Evelyn Montoya Named WT’s Student Employee of the Year

April 14, 2020

CONTACT: Sam Green, Senior Career Services Coordinator, 806-651-2345 or [email protected]

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]

CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University student who managed a school marketing department while her supervisor was on maternity leave has been named Student Employee of the Year.

Evelyn Montoya, an Amarillo native, was selected as the top 2019-2020 student employee among 28 nominees, who each were cited for skills in communication, digital technology, problem solving, professionalism, intercultural fluency, career management, leadership and teamwork.

Montoya works in the marketing department of the Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success division, as well as for America’s Small Business Development Center at WT.

She was nominated by Michelle Bonds, former director of marketing for SEES.

Montoya, who graduated with her bachelor of business administration degree in December 2018 and is currently working on her master’s degree, managed day-to-day team operations for SEES while Bonds was on maternity leave, Bonds noted in her nomination form.

“This was a big responsibility for a student worker, but Evelyn met it head on,” Bonds wrote. “By understanding her teammates’ strengths and workload capacities, she was able to ensure our team was running efficiently and effectively. Her leadership and professionalism allowed me to be confident that everything was under control while I was out of the office.

“When I returned, I heard nothing but positive statements about Evelyn’s leadership and commitment to keeping our team running smoothly and meeting deadlines,” Bonds wrote.

Typically, nominees for Student Employee of the Year are recognized and the winner is named at a public celebration during Student Employee Week, which took place between April 6 and 10. But plans had to change because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said Sam Green, senior career services coordinator.

“We tried to think of a way we could bring the ceremony to her while being mindful of social distancing guidelines,” Green said.

The answer: A parade through Montoya’s Amarillo neighborhood, including colleagues from SEES, the SBDC and Career Services.

“The parade was so much fun,” Montoya said. “I certainly did not expect to see a parade of cars coming down my street, but it was really neat to see all of my co-workers, supervisors, and the staff of Career Services yelling my name and cheering me on.”

At SEES, Montoya consults with departments and student organizations about their marketing and social media strategies.

“My favorite thing about working in the SEES office is being able to help students and campus departments though their creative marketing requests,” Montoya said. “I take joy in being able to help students become engaged on campus and providing information to students that can support not only their academics, but also foster involvement on campus.”

“I would also like to thank the staff at the SBDC for being strong supporters of learning and gaining new skill sets. They continually strive to ensure that I am learning new things and strengthening my skills to further advance in my career,” she continued.

Montoya, who served as a 2017-18 President’s Ambassador and a Buff Peer Mentor from 2016 to 2018, said she is honored and grateful for the recognition.

“To me, this award is an affirmation of my hard work and dedication to both of my on-campus jobs. It also encourages me to stay driven and continue working hard, so that I can achieve my goals,” she said.

After finishing her MBA, Montoya said she hopes to work in marketing.

“I definitely see myself staying in the Amarillo area. Having lived in Amarillo all of my life, I know that there is a strong sense of community and it makes me happy to see the city grow and succeed,” Montoya said. “I would love to be able to stay here and give back to the community through my work and skills.”

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