KU Libraries honor student employees at Dean’s Award luncheon

LAWRENCE — Leaders at the University of Kansas Libraries hosted the annual Dean’s Award for Student Employee Excellence (DASEE) award luncheon May 2, recognizing the essential contributions of student workers and highlighting outstanding student employees and ambassadors. 

This year, 147 student employees contributed essential work across all major offices and divisions of KU Libraries. 

“With the support of staff supervisors, student employees have significant impact on the reach and work of the libraries, engaging with multifaceted projects and meeting a wide range of patron needs,” Libraries Dean Carol Smith said to the DASEE lunch crowd of students and staff.   

Nicholas Schemper, a senior in history and classics from Phillipsburg, was awarded a DASEE for his work in the Access Services Department at Anschutz Library. Schemper was honored for his reliability, initiative, and ability to collaborate with and supervise other student workers. 

“With the long hours that we have at Anschutz, we really depend on our student supervisors a lot to help fill in gaps when other staff members can’t be there,” said Morgan Smith, Anschutz operations manager. “Nick is one of those people who you know, beyond a doubt you can depend on.” 

Schemper has been instrumental in both daily operations and special projects over the past two years at Anschutz. 

“As a student supervisor I will oversee everyday tasks that need to be done like shelving or scanning,” Schemper said. “Other times there will be big projects that we need to do, like last summer we had a huge shifting project where we literally shifted thousands and thousands of books, and it took every single one of our student workers.” 

Hailey LaPlant, a senior from Scott City and Wichita, was honored for her contributions at the Watson Library circulation desk, where she has worked for five years. LaPlant’s responsibilities have grown over that time from covering the desk to helping guide and train new student employees. She also takes part in wellness-related efforts and plant care at the library. LaPlant has been especially helpful this year in covering extra shifts with increasing responsibilities to fill gaps in scheduling and staffing.  

“My favorite thing over the past five years is just meeting all the people,” LaPlant said. “I know I’ve made some friends that I’ll keep for hopefully a lifetime. All the staff and students we work with, they’re amazing; it’s such a community.” 

Cash prizes were awarded to the DASEE winners, who were nominated by supervisors and selected by a committee including members of the KU Libraries Board of Advocates. The DASEE Awards were established and are sustained through a gift from Lorraine Haricombe, former dean of KU Libraries . 

In addition to libraries student employees, two members of the KU Libraries Student Ambassador Program (KULSAP) were also recognized for outstanding service. KULSAP members meet throughout the year with libraries’ leadership to engage and build awareness among fellow students and enhance libraries’ services and facilities. Margaret Baechle and Zoe Camarin were honored for their creativity, dedication and leadership in the group.  

“It’s a really rewarding club, everyone in (KULSAP) is super fun and nice, and just enjoys being there,” said Baechle, a junior from St. Louis studying English, who served as president of KULSAP this year. “We have a lot of free range with what we can do.” 

“It’s very beneficial not just through making connections, but also learning about what the libraries have to offer,” Camarin said. 

Camarin, a freshman from Olathe, said KULSAP was the first club she joined at KU. “I’ve made some of my best friends in this club,” she said. “And I’ve learned things I probably wouldn’t have known if I just walked into the library.” 

Tue, 05/07/2024


Wendy Conover

Media Contacts

Wendy Conover

KU Libraries