For the City Times
It’s not every day that Kirsten Voss helps bake and decorate 3,000 cookies for Homecoming, or volunteers to set up an elaborate cupcake display, chocolate fondue and multiple dessert stations for Finals Frenzy Chocolate Madness.
But on most early mornings, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point bakery student manager takes on a multitude of tasks before many college students have even headed to class.
Her ongoing efforts have earned the UW-Stevens Point senior the 2015 National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Student Employee of the Year Award.
A dietetics major from Greendale, Voss will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a plaque presented at UW-Stevens Point. She was chosen for best exemplifying reliability, quality of work, initiative, team work and contribution to her employer. Voss was the Midwest Region finalist, one of six regional winners from across the United States. She is the first national winner from UW-Stevens Point and the UW System.
Voss began working in the Dining and Summer Conferences bakery three years ago, and has also worked in the DeBot Dining Center, Homegrown Café and CPS Café. As a student manager, she manages production for bakery items across campus, trains staff and keeps the bakery clean and productive.
“Kirsten goes above and beyond her student manager position responsibilities by volunteering for extra tasks,” said Josh Berg, Residential Dining manager. “She tests new recipes, sets up for special events, interviews prospective employees and attends manager development sessions.”
Last summer, Voss served a NACUFS internship at the University of Northern Iowa, where she planned and executed an African Safari themed lunch and created a menu cycle for customers with gluten-free, allergen-free and vegan diets.
An honor student, Voss is also an officer in the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics and volunteers at the campus food pantry.
“It’s a big honor to have my hard work recognized on such a large level,” said Voss, who will graduate in May. In the fall she will attend Illinois State University to pursue a master’s degree, complete a dietetic internship and begin a career in community nutrition and food service.
“Working here has given me the opportunity to step up as a leader,” she said. “It’s something different every day, which makes my job fun. I also enjoy working with a small, close crew in the bakery.”
Voss will be recognized Friday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in DeBot Room 073. The presentation will include a NACUFS representative and remarks from Voss, Dining and Summer Conferences staff, Vice Chancellor Al Thompson and Chancellor Bernie Patterson. A reception will follow.
She will also be highlighted on the NACUFS website and at the NACUFS National Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., in July.