WSU Student Employee of the Year is Marielibeth “Vanessa” Moran

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University computer engineering major and electrical engineering minor Marielibeth “Vanessa” Moran is the WSU 2023 Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY), said the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), program host.

A senior, Moran has worked for WSU Concessions, CORETECH, and the LAUNCH (Into Experiential Learning) program in the provost’s office, and has been an active participant in the Office of Academic Engagement’s Invest in Cougs program. She plans to graduate in 2024.

New Award Categories Reflect Employment Plus Impact

As in many prior years, the WSU SEOTY award highlights the importance of students who work while attending college and their role in the success of the university. Nominees must have demonstrated outstanding dedication and dependability, and made a positive impact on the offices where they work.

While all WSU SEOTY nominees must be student employees, changes this year at the U.S.-wide level by the SEOTY parent organization—the National Student Employee Association (NSEA)—called for the creation of categories beyond employment that align with competencies that employers request. Those include community service, leadership, embracing diversity and inclusion values, critical thinking, and innovation and technology.

Four Others Receive SEOTY Honors

Using a rubric shared by NSEA, Moran was selected as the top WSU student employee partially based on her accomplishments in the community service category. Four additional SEOTY nominees were also celebrated this year based on their contributions in other categories:

  • A senior physics major, Faraz Abounorinejad received the WSU SEOTY leadership awardfor demonstrating exceptional initiative in taking the lead during workplace scenarios while remaining open to embracing change and innovative ideas. He has worked for the Dept. of Chemistry.
  • A junior in public relations, Mason Dreon received the diversity and inclusion awardfor showing a commitment to understanding and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at work, on campus, and in the community. She has worked for WSU Athletics. 
  • A junior majoring in psychology, Alexis Kruger received the critical thinking award for excelling at gathering and analyzing information from a wide range of sources and people to solve problems. She has worked for the Access Center. 
  • A senior neuroscience major, Anna Rodgers received the innovation awardfor excelling in managing technology to integrate vital information that enables relevant, effective, and timely decision-making. She has worked for the Dept. of Entomology.

“The field of nominees was very diverse and had a wealth of skills and accomplishments this year,” said Hieu Trung “Ricky” Thai, ASCC student employee coordinator, who oversaw that process.

“We are pleased, though, with the top student employee choices that we made and believe these exceptional individuals represent the very best of what it means to be a student employee at WSU.”

Moran as WSU SEOTY

Moran has since 2018 served as a LAUNCH ambassador. LAUNCH is an initiative in the provost’s office aimed at using a peer-mentoring model to help students connect early with high-impact learning.

She is credited with having helped numerous students identify and connect with co-curricular learning opportunities that align with their personal values, strengths, and post-graduation goals. She has led small groups in collaborative activities and discussions, provided individualized guidance, and facilitated workshops.

Moran is also applauded for being consistently enthusiastic, conscientious, and a problem-solver, with her performance and attitude reflecting her work ethic, commitment to excellence, and a willingness to invest the time and effort to ensure a job is done to the best of her ability.

Media contacts:

Amanda Morgan, Associate Director of ASCC,

Hieu Trung “Ricky” Thai, ASCC Student Employment Coordinator,

Read the full article on the Insider website.