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Career and Academic Advising

Amanda Smith (Also State of Ohio Student Employee of the Year)

Center for Urban and Public Affairs
Recognition Year: 

Nnominated by her supervisor, David Jones.

Exemplifying reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness of contribution.

Amanda Smith was selected as the 2006 Wright State University Student Employee of the Year.

Amanda is a junior Social Work major and business management minor at Wright State University. She is currently in the Honors program with a 3.7 grade point average. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Amanda is a 2003 graduate of Stebbins High School.

Amanda was nominated by her supervisor, David Jones in Center for Urban and Public Affairs, where she has been a student employee since the fall of 2003. She began as a telephone interviewer in the survey research lab, conducting surveys on behalf of governments and non-profit organizations. In the two and half years that she worked for the research center, she has been promoted to supervisor of the survey lab and has had the opportunity to work in different capacities on numerous research projects that the Center has conducted.

While a student at Wright State, Amanda has taken part in the Peer 2 Peer program and has served as a tutor for the Ohio Reads program. She is an active member and former treasurer of the American Humanics Student Association, a non-profit certification program on campus. She is also a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), a national organization dedicated to excellence in survey research.

Here is an excerpt from Amanda's nomination letter written by her supervisor, David Jones:

"After completing a research project in 2004 about the impacts of high school preparation on student success, Amanda expressed a desire to explore the topic further. With this is mind, she and a fellow CUPA employee developed a 65 question survey aimed at exploring the role of high school preparation on student career and college planning. In order to ensure the validity of her survey, Amanda sought out the expertise of many WSU faculty and staff members to gain their input.

"Using Southwest Ohio as her target area, Amanda developed a sound methodology to obtain a representative sample of all public high schools in Southwest Ohio. After having her survey and methodology approved by the University's review board, she began contacting her target schools in order to gain permission to conduct her research.

"Today Amanda's survey is being implemented at more than 40 high schools in southwest Ohio. In all, between 4,000 and 5,000 high school juniors and seniors will take part in this survey. Many high schools Amanda has worked with have expressed a desire to conduct this survey on an on-going basis in order to measure the impact of changes each school may make as a result of survey findings. This in itself has positioned Wright State University to be at the forefront of education research for many years to come.

"After data collection is complete, Amanda will enter and analyze the completed surveys, and will prepare a journal article that she plans to submit for publication in late 2006. Additionally, Amanda has applied for and has been accepted to present her findings at the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) conference in Montreal in May of 2006.

"While these attributes are impressive, what I believe truly sets Amanda apart from other students is that she has conducted this research strictly in pursuit of knowledge. She took the initiative to seek out funding for her research and for her travel to the conference, as our office would have been unable to provide all financial support. While our office has been very supportive of this research project, Amanda has been responsible for its success. She has truly been a leader in advancing research at Wright State, and for that I believe she should be recognized."

A reception was held during National Student Employment Week in the Millett Hall Atrium. Wright State University Provost Dr. David R. Hopkins presented Amanda Smith with a certificate and several gifts. Julie Todd, Career Services Assistant Director presented Amanda with a gift certificate and a check from Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators (MSEA) for winning at the state level. Congratulations Amanda for a job well done!