UH Manoa Student Employee of the Year also places in regional and national competition

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: May 29, 2003

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa communications major Sean Ibara — already a winner of the Student Employee of the Year award for the UH system earlier this year — has also won the 13-state western regional title and was a finalist in the national competition for college students — missing out on the national title by just one vote.

Sean has worked in the UHM Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) Office since June 2000, starting as a Counter Services Assistant. Supervisors noticed his high level of interest and aptitude and soon asked him to develop a training module for the SECE peer advising program. He has since become the Student Auditor for the office that services some 4,000 student employees on campus at any given time during the school year.

For Sean‘s nominator, Noreen Okikawa, his aptitude for the job and willingness to learn and take on new responsibilities were obvious from the start. "Sean can always be depended on to take an active role in many aspects of our department," she says. "He‘s competent, efficient and the quality of his work is outstanding. He has a great future ahead of him."

After earning the UH award, Sean was nominated for regional and national honors by Myrtle Ching-Rappa, Director of Student Employment, who serves on the appropriate boards of student employee administrators organizations. Ching-Rappa estimates that about a thousand students were nominated for regional recognition, and that as many as 4,000 students were in the running in the national competition.

Sean himself appreciates the experience the on-campus job has given him. "I‘ve been able to do things I never dreamed possible," he says. "The job has helped me learn how to budget my time and to set and meet goals, and it‘s given me the opportunity to meet and work with some great people."

How is he spending the summer? Sean‘s an intern at the Department of Education, working on a Student Conference Planning Committee as a district adviser to high school students to help them lobby the legislature for passage of bills that will benefit schools. After he receives his UH Manoa BA in December, he‘s expecting to start looking for off-campus work.