2015 - 2016 MOST Outstanding Student Employees of the Month

Each month, RecSports professional staff nominates those students we feel exemplify the meaning of OUTSTANDING student employees that continually go above and beyond to enhance the participant experiences daily in our facilities and through our programs. We call this award the MOST Outstanding award because we feel all of our students are outstanding, however these are just the best of the best! 

Click a name below to learn more about each outstanding student employee!

June/July 2016: Tess Swain, Rockne Memorial Front Desk/Weight Room Attendant

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"I am nominating Tess Swain for the MOST Outstanding June/July Employee of the Month. Tess has been working at the Rockne Memorial for two years (including summers). She has volunteered to work the Front Desk Sunday morning shifts for the last four semesters. Tess is a leader during orientations and helps train our new staff at the Front Desk. Her customer service skills are outstanding! Tess is a hard worker. She works 3-4 days at the Rock and also for Building Services moving furniture and cleaning halls. She does have one fault. Tess is an avid White Sox fan. For these reasons I would like to nominate Tess Swain for the 2016 June/July MOST Outstanding Student Employee of the Month."

- Matt Lewandowski, Front Desk Attendant (Rockne Memorial)

"Tess is a great employee. She is dependable, and reliable. Tess has helped us in many different situations. she has a great attitude while working and handles the patrons like they are family."

- Bill Drew, Rockne Memorial Building Manager


May 2016: Katy Wahl, Front Desk/Fitness Room Attendant, Building Manager (RSRC)

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"I would like to nominate Katy Wahl for the MOST Outstanding Employee for the Month of May. Katy is one of the Front Desk attendants at the RSRC and she should be recognized for this award for the following reasons: her leadership. Katy is always one of the first to step up and take charge when we are in need of students to step outside of their comfort zone and take on some extra or new responsibilities. During finals week Katy stepped up and took several extra shifts above her normal amount to help others out, even though she was finishing her finals and was a senior. Katy also always brings in a positive attitude and brightens the day of not only everyone at the Front Desk, but the entire staff and the patrons she deals with while at work. Katy also made sure that she was always looking to help out her less experienced co-workers and ensured that they were not only learning, but becoming more comfortable with working the Front Desk and making informed decisions. During her final weeks with us during the semester, Katy showed exceptional leadership skills and showed us all that she had truly taken ownership of her position here. Katy was always looking for ways that she could help us improve what we were already doing, and trying to find solutions for issues that we were running into. For all of these reasons I would like to nominate Katy Wahl for the 2016 May RecSports MOST Outstanding Employee of the Month."

- Kenton Elworth, Intramural Sports Intern


April 2016: Katy Wahl, Front Desk/Fitness Room Attendant, Building Manager (RSRC)

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"Jeff and I would like to nominate Katy Wahl for the MMOST Outstanding Student Employee for the Month of April. Katy is a Front Desk Attendant, Fitness Room Attendant, and Building Manager and served as the lead Building Manager in charge when we were gone at NIRSA. Katy has continued to rise above her peers and go above and beyond in all aspects of her job. She continually holds her peers accountable, which allows the facility to run in the best possible manner. While Jeff and I were gone at the Annual NIRSA Conference in Florida, she took the roll of Lead Building Manager very seriously. Besides handling numerous calls from her fellow co-orkers asking questions and checking in with Rolfs staff on her days off, she also had to handle a drain overflow from the washer. This resulted in a leak in the Women’s Locker Room, causing ceiling tiles to fall and a flood to occur. She had confidence in herself and calmly handled all situations. She was very thorough and communicated well with us during this time, along with coordinating the repair and clean-up. This is one example of the role that Katy takes on a daily basis to help the department run effectively, with or without the help of professional staff. She has the respect of her coworkers, displays great leadership skills, and will be hard to replace. For these reasons, we would like to nominate our Superstar Katy Wahl for the April 2016 MOST Outstanding Student Employee."

- Justine Morneau, Interim Coordinator, Facilities, Special Events & Family Programming


March 2016: Ashley Rinks, Front Desk/Fitness Room Attendant (RSRC)

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"I am nominating Ashley Rinks as the March MOST Outstanding Employee of the Month. Ashley is a RSRC Front Desk and Fitness Room Attendant. Over the years I have found Ashley to be THE most dependable, hard working, and professional student working for RecSports. The fact that she has willingly worked the opening shift for the past two years speaks volumes for her dedication to her job. During this time, she has never missed nor been late, as far as I know, to her assigned shifts. She has also stepped up to the plate by taking additional open shifts when called upon. The early morning regular patrons have come to know Ashley as friendly and helpful. Many times I have witnessed Ashley going above and beyond to provide outstanding service. From greeting them with a smile, to answering their questions, to assisting them with any "special needs" requests. And always with a smile on her face. Her complete knowledge of the policies and procedures of her job allow her to provide this service with confidence. She has never backed down from the unexpected situation. From taking charge in medical responses, to helping to cover for "no shows shifts," to arriving early to all of her shifts, to helping open and ready Rolfs for the day. Her leadership skills may not be visible to many due to her mostly working the opening shift, but I see them on a daily basis. She truly leads by example and I have never witnessed her criticize or negatively talk about other workers. She is always willing to go the extra mile by not having to be asked to do all the tasks of her job; she does them eagerly and willingly. She is a wonderful example of "the" true ND student. Helpful, dedicated, friendly, and caring. I am truly pleased to nominate Ashley Rinks for the March 2016 MOST Outstanding Employee of the Month."

- Donald Tonk, RSRC Front Desk


February 2016: Michael Broderick, Intramural Sports Program Assistant

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"Michael is an Intramural Sports Program Assistant at Rolfs. Most do not get the chance to interact with Michael as he is usually here after we all have left. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with Michael and see what a phenomenal young man he is! While Michael can be extremely funny, he is also a very hard worker who takes his job seriously. Michael continues to impress me with his knowledge for Intramural Sports and our program. He supervises the night IM Supervisors with ease and class. He is an all-around team player. Last month when I was in need of volunteers for a new Sakai video he was one of the first to volunteer! He is always willing to help and quite punctual. Michael embodies every characteristic that we look for in a student worker."

- Leigh Fouts, Fitness & Facility Management Intern


December 2015/January 2016: Shannon Takahata, Intramural Sports Supervisor

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"Shannon consistently upholds all policies regarding our participants, even when it is her close friends and dorm mates that are trying to get away with breaking them. She also is one of the most patient people I have ever met when it comes to dealing with participants. Specifically this month she had to deal with a group of extremely rude and rambunctious ice hockey fans. She handled the situation with grace and understanding, but had to kick out a participant and held her ground while being insulted. She is always picking up shifts for others who are in need, and has made it her personal goal to help continually train our new supervisors on how this job is done correctly and properly. I have had multiple reports from our Managers that they have seen her walking the new supervisors through every step of the night to ensure they know exactly what they are doing and helping them build confidence. She has gained the respect and trust of her peers and I always know that no matter what happens, Shannon will take control and will handle the situation as best she can."

- Kenton Elworth, Intramural Sports Intern


November 2015: Natalie McNerney, RSRC Supervisor

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 "Natalie has picked up shifts when no one else would, has an ultra positive attitude about everything and conscientiously does her duty! I see her all over the facility when she does her rounds. She is NOT a look over the railing kind of Building Manager!"

- Mark Williams, Director


October 2015: Catherine Lee, Climbing Wall Attendant

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"Catherine is the perfect example of what a true leader is all about. Not only is she a climbing wall employee, but she is also the Vice President of the Climbing Club, and member of the Notre Dame Fencing Team! Oh and in her spare time she builds houses for Habitat for Humanity. One thing that makes Catherine such a great leader is the constant mindset that others come first. She is the first to notice when things are not quite right, and incredibly prompt to correct them. Catherine has demonstrated that her first goal is safety, which is followed closely by fun and relationship building. Catherine consistently takes "ownership" of the Climbing Wall - doing whatever it takes to make sure that it operates to the best of its abilities and in the safest environment possible. She is always striving to improve her skill sets and leadership abilities and in doing so is a great role model for all of our staff. And if all of that isn't enough to earn the title 'Most OUTSTANDING Student Employee for October," Catherine certainly sealed the deal when she volunteered to teach 'Belaying as a Metaphor' for the Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine. This unique collaborative effort allowed Catherine and Dom Vachon, Director of CCCM, to demonstrate how the role of a belay in climbing is similar to that of a doctor. This unique opportunity took hours of planning and numerous meetings, and Catherine was at the center of it. Needless to say, this rock climbing modern day Zorro is THE MOST OUTSTANDING STUDENT EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH!"

- Sarah Ryckman, Program Coordinator


September 2015: Brady Ruffing, Rockne Memorial Front Desk/Weight Room Attendant

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"Brady Ruffing is our most outstanding employee of the month at the Rockne Memorial. Brady has a great rapport with our patrons. He takes an interest in our patrons by welcoming each of the regular patrons by name and knows what workout they like to participate in. This has been very beneficial to our swimmers because he has been able to warn them ahead of time about the closing of our pool for renovations. He has been a great team player by picking up many sub shifts for student staff members. He even volunteered to work the Saturday morning shift which included Home football Saturdays. Brady is also a troubleshooter. I can’t count the many times Brady has asked for a screwdriver to fix a locker door or a wrench to tighten some bolts on a piece of equipment. Watch out Dennis! Brady goes over and above by helping others. He always takes the lead in medical code situations by either filling the Manger on duty role or by guiding our new staff by helping them through their first injury report. He takes his skills on the road. While Brady was playing volleyball at IUSB, a player on the other team hurt her ankle. Instead of just being a bystander, he ended up assisting the IUSB staff by wrapping her ankle up with a bandage."

- Matt Lewandowski, Front Desk Attendant (Rockne Memorial)