Alpha Chi National Convention that he won their most competitive Gaston Scholarship.
Two people from a chapter of Alpha Chi submitted papers to win the Gaston Scholarship. Since Banks won first place, he was awarded $3,000 and was told that his paper “Breathing Aanarchy into Luftballons: The Role of Music in European Cold War Wistory” has never been written about.
“I have never won any first place things and I remember sitting back when I heard my name called and thought about how tired I was, and thought about how much work I had put into it and thanked myself and looked at my mentors and told them how much I loved them, got up and got my award,” Banks said. “The librarian told me that my research was very important. Basically the person I am researching is the only person who worked as a doctor on a whaling mission. There is no other record of a doctor who did this or at least in America,”
Also going on in the life of Banks is that just last Wednesday, April 18 he found out he was hired as the assistant director for external relations for SGA and can work from City Hall.
Banks said this semester has been one of big changes, but he is excited for what’s to come.