History of the Program

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s SEOTY Program and Awards Ceremony was developed before a Regional and National Competition was put together by the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators (WASEA) and the National Student Employment Association (NSEA), respectively. The idea for the recognition program on our campus was developed by Myrtle Ching-Rappa, Director of the former Student Employment & Cooperative Education Office, the department that initially held the event in 1986.

The SEOTY Program has proven its excellence with many outstanding student employees. Many of whom have become State Winners and Regional Winners; we were also blessed with having a National Winner. The year that NSEA held the 1st Annual National Student Employee of the Year Awards, UHM’s Student Employee of the Year 1995, Teresa Lui, became the very first national winner.

In 1996, the SEOTY Craft Fair was created to supplement scholarship awards and provided needed program support for the Student Employee of the Year Program. It was a great success despite limited space, resources, and only 16 vendors. In 2000, fund raising efforts were expanded to include a silent auction. Over the years, program funding has continued to decline, but participation and support has steadily increased. The proceeds from this event guarantee that the top four (4) nominees will receive scholarship awards and that all program costs are covered.

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