Miami senior named regional student employee of the yearMay 06, 2010
Miami University graduating senior Thomas Flynn of Cleveland has been named the Midwest Region Student Employee of the Year by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). He received a $1,000 scholarship and an expense-paid trip to the national conference in San Jose, Calif, this July.
Flynn’s entry competed against student food service employees from nearly 150 colleges from nine Midwestern states. He now qualifies to compete for the NACUFS national title and a $5,000 scholarship at the July conference.
Flynn, who is student manager at Miami’s Spring Street Market in Shriver Center, excelled during his four years working for Miami’s housing, dining and guest services department.
Tina Rotundo, executive manager of the Haines Food Court and Flynn’s supervisor, nominated him for the award because of his hard work in improving efficiency, increasing employee morale and developing cost-cutting measures.
Rotundo explained in her nomination letter that during his first year at the market, he re-arranged the selection items in the store and in the stockroom, improving efficiency and increasing sales. Quickly promoted to manager after his first year, Flynn then initiated a website using Blackboard for all student workers allowing for better tracking of required training and better communication with all students and management staff.
“As a student manager, Thomas showed exemplary leadership in his dealing with student employees,” she wrote. “He managed conflicts so well that many students would come to him, even when he wasn’t working to express concerns they may have. He respectfully brought their concerns to management which increased employee morale.”
Rotundo added that when the national economy began to impact sales at the store, Flynn analyzed customer volume data and business needs and reworked student schedules, reducing student employment cost by 34 percent, while still maintaining the proper coverage needed.
In addition to his service at work, he has achieved academic success graduating with two bachelor’s degrees—engineering management and manufacturing engineering. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, serving as president of the local chapter, and he is currently the regional vice president of the Midwestern region that consists of 106 chapters.
Flynn was instrumental in planning and organizing the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches for the Miami and Oxford communities. He also has been a member of the Associated Student Government serving as a senator from 2005-2009. He is a member of the Diversity Affairs Council and Oversight Committee and is a 2010 recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award.