Each Fall, NAU recognizes an outstanding supervisor to student employees with the Supervisor of the Year (SOTY) Award. Student employees, colleagues, and/or supervisors are given the opportunity to nominate who they think performs to their best ability to supervise the many student employees of NAU (https://in.nau.edu/career/soty/). Transfer and Online Connections (TOC) has the honor of being home to the 2020-2021 SOTY Award recipient, Rebecca Trujillo, our Jacks Online Coordinator! According to Kelley Silva McKee, Coordinator with Student Affairs, Rebecca was recognized for her exceptional communication, dedication, and support to the Jacks Online mentors.
Rebecca began her career at NAU in 2005 with Academic Advising. She has come and gone a few times since then, but NAU has always called her back. Rebecca has been with TOC since February 2020, three weeks prior to going completely virtual due to COVID-19. “I am so thankful for the TOC pro staff, JJ and Leslie, for helping me get my bearings in a new position during such an unprecedented time.”
Rebecca was completely surprised and absolutely honored to have been this year’s SOTY Award recipient. She notes that she has such an amazing team and learns so much from each mentor based on the unique experiences and talents they bring to NAU and the online community. “I value the opportunity I get to invest in the mentor’s professional development and getting to know each one. I feel passionate about investing in each mentor, the impact is far-reaching, not only just within the NAU community, but the lives they touch everywhere.”
One of Rebecca’s favorite moments working with the Jacks Online mentors is their virtual staff meetings. The team shares many moments of fun and laughing together, as well as sincere and genuine concerns or feelings to continue supporting each other as they grow not only as a team but also as individuals. Rebecca values how open and honest the mentors are. They inspire her to find ways to support and highlight the dedicated work they produce.
Jarell Zablan, the Jacks Online Graduate Assistant, notes that “Rebecca’s leadership style encompasses taking goal-oriented actions and applying them to the strengths of each person on our team. She recognizes what is important to you and is able to provide opportunities for growth based on those needs.” Leah Eauslin and Vanessa Morley, two Jacks Online mentors, note that they can get into contact with Rebecca when they need to and when they do, she is always positive, kind, and never makes them feel as if they are burdening her when asking for help.
Jarell, Leah, and Vanessa all highlight that Rebecca shows that she cares about the team by ensuring everyone is taking the time to take care of themselves and takes time out of her busy day to individually check in on everyone. “It is not out of the ordinary to find her making check-in phone calls with our team members or mailing thoughtful cards to let her know that she is thinking of us,” according to Jarell. Leah says that Rebecca is the best supervisor she has ever had in any position she has worked in. “In addition to helping us become better mentors and serve our mentees well, she cares about us individually and our successes outside of Jacks Online as our role as mentors.” To add on, Vanessa says that Rebecca is more than just a supervisor, as she has made individual connections with each team member. The Jacks Online team is grateful to have her as a supervisor.
Written by Jeanine Horio