University names top student employee, supervisor of students

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Bryan Birchmeier and Carolyn Smith.

From left: Birchmeier and Smith

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University announced this year's top student employee and top staff supervisor of students during Student Employee Appreciation Week, held Feb. 22-26.

Bryan Birchmeier of Ada, formerly of Saline, is the 2016 Belleville Student Employee of the Year while Carolyn Smith of Kalamazoo is the 2016 Supervisor of the Year.

The two were honored during a Feb. 29 recognition reception. Both will have their nomination materials forwarded to a Midwest competition through the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators.

Career and Student Employment Services annually hosts WMU's Student Employee Appreciation Week celebration. The week is dedicated to the 3,500 student employees who work on campus each academic year. It is a time to recognize their hard work and the valuable contributions they make to the University, as well as to showcase an outstanding student employee and supervisor.

Bryan Birchmeier

Birchmeier, who expects to graduate in spring 2017, is a senior majoring in computer engineering and minoring in computer information systems. He has worked in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations for the past two years as a computer support specialist.

In his student position, he helps that office's information technology director to manage computers, servers, mobile devices, software and related processes. His responsibilities range from deploying machines and assisting end users to troubleshooting highly transactional processes and helping to develop his unit's short-term technology plan.

Many of those nominating Birchmeier for the Belleville Student Employee of the Year award wrote that he should receive the honor because of how he stepped to the fore last year when his previous supervisor took another campus position during one of the most important times for the development and alumni relations office.

In addition to the office moving to Heritage Hall, it was in charge of major undertakings such as the WMU/MSU Tailgate, WMU Homecoming, Heritage Hall Grand Opening and many other related events.

"Bryan was our IT resource on the events," one nominator said. "Bryan was a rock star during these times. He did his best and made all of these events run smoothly."

Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Smith, assistant director of admissions, recruits students by developing and implementing marketing strategies and programs. Her responsibilities include coordinating a comprehensive strategy for recruiting unique student populations, as well as hiring, training and supervising about 100 student employees who help implement Office of Admissions programs.

A WMU employee for more than eight years, she works with the Student Ambassador Program, which has a credo of service, attitude, professionalism, performance, relationships, improvement, dedication and education.

"We students use this everyday when we interact with each other and prospective students. Carolyn on the other hand uses this not only with prospective students, but also with the student ambassadors," one nominator wrote. "She is always busy and has a hundred things to do but still manages to make time to help out student ambassadors with their school and professional life. Her best attribute is finding the strengths in each student and pulling [those strengths] out of them. She has always displayed support and leadership."

For more news, arts and events, visit