Staff Make Students Count award winners announced

The University of Alaska honored three outstanding staff members during the June 5 Board of Regents meeting with the Staff Make Students Count award for providing outstanding service to students. 

Staff members lay the foundation for our students’ success. From providing emotional support when a student is discouraged or helping with applying for financial aid, UA staff members support just about every aspect of our students’ experience.  

In congratulating these three outstanding staff members, President Johnsen said, “this is the quality and commitment we see every day across the University and I am proud to serve UA with them.”

Each recipient received an award plaque, a lump-sum of $1,000 and two domestic airline vouchers from Alaska Airlines. The Staff Make Students Count Awards were established in 1999 to recognize outstanding service to UA students. 

This year’s award recipients are:

Caroline Venuti,
Caroline Venuti

UAA - Caroline Venuti, the Learning Resource Center Coordinator and Writing Tutor on the Kachemak Bay Campus of KPC, as well as the advisor for the KBC Student Association.

From the letter of support written by a student:

“I’m writing to you today to express my heartfelt admiration and extreme gratitude for Caroline. She is, in my opinion, the most valuable employee on campus and the reason why I am still in school. When I first started at this campus, I was terrified. I hadn’t been in school for almost ten years, and I was recently diagnosed with mental health issues, so I felt incredibly unprepared and unconfident. Caroline was one of the first people I met, and she was a ray of sunshine. She was immediately welcoming, and somehow managed to settle my nerves with just a chat. She assured me that I could do this, and always made herself available to help with my classwork if I needed it.

I truly can not put into words how much of herself she pours into this campus, and into every single student and teacher she comes across. She’s the heart of the campus, and I count myself so lucky to have her to always turn to. She wears so many hats at school, and she enjoys it so much that her happiness spreads wherever she goes. As a student, I know that she will help me, and if she is unable, she will find the person who can help me. She is truly an invaluable resource.”

Carol Hoefler
Carol Hoefler

UAF - Carol Hoefler, the administrative assistant for the Art Department, where she assists both graduate and undergraduate art students.

From her nomination letter:

“Carol is a results-oriented person; she’s always on the lookout for a way to assist people in ways that solves a question posed. She directs people on the proper path to the solution without fail. I have seen her in action countless times assisting students with academic and institutional queries that she has resolved or shown students to places where they will find the answers. Carol has an incredible understanding of the myriad processes within the UA system and she applies this knowledge to help our students in completing the proper form or paperwork to help them apply for URSA grants, scholarships, academic paperwork and employment opportunities. If Carol doesn’t know the answer she absolutely directs the students toward someone who does. She has been one of the most service-oriented employees I have had the pleasure to work with in my 38 years at UAF (that counts my years as an undergraduate art student).”

 Louis Scott
Louis Scott

UAS - Louis Scott, the Title III Academic Advisor, who provides student advising and math tutoring on the Ketchikan campus.

From his nomination letter:

“Louie Scott has a special connection with students that deserves recognition.  As an Outreach Advisor  for Arts and Sciences, Louie connects with students regularly to assist in degree planning, accessing  technology, overcoming hurdles and much more.   However, his level of connection is far from normal.  

Over his years at UAS Ketchikan, Louie has proven himself to be unshakably student centered.  The  student population Louie works with both in advising and in his additional role as a math tutor is largely  under‐prepared.  His students often doubt their own abilities and frequently struggle to understand  concepts.  Louie’s level of respect for all students, no matter what their skill level or how quirky they  may seem, is fundamental to how he builds a level of trust unlike any I’ve seen in my nearly 30 years  working in Student Services at University of Alaska campuses.”