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Stellar Student

Xavier University

What makes a student the Employee of the Year? Don’t ask Maria Konerman. She’s still not sure. But she is grateful—both for the award and for the experience she had working for the Center for Mission and Identity. The accolade went even further when her boss, center director Joe Shadle, nominated her for Student Employee of the Year for the State of Ohio—and she won that, too.

The certificate came with a $75 check. “I was surprised that I’d won, and kind of embarrassed,” Konerman says.

But Shadle and Debra Mooney, Xavier’s chief mission officer who also supervised Konerman’s work, weren’t surprised. A Spanish major, Konerman translated into Spanish several items for the Jesuit Resource web page that Mooney manages, including two publications—Jesuit Education and Ignatian Pedagogy. Sometimes she had to find new ways to write certain phrases that didn’t translate directly. But her favorite project was creating videos of interviews with professors about their methods of integrating Jesuit teaching into their courses.

“I would get back to the office and start going through the raw footage,” she says. “I would add photos to make it more interesting. We created about 20 videos.”

Konerman graduated in May and is hoping to use her degrees in Spanish and organizational communications—and her experience—to teach English in another country like Spain or work for a local nonprofit helping Spanish-speaking people communicate.

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