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Peer Advocate Laura Miko Awarded Student Employee of the Month for February

Laura Miko, a Peer Advocate in the Student Wellness & Peer Education Program for UAS Housing, received the UAS Student Employee of the Month Award for the month of February. Chancellor John Pugh presented Laura with a framed award certificate during a ceremony in the Lake Room on Monday, February 26.

Student

Laura has been one of the most outstanding young adults I have supervised in my seven professional years of working in higher education,” says Residence Life Manager Chris Washko, who nominated Laura for the award. “I have never witnessed a more approachable and available student staff member who goes out of her way to communicate with her younger peers that she truly receives joy and satisfaction from knowing them, supporting them, and helping them grow into more responsible and health citizens of the UAS community. She has termed a catch phrase that she yells out to others as she finishes a conversation or offers advice: ‘Remember health and wellness!’”

In her role as Peer Advocate, Laura serves as a mediator among peers, addressing interpersonal conflict, personal wellness risk behaviors, and poor decision-making in a tactful but direct manner, notes Washko. “The students love and respect her because she uses a genuine approach to listening to them and providing advice and referrals.”

Laura also serves as an educator, having worked as a Teaching Assistant for Humanities 120 classes and the Leadership class, and now applies these skills to the educational and social programs she designs for the Wellness program. “She by far draws the greatest attendance to such events, and serves an integral role in bringing credibility and effectiveness in sustaining the program and justifying the institution’s use of the grant money awarded by the State Department of Health and Social Services,” Washko says.

Exemplifying the true connection Laura’s made with her peers, Washko adds: “At the holiday season, I walked into Banfield Hall to see that out nine-foot tree had been covered with handmade ornaments that Laura had fashioned individually for every resident, reflecting their interests and personalities – a craft that only demonstrates how well she has worked to get to know each and every one of them. Atop the tree, the residents had made a crude little angel, bearing Laura’s name and holding a banner that read ‘Health & Wellness.’ It was one of the most touching things I have seen in years.”

“As she continues to draw other students to apply for Community Advisor and Peer Advocate positions, I have been insisting that she consider a career in Student Affairs and High Education, because she is truly gifted, insightful, and dedicated in the service she provides to the campus, the students, and the professional staff,” Washko says.

For more information about the Student Employee of the Month program, contact Steve Laing, Career Services Specialist, at 796-6368 or at steve.laing@uas.alaska.edu.

 
 

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