Student Employee of the Year

Student employees are a valued part of the Emory community. Not only do they bring exceptional skills and energy to our work environments, but they also equip many units and departments to fulfill their responsibilities critical to Emory’s mission. Part-time campus employment is also beneficial for students, as these positions provide both a practical resource for contributing to the cost of education and a valuable opportunity to gain work experience.

The national Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) competition is sponsored by the National Student Employment Association. This competition starts at the school level, where supervisors nominate outstanding student employees. Emory’s Student Employee of the Year selection committee reviews all nominations and selects the Emory University Student Employee of the Year in early February of each year. Emory’s annual honoree is featured on the Office of Financial Aid website and receives an award certificate and a scholarship sponsored by the Office of Financial Aid.

The Campus Student Employee of the Year is submitted to compete at a regional level each March, and regional honorees move on to the national competition. The National Student Employee of the Year celebration occurs during National Student Employment Week, which is celebrated during the second full week of April each year.

Meet the 2023-2024 Emory University Student Employee of the Year

Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year is Ashen Freeman, 26C
Behavioral Management Unit of the Emory National Primate Research Center

“Since Ashen started his work study position in January of 2023 his impact can be observed and measured throughout the Center and beyond. His contribution to our team keeps our feeding enrichment program for the nonhuman primates fresh, varied and rich with sensory experiences (taste, textures and smells).” – Jaine E Perlman Behavioral Management Unit of Emory National Primate Research Center

“It means a lot to me to have my hard work recognized by the Emory Primate Center and Emory
University as a whole, especially knowing there are many deserving students and staff members
in our community. I’d like to extend a special thank you to the EPC Behavioral Management Unit
staff for creating a welcoming and safe work environment where I could thrive.” – Ashen Freeman

Graduate Student Employee of the Year is Heather Allstrom, 24SON
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

“Heather embodies the qualities of a Graduate Student of the Year, earning the respect and admiration of her peers, faculty, staff, and colleagues from other universities. Her professionalism, mentorship, leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills have left a lasting impact on all who have had the privilege of working with her. Her contributions to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Global Health & Social Responsibility, and her research in Climate Change and Women’s Health reflect her dedication to serving as a beacon of support for all.” – Kenneth Mueller, PharmD, BCPS, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

“I'm incredibly grateful for the support of my mentors and professors at the School of Nursing. Being named Graduate Student Employee of the Year is a tremendous honor that validates my hard work and inspires me to continue striving for excellence and making positive contributions to our academic community.
Thank you once again for this incredible honor.” – Heather Allstrom

“While Ashen and Heather are the overall winners, we would also like to acknowledge the winners of each category for the Undergraduate competencies":
• Community Service: Terrence Lurry
• Diversity: Ricardo Mercade Lazaro
• Leadership: David Repsch III
• Innovation & Technology: Ashen Freeman
• Critical Thinking: Angel Li

SEOTY Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate students employed on campus, receiving employee payroll, and performing a student employee job are eligible. Resident advisers, graduate students, and teaching assistants are not eligible.

Details on nominating a student for the 2024 SEOTY will be released in December 2023. For general questions, please email the FWS Team at with the subject line “SEOTY”

 Nominees are evaluated in five areas that will highlight their accomplishments:

    • Community Serve
    • Diversity
    • Leadership
    • Innovation & Technology
    • Critical Thinking

We encourage all supervisors and colleagues of student employees to take time during the second full week of April to recognize and reflect upon the contributions of their student employees. In 2024, this celebration will occur April 8-12.