Unmask Your Potential Awards Luncheon

Rebecca A. Eckland
Student Employee Awards Luncheon

TMCC Student Employee Joshua Gauntt, who has worked in TMCC's Information Technology Department, was named Student Employee of the Year for TMCC and for the State of Nevada.

Masks, feathers, and beads: the Student Employee of the Year Awards Luncheon followed a Venetian Carnival theme with the tagline: “Unmask Your Potential through Student Employment.” The annual event, which has been happening for over a decade, has far outpaced its humble beginnings: thanks to the Culinary Arts department, there was not a pizza box to be found (a detail Event Coordinator Valerie Lambert remembered from the inaugural luncheon, years before.)

Instead, the fully catered luncheon featured salads and a large selection of dishes ranging from pasta to egg rolls. The event, held in honor of the student employees whose positions enable the college to continually meet its mission, was successful in doing exactly that.

Student Employee of the Year: Joshua Gauntt

Of the ten nominees, Joshua Gauntt—who has worked in the Information Technology (IT) department since December 2017—was named TMCC’s Student Employee of the Year. Gauntt enjoys working in this particular field for the wide array challenges it offers him. “I appreciate workplaces where I have to constantly adapt and problem-solve,” he said. 

Gauntt, who served for six years in the military specializing in communications, finds similarities between is work there and what he does at TMCC. “I appreciate the flexibility of the position,” he said. “My department works around my school schedule. It’s also great to get real work experience while pursuing my degree.” Gauntt, who will receive his Associate degree in Computer Science in fall 2019, plans to transfer to UNR to work toward his Bachelor’s in Science, also focused on Computer Science.

In addition to earning the title of TMCC Student Employee of the Year, Gauntt was also named the Student Employee of the Year for the State of Nevada.

Recognizing Student Employees

Though only one student can be named Student Employee of the Year, all student workers are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony. Indeed, nearly every department attended the Award Luncheon in honor of their student worker or workers.  Beautiful feathered and sequined masks adorned every table, and every student worker was honored with a gift box containing gifts sponsored by Financial Aid and Auxiliary Services.

2019 Student Employee of the Year Nominees

Yuri Aoki, Web Services
Nominated by: Cal Anderson

Michelle Benson, New Student Services/Career Center
Nominated by: Helen Scott and Sidney Sullivan

Joshua Gauntt, Information Technology
Nominated by: Thomas Dobbert and Alyssa Mort

Priscilla “Elida” Medina, Admissions and Records
Nominated by: Chynna Sandgren and Hannah Thomas

Shannen Moline, Washoe County School District Volunteer Services
Nominated by: Lisa-Marie Lightfoot

Cassandra Much, Counseling/Re-Entry
Nominated by: Camille Vega and Cameron Tuttle

Moira Nemedez, Child Care Center
Nominated by: Renee Caudill and Carol Gribbin

McKenzie Nicolaisen, Access, Outreach and Recruitment
Nominated by: Angela South

Ana Cristina Vazquez, Academic Advisement
Nominated by: Rachel Blackburn

Alan Villanueva, Admissions and Records
Nominated by: Chynna Sandgren and Hannah Thomas

For more information about Student Employment and Work Study, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 775-673-7072.