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Abby Patterson Wins Charlotte’s 2024 Student Employee of the Year Award

At UNC Charlotte, where over 30,000 students forge their future, Abby Patterson stands out for her exemplary dedication, winning the prestigious 2024 Student Employee of the Year Award. The university celebrated Patterson’s achievement at a special luncheon held at the Cone University Center on Thursday, April 11.

A senior majoring in communication studies and history, Patterson started her journey at the Popp Martin Student Union and Cone University Center as a building manager in 2021. Unlike many who rise through the ranks, Patterson secured her role straight after an interview that showcased her exceptional skills and leadership qualities.

Michael Avery, Cone Center’s assistant director of operations, praised Patterson’s commitment, saying, “It was clear from the beginning that Abby is invested in the work and took ownership of her role in advancing the mission and playing an integral role in the daily operations of the Popp Martin Student Union and Cone University Center.”

Patterson has been pivotal in enhancing the experience for student employees, organizing game nights, wellness events, and appreciation celebrations. Her leadership extends to serving as vice chair of the Popp Martin Student Union Advisory Board.

Describing her experience, Patterson shared, “The best part about working in our buildings is the opportunity for growth. I immediately saw how my job tasks such as supervision, delegating tasks and event management directly applied to skills future employers would be looking for. Every day student employees are unconsciously practicing important skills, and this constant practice greatly improved my confidence as a professional and as an individual.”

Her influence reaches beyond her immediate team to the nearly 1.6 million students, patrons, and community members who visit the centers annually.

Desmond Brogsdale, PMSU assistant director of operations, noted, “Abby has been instrumental in the development of our student employee team by leading by example. Abby is someone who is determined to always perform at her best and is constantly looking for ways to improve as a professional and leader. Her ambitious nature will allow her to be successful within her professional career.”

After she graduates in May, Patterson plans to pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership at UNC Charlotte.

The luncheon also recognized other nominees who have shown exceptional dedication in their roles, including students from diverse academic fields who have worked for at least two full semesters in their respective departments. Teresa Shook, a human resources specialist, emphasized the rigorous selection process, noting, “The selection committee evaluated nominees on their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and contributions to their employer. The selection committee was looking for students that go above and beyond their job descriptions.”

As these talented students continue to build their careers, UNC Charlotte proudly highlights their contributions and the real-world skills they’ve honed during their time as student employees.

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