Making IUPUI history, student employee Henry Woodburn was recently awarded Midwest Student Employee of the Year for Community Service. The Midwest level is the highest "of the year" distinction won by an IUPUI student employee dating back to its start in 2003.
Prior to his Midwest distinction, the IUPUI Office of Student Employment recognized the construction management student as the 2023 IUPUI Student Employee of the Year during the National Student Employee Appreciation (NSEA) Week awards ceremony earlier this year. Woodburn was nominated in the community service and critical thinking categories for his work as a sustainable transportation intern in the Office of Sustainability.
Woodburn's excitement about his internship and the impact he has made matched that of his dual recognition.
“Winning the Student Employee of the Year award to me shows that the efforts that myself and the campus community to support and encourage sustainable transportation are being seen,” Woodburn said. “The movement for more sustainable transportation access has been gaining momentum nationwide, but I have really been seeing it grow on campus. Being a part of that momentum and making change on campus as a student employee has been an incredible experience!”
Woodburn’s original nominator and supervisor, Amanda Keene, described him as “a self-starter who takes initiative on projects without being asked.” She continued, “He is proactive, action-oriented, committed to seeing projects through, and highly accountable, all of which make him well-suited to independently lead various projects.”
Woodburn worked on a variety of initiatives during his time as an intern in the Office of Sustainability. He led the work on Jag Bike, a bike repair and education program. Through Jag Bike, impounded bikes on campus will be repaired and converted into bikes available in an on-campus bike share program.
“What I love most about working with the Office of Sustainability, in particular, is that they put a lot of power, trust, and belief in all the interns,” Woodburn said. “Our supervisors within the office allow us to make change and do work that can really make a difference for the campus community. Everyone is approachable and open to new ideas. If I ever have an idea or want to change something, I never feel anxious sharing it.”
Katie Hillock, employer relations consultant in the Office of Student Employment, commented on what Woodburn’s success means for IUPUI.
“IUPUI has previously had state-wide winners, but never a Midwest winner before. We are immensely proud of the work Henry has accomplished and his recognition at the Midwest level is well-deserved,” Hillock said.