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Student Employee of the Year Honored

Student Employee of the Year Honored

Nicole Friedlein ’18, assistant resident director, has been named Bethel’s 2017-18 Student Employee of the Year.

Assistant Resident Director Nicole Friedlein ’18 has been named Bethel’s 2017-18 Student Employee of the Year. The award annually recognizes the outstanding contributions and achievements of undergraduate student employees.

Supervisors nominated student employees and provided evidence of how their nominees consistently demonstrate reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness as they contribute to their particular department and to Bethel. The President’s Cabinet then evaluated nominees using five characteristics as they applied to four areas of contribution: attributes, expectations, leadership style, and impact.

Assistant Dean of Residence Life Jenn Hillier, co-nominator, commended Friedlein for her ability to perform her job responsibilities with extraordinary character, including her excellent support of students and staff. “Nicole helps lead educational programs, plan social events, and directly advise resident assistants (RA). Along with administrative responsibilities, Nicole has helped to respond to some difficult student concerns,” Hillier says. “On all of these occasions, Nicole has acted with maturity and professionalism. She has led with confidence, communicated clearly, followed our processes, and treated everyone with respect.”

Likewise Kendall Engelke Davis, resident director of Nelson Hall and Friedlein’s supervisor and co-nominator, acknowledged Friedlein’s outstanding leadership and professionalism. “Nicole is an exceptional leader. I have been blessed to have her on my team for two years. She cares deeply for those around her. Her teammates know she is both relatable and reliable. Nicole balances the unique needs of completing tasks and investing in people. As a supervisor, I've appreciated her curiosity about the work and her desire to continue to learn. Nicole jumps in when she sees a need—and responds accordingly. She has a natural ability to ask meaningful questions of students that help them feel both affirmed and challenged. Nicole believes in the mission of Residence Life and sees the ministry involved in this work. She has never done this work to be recognized, but she is so deserving of accolade.”

Jenna Peterson, fellow student employee and RA, praised Friedlein for her intentionality in relating with others. “Something I first noticed about Nicole is that no matter whom she is talking to, she gives her full attention and engages in a way that makes the person feel like the most important person in that moment. Serving as an RA alongside Nicole, I observed from her what sacrificially giving of your time looks like. Her intentionality toward her residents and staff is highly noticeable,” Peterson says, “and she remains genuine while building those relationships. Now, working through year two together, I could not have thought of a better fit for a leader on our team. Not only did she lead us to the big Homecoming win, her confidence and spunk has brought us closer as a team.”

Associate Dean for Residence Life Jim Benjamin added, "Nicole has provided excellent leadership in Nelson Hall and the Office of Residence Life. She has thrived as a student who has grown and developed in her time at Bethel. These experiences helped inform her leadership of others."

Friedlein, a double major in psychology and communication studies, was honored in April at a breakfast where she received recognition from her team and senior management. She was presented with a $250 check, a certificate for a Bethel sweatshirt at the Campus Store, and a personal letter of recognition from Bethel President Jay Barnes.