April 9, 2012
Growing up in the small town of Cushing, Okla., Amanda Koback always knew she wanted to study psychology. She also wanted to move to a bigger city, somewhere that was only a day’s drive from home. So Koback chose Denver.
After receiving her bachelor’s in psychology at Metropolitan State College, Koback decided to pursue her master’s in student affairs and higher education. She enrolled at UCCS and started working for the Student Life and Leadership Office.
“When I started my program, the director of the academic program thought it would be really good for me to have a practical position,” Koback said. She noted that the situation was unique because the director had just transitioned from the Student Life and Leadership Office into another department.
“I really wanted to work with fraternities and sororities,” she explained. “I had been in a sorority and I thought that when they’re done well, they can have a positive influence on students.”
Koback has been working for the Student Life and Leadership Office for almost four years. She is now working on her Ph.D. and has recently been selected as Student Employee of the Year.
“Supervisors nominate students that they think exemplify qualities of a student employee, and then the Student Employee Advisory Committee chooses a winner,” said Shannon Cable, student employment and AmeriCorps manager. Cable explained that the Student Employee of the Year goes on to compete at a regional level, and possibly also a national.
“I didn’t even think I would win the campus award,” said Koback. “It’s really nice to be recognized. I feel like I’ve tried to do a lot to work with students on campus, and it’s nice that somebody recognizes that.”
Brad Bayer, director of Student Life and Leadership, remarked that Koback is exemplary. “She is outstanding. She brings a wealth of experience into the area of Greek life and student development theory.”
Bayer also pointed out that Koback has been able to bring unique skillsets that have enabled Student Life and Leadership to grow.
Bayer explained that in the four years that Koback has been working for them, the division’s been able to grow to include almost 200 student-led clubs and organizations. “She guides and assists students in a unique and valuable way,” he said
“We’re fortunate to have her with us and we’re very proud of her,” he added.
Sabrina Wienholtz, student activities specialist, said, “She’s really doing work that you’d expect from a professional. She goes above and beyond what you might expect from a student employee and has really impacted the student experience.”
Wienholtz mentioned that Koback spearheaded their first student leadership conference last fall. Koback noted that the conference was the most memorable for her.
“I got to work with a lot of people in the community,” she said.”It was nice to see that the community supported the college. It was a really positive experience overall.”
She pointed out that she is just one of many student employees in Student Life and Leadership and on campus as a whole. “I guess I feel like it’s a real privilege because I work with other [student] employees; I know what they’re doing. It’s just nice to be recognized.”
Koback will be presented with a plaque and small stipend at the Student Employee Appreciation Luncheon on April 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Upper Lodge. The event kicks off Student Employee Appreciation Week.
“Student employees are amazing,” said Cable.
“They run the university,” said Wienholtz. “We could not run this place without them.”