UR Student Employee of the Year Award

The Office of Student Employment would like to recognize this year's University of Richmond Student Employee of the Year!

There were 10 outstanding nominees, so it was difficult to choose just one winner from among them. Among the finalists were Ashley Appolon from the Office of Common Ground and Ciarosalie Pierre-Kernizan from Emergency Management Unit. We are proud to announce that Chris Barry of the Sport Club Department has won the Student Employee of the Year Award for 2020-2021! Congratulations to Chris, Ashley, Ciarosalie and all of the worthy nominees this year.


Chris Barry, Winner

Sport Club Program Assistant, Sport Club Department

"Chris has always been an outstanding example of what we hope to see in student employees at the University. He is enthusiastic, reliable, and a leader that anticipates the needs of others, and inspires those around him to work harder. He is committed to the betterment of the university and shows up each day with a desire to make a difference through his small actions of teamwork and larger pushes for inclusive policies. I have had the pleasure of working with Chris for the last three years, but this year he has gone above and beyond. Chris has taken the initiative to inform sport club participants (around 700 students) about important events on campus that can help our students become more aware about inclusivity and diversity.

COVID-19 has affected everything in our department and, in particular, the Sport Club world. Chris has been a dependable, consistent and invaluable throughout it all. He has stepped up significantly this year by consistently asking how he can help. When he is given a project, he tackles it quickly and without needing to be micromanaged. Chris has great cultivated great relationships within our department and collaborates on multiple projects including managing our Sport Club social media pages and weekly updates to members."

-Wendy Sheppard, Asst Dir, Sports & Risk Mgmt


Ashley Appolon, Finalist

Co-Coordinator: SpiderNights, Office of Common Ground: the Diversity Initiative

“Ashley Appolon has been a dedicated, hard-working and innovative employee in my department for two years now. She co-coordinates a weekend programming series dedicated to making social opportunities for all students across areas of difference. Our attendance is over-enrolled by low-income, first-generation, international and students of color, because we focus on cultural celebrations, and other engaging events that are affordable for everyone, and feature welcoming student peers and the hosts dedicated to helping all students find their place on campus.

Ashley has brought her own creative spin to these events as a host and now as the program co-coordinator. She helps us find affordable activities that stretch our budget, and provides clear and direct communication to the students she oversees, and helps them be confident in the programs they host. And even though it is not expected, she always attends the events she oversees, which occur every other week, to provide support for her student staff. These events can have up to 250 students in attendance, and be very complex in nature. I never have to worry that any aspect of these events will be overlooked...I could go on and on about Ashley. She carries herself so well, and is constantly looking to improve her skills and self-management. She believes that if something is “off” about her routine or productivity, she can make a slight adjustment to her routine to get back on track. She has an incredibly mature countenance which, along with a genuine sense of humility, makes for an absolute gem of a student employee.”

-Lisa Miles, Assoc. Dir., Common Ground


Ciarosalie Pierre-Kernizan, Finalist

Emergency Management Assistant, Crisis and Emergency Management Unit

“Since her freshman year, Cia, now a senior, has been a part of the Office of Emergency Management. Throughout her time as the Emergency Management Assistant, Cia has been a dependable, productive, team member that consistently provides quality work...In her role she was tasked with developing flyers to advertise on-campus events hosted by emergency management. She also created the Spider Ready newsletter that discusses hazards, emergency protocol, and highlights emergency preparedness events for our program stakeholders. Always impressed by her written communication skills, most recently Cia was entrusted to draft Spider Byte messages for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year. Each message was individually crafted to meet the needs of the audience, whether faculty and staff or students.

Because of her demonstrated initiative throughout her career with the Office and her ongoing exemplary judgment, Cia was invited to join the Emergency Management Program Advisory Committee as a student representative. The committee is charged with providing coordinated input by stakeholders in the preparation, implementation, evaluation, and revision of the University’s emergency management program...Cia remains an invaluable member of the Emergency Management Program on campus."

-Brittany Schaal, Director, Crisis and Emergency Management


Fellow Nominees:

Makayla Callender, Student Operations Assistant for the Office of Financial Aid, Nominated by Belinda Hill


Yarimar Correa, Student Assistant for Multicultural Affairs, Nominated by Adrain Gibson


Kerry Ann Moyo, Student Assistant for Multicultural Affairs & Common Ground, Nominated by Adraine Gibson


Anna Postma, Student Operations Assistant for One Card Services, Nominated by Dianne St. John


Tracy Santizo, Global Studio Manager for the Language Learning Center, Nominated by Michael Marsh-Soloway


Nori Stone, Senior Office Assistant for Admission, Nominated by Nicki Pugh


Yiwei 'Scarlett' Sun, Research Assistant and Student Blended Classroom Technical Assistant for Economics, Nominated by M. Saif Mehkari