Kelsey Loock, a senior from Waynesville majoring in interior design, was named Western Carolina University’s “Student Employee of the Year.”

She worked on campus as an architect’s assistant for the Office of Facilities Management and incorporated her student employment experience as part of her career goals. In addition to creating basic room layouts for various university offices, Loock helped with fire evacuation plans, selection of office furnishings and paint color selections.

“I was so blessed to have this experience because I have learned so much from (supervisor) Galen May, in addition to all of my classes,” Loock said. “It’s a happier experience when you’re at work and you like the appearance of your office.”

The annual recognition highlights the outstanding contributions student employees make to the university. Winners receive $500 and an engraved plaque. The recipient also is entered into the Southern Association of Student Employee Administrators regional competition.

Most notably, Loock helped pick out colors for the downstairs portion of Courtyard Dining Hall, choosing bright tones for a more youthful appeal. “As a designer, Kelsey does not let her personal feelings of design interfere with the needs of the client. I have watched her mold her initial designs with the critiques of others,” May said. “The solutions developed require both graphic and verbal definition. As an articulate person, Kelsey has taken samples, drawings and her vibrant smile and talked with individuals as well as groups about her design.”

WCU has some 1,300 student workers in the work study and non-work study programs. This year’s nominees were Caleb Alexander, student technology assistant for the Division of Information Technology; Tomas Aponte, intramural sports official/supervisor and program assistant for the Campus Recreation and Wellness; Josh Barlow, technology support assistant for the Office of Technology of Instructional Engineering Systems within the Kimmel School; Sarah Blackwell, office assistant at the Registrar’s Office; Sarah Cox, an entourage tour guide with the Office of Admission; Royce Dunnivan Jr., student assistant with the Department of Athletics, Reagan Hood, tech crew member with the Department of Campus Activities; Shelby Lequire, office assistant for the Advising Center; Caroline Wood, student assistant for Hunter Library; and Grace Woods, student worker for the Forensic Anthropology Program.