A second-generation student worker at Bolton Dining Commons was named UGA’s Student Employee of the Year at the annual award luncheon April 14 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.
Matthew Vargo, a student supervisor in food services who’s been on the job for four years, took home top honors for his stringent work ethic and the extra effort he puts in for special events.
“It is a great feeling of validation to win such an award. I work hard every day to ensure that Bolton runs smoothly and it is great to know that my hard work is appreciated,” Vargo said. “Also I would like to say that working as a student supervisor at Bolton has taught me a great deal about what it takes to be successful in my future. The experience and skills I have learned are an invaluable addition to the curriculum here at UGA.”
The job is in his blood. His mother, Karen Vargo, worked at Bolton from 1973-1977 during her undergraduate career at the university.
The event, which is hosted by UGA’s Career Center, honored the top 100 students out of more than 5,000 at the university.
“I want to say to the students, regardless of your duties or how much you work, you are playing a role in advancing the institutional priorities of instruction, research and public service and outreach,” said Jere Morehead, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “It’s very easy to forget, given the size and complexity of this institution, how important each employee is to the whole.”
Caroline Smith, an employee in the Division of Academic Enhancement, was named runner-up for her job working with students and parents and training new student employees.
The second runner-up was fourth-year student Chelsea Elliott, who takes care of animals in the Office of the Vice President for Research’s Office of Animal Care and Use, a job she’s held since her senior year in high school.
Each of the top 100 student workers received a certificate of achievement and a ticket, sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association, to the annual luncheon.
A faculty and staff committee judged all nominations for student workers in areas such as reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, uniqueness of contribution and attitude.