Ramapo announced the award of “Student Employees of the Year” to nine students this past Tuesday, April 27. Students were nominated by staff and other students who felt they did an exemplary job helping the Ramapo Community.
The nine recipients of the award are Stephanie De Silva, Julia Drennan, Becca Foster, Stephanie Guzman, Salil Maharjan, Parker Rogers, Giselle Ruiz, Sibika Silwal and Priscilla Kim. To highlight the amazing work that these students do for Ramapo, here’s a better look at some of these student employee’s work.
Stephanie De Silva
Stephanie De Silva is a junior social work major from Sri Lanka who works two on-campus jobs. She works as both a student aide in the SSHS Dean’s office and an OSS lab assistant.
De Silva shared her passion for the position as an OSS lab assistant, which she also worked as at Bergen Community College.
“I am blessed to have my past experience and knowledge I can use to help more students at Ramapo,” De Silva said.
De Silva said she finds fulfillment in being able to help students with disabilities by converting textbooks for students with seeing impairments, creating a newsletter and working on future projects with her team. Her compassion and strive for her work shows what a dedicated student employee she is.
“End of the day I go home happily because I know that I am able to help someone,” De Silva said.
Julia Drennan is a sophomore at Ramapo who began working for Commuter Affairs in the Center for Student Involvement in Fall 2019. Drennan herself is a commuter from Park Ridge, NJ.
“Working at Commuter Affairs has truly allowed me to make sure that the commuter population is heard, appreciated, and remembered at Ramapo,” Drennan said.
She and the other members of the Commuter Affairs team work to make events for commuter students, focus groups so that they can voice concerns and even a “commuter appreciation week.” Given Ramapo’s large commuter population, the work Drennan does is incredibly important to many students.
“Commuter students may feel that it is harder to get involved, make friendships, and feel like a member of the Ramapo community,” Drennan said. “I work to ensure that all of these things are accessible to the commuter student body.”
Silal Maharjan is a senior computer science major from Nepal who has worked a variety of jobs in his years at Ramapo. He currently works with Professor Amruth Kumar on NSF Codelets research.
Maharjan has also worked at OSS, ASB Cahill Center, the Athletics department and as a student orientation leader. This student employee award is not his first, as it is clear how passionate he is about assisting the Ramapo community with his hard work.
“This job has helped me to get valuable research experience in my major, Computer Science,” Maharjan said about his research position. “It has helped me to excel in my academic endeavors and broaden my knowledge in the field.”
Giselle Ruiz is a senior from Pompton Lakes who works with Ramapo’s dining/catering services, Sodexo. Ruiz has been working in this position since the winter of her freshman year in 2016.
“Throughout the years, I have gained skills that have helped me think quickly on my feet and have lots of patience,” Ruiz said. “I've grown to appreciate the importance of teamwork, to reach out and ask for help, not everything has to or can be done alone!”
Ruiz said she has worked countless events from Presidential to student run. She notes that had she not worked in her job, she would not have been able to attend so many events and meet so many members of the community. Her long years show dedication to her job and a true enjoyment for the work she does.
“We help the community by being a reliable resource who collaborate with other on campus organizations on making their dining/food visions into a welcoming and irresistible experience,” Ruiz said.
Sibika Silwal is a sophomore international student from Nepal who works at the Office of Specialized Service as a lab assistant and tutor. She began working at OSS in the spring of her Freshman year in 2019.
“I also work on putting together resources for OSS students, like online textbooks, assistive software for example, text to speech, screen reader, zoom text, etc,” Silwal said. “It's been around a year and half that I have worked at OSS and I really enjoy it.”
Silwal said the rest of the team at OSS feels like family to her, and that they all support each other in their work. She takes pride in being able to help students through assistive software and tutoring.
Her work at OSS allows her to help other students succeed in their time at Ramapo, as well as bring her the joy of knowing she has helped.
“I really enjoy helping students by clarifying a concept of the subject or working with them to find a way to solve course problems together,” Silwal said.
Parker Rogers is a third year student from Randolph, NJ who works as both the Trans Outreach Coordinator and the Lead Queer Peer Services Coordinator for the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Services. Rogers has worked with this office since last Spring when he was hired as the Trans Outreach Coordinator.
“At Ramapo, trans advocacy came from a place of Need. The spaces that were meant to be for Trans people were not private and were not safe,” Rogers said. “Through advocating that the behind the scenes work of the trans community be brought to light, the Trans Outreach Coordinator position was created.
Rogers is highly involved with event planning and bolstering of community at Ramapo, especially for trans students. He says that his role has been able to provide a sense of voice and community for trans students at Ramapo they did not have before.
“With the mentorship of Simaza, the coordinator of the WC and the support of many others, I have been able to grow immensely in this role. I’ve learned how to stand my ground in challenging situations, write meaningful speeches that can captivate audiences, be the lead person for big events, and how to make institutional change,” Rogers said. “It is through this position that I am able to work on centering trans voices while bridging the gap between the trans community and the Ramapo College community.”
Rogers’ work has made him a prominent member of the student community at Ramapo, where his work goes far from unnoticed.
Stephanie Guzman is a senior from Guttenberg, NJ who works as the SARM (Students Activities and Revenue Management) student manager in CSI. Guzman has been working at SARM since fall of 2017, and currently works alongside five other students to help manage funds for clubs and organizations on campus. Being SARM manager, Guzman takes on a significant amount of responsibility, which she does with joy.
“I still remember the interview process with my direct supervisor, Eric Montgommery. I was really scared because there were a lot of students applying for a position at CSI,” Guzman said looking back on when she began. “Thankfully, Eric and the rest saw something in me and hired me.”
Guzman shared how proud she is to work for SARM, as she truly enjoys her position. She feels she’s grown from her position and says it helped her to meet amazing people at Ramapo.
“I have gained so much more confidence from this job. It's also been helpful in helping me stay motivated and shown me the importance for leadership, time management, and customer service,” Guzman said. “It's helped my college career be such a great experience!”
It is important for our community to recognize those who better it, especially in times where we feel disconnected. Student employees like those above spend countless time working to improve life at Ramapo because they are passionate about helping others and addressing the issues they see– not for just themselves, but for everyone.
Whether a student has been working for one semester or several years, we thank all our student employees for their hard work.