UNA Pressroom

Officials Name Akalonu As Student Employee Of The Year

Apr. 13, 2012

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. - The University of North Alabama has named Uchenna Ralph Akalonu, a senior double major in biology and history, as the 2011-2012 Student Employee of the Year in conjunction with the weeklong Student Employment Week held on campus April 8 to 14. Akalonu was selected as the Student Employee of the Year because he has exhibited excellence in scholarship and due to his contributions to the university, according to Student Employment Coordinator Stephanie Smith. The award was presented by Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields during the SEOTY reception April 12. Akalonu, who currently serves as the 2011-2012 Student Government Association president, works in the Office of International Affairs as a student services assistant. He assists with planning and the implementation of five international student orientations each year, Smith said. "If faculty and staff did not have student employees, we would not be able to accomplish a majority of our daily tasks," Smith said. "Student employees play an important role as ambassadors for the university and in creating the face of the university. At the same time, these positions offer unique opportunities for students to acquire and apply a variety of essential skills that will be helpful to them in their future careers." One of Akalonu's job tasks is to transport international students to and from the airport, as well as help them with housing check-in and health screenings. He also organizes a variety of international student events on campus, including International Education Week, WOW Wednesdays and excursions to cultural events. Akalonu, an international student from Nigeria, was a founding member of the African Student Organization. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Black Student Alliance and sergeant of arms for the State Collegiate Legislature. He was recently selected to be one of 200 students nationwide to take part in the American Israeli Public Action Committee (AIPAC) Conference in Washington, D.C. Akalonu plans to graduate in May and pursue a graduate degree in economics. His ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in international economics. Students Joshua Reeves and Victoria Smallwood were named Student Employee of the Year finalists. Charlotte YaVonne Garner, Kathryn Nelson, Megan Lyle Poss, Destin Underwood and Anna Morgan Wingo received honorable mention. For more information, contact the Office of Career Planning and Development at 256-765-4276 or email Smith at srsmith3@una.edu.