Embry-Riddle Student Cassandra Gribbins Named NSEA's National Student Employee of the Year
Daytona Beach, FL , April 12, 2012
In a surprise announcement at Embry-Riddle’s Women’s Center on Wednesday, April 11, Embry-Riddle graduate student Cassandra Gribbins learned that she has been named not only the regional Student Employee of the Year by the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators (SASEA) but also the National Student Employee of the Year by the National Student Employment Association (NSEA). This is the first time an Embry-Riddle student has won the national honor.
At the celebration she was presented with a plaque from SASEA President Crystal Ferguson, a plaque and a $1,000 check from NSEA President Lynn Hoehn and a matching check from Embry-Riddle President John P. Johnson.
Student employees were judged on the criteria of reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and the uniqueness of the student’s contribution to the employer.
Gribbins, a 23-year-old from Creston, Iowa, is the lead developer of computer-generated imagery at Embry-Riddle’s Advanced Flight Simulation Center, where she has worked since July 2009.
“I am definitely amazed, surprised and grateful for these honors,” she said. “Embry-Riddle has given me so many great opportunities to learn and grow, not only as a student but as a person. Working at the Sim Center has allowed me to grow professionally and has given me valuable experience I can use in the industry. I don’t think I would have received these opportunities and experiences anywhere else.”
Gribbins is currently pursuing an M.S. in Human Factors and Systems at Embry-Riddle, where she recently earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a specialization in Astronautics and minors in Human Factors and Computer Aided Design. She commented that her career goal is to work in the
space industry, specifically spacecraft design, helping to make space visits more attainable for the general population.
Her progress to the competition for the regional and national student employee awards began when her supervisor Raul Rumbaut, director of Embry-Riddle’s Simulation Center, nominated her for Student Employee of the Year at the Daytona Beach campus, which she won.
“Cassandra’s job requires expert knowledge of industry-standard visual scenery software,” Rumbaut stated in the nomination form. “She is the first-ever Simulation Center student developer to achieve lead developer status, and the first to be granted the position of lead instructor for all development staff. She is key to the success of the Simulation Center and of the Flight Department.”
The Simulation Center contains multimillion-dollar advanced-technology FAA-qualified flight-training and simulation devices that complement Embry-Riddle’s high-tech fleet of training aircraft, preparing Aeronautical Science students for fulfilling careers as professional pilots.
The nomination packet submitted by Embry-Riddle also included a testimonial from Dr. Heidi Steinhauer, an Embry-Riddle associate professor of engineering who has taught Gribbins in three courses and relies on her assistance. Steinhauer wrote, “It speaks volumes to her work ethic and responsibility that I am able to ask her to lead a lecture, grade homework, hold supplemental instruction hours or mentor a student.”
Among her other achievements, Gribbins is a founding sister of Lambda Theta Alpha, the first multicultural sorority on campus; a senior counselor for the Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) summer camp; and a teaching assistant in advanced 3D modeling.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.