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Volume 9 Issue 4 Spring 2009(2)

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Circulation Student Employee is a Winner

by Robert Barrett

Clea Will, student worker in Carrier Library’s Circulation Department, has been named first runner up in JMU’s annual search for the Student Employee of the Year. She was honored at an awards luncheon this past April 15, as part of Natioanl Student Employee Appreciation Week, and received a $250 scholarship.

Originally from Alaska, Clea is a senior music major and nonprofit studies minor.  She is starting her graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the fall.

From Clea’s first day in the Circulation Department at Carrier Library in Spring 2008, it was evident she would be a tremendous asset to our team.

Clea Will
Carrier Library Public Services Desk student worker Clea Will.

Clea began working in the stacks, and in the summer of 2008 also accepted part-time work with Hallett Movers, Inc. the library moving company that relocated the book collections to East Campus Library. This fall, Clea moved to our “front line” of service as a desk employee.

Following her successful transition to the desk, Clea proved to be of incredible value in the microforms department, an area of the library that requires extreme attention to detail, technological savvy, and a good deal of self-motivation. By mastering skills and abilities in the three work areas of stacks, public services desk, and microforms, Clea became known as what we affectionately refer to as a “triple threat.”

Early in the fall of 2008, after about nine months of providing exceptional service in the library, Clea received the kind of news that nobody wants to hear: her father was in a bicycling accident, and was not expected to live. Clea needed to go to Seattle, where her father was hospitalized, to see him. She continued to work until she was able to leave, and made every attempt to find substitutes for all of the shifts that she would miss. Fulfilling her work obligations amid such a tragedy shows great maturity and reliability.

Her father was on life support for several weeks; during this time, Clea took weekend trips to Seattle and kept us up to date on his condition during her weekday shifts.  He passed away in October, and Clea returned to Seattle to attend her father’s funeral. Then, in a move showing her level of responsibility, she returned to Harrisonburg to begin preparing for her senior tuba recital, which had been set for November 6. Despite her loss, Clea managed to fulfill all academic and work-related duties in a timely and professional manner; the quality of work that she delivered at Carrier Library never dwindled.

As a person, Clea epitomizes the well-roundedness that most people strive to achieve in life. She is a brilliant student, a fantastic musician, and she takes pride in her work outside of the classroom and practice room. We are further impressed when we hear that she has run another half marathon or has invented a tasty new recipe—distance running and culinary arts are hobbies of hers.

As we hear Clea speak with enthusiasm about her upcoming relocation to Colorado for graduate school, we realize that our time with her is limited. However, we know that she will prove to be a sensation at CU Boulder, and we consider her future professors and employers very lucky to have such a multitalented and hardworking individual in their presence.


Reba Leiding and Johlene Hess, Editors

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