Mann Library is bidding farewell to another crop of amazing student assistants who are graduating on May 28th with majors from all across Cornell. As we celebrated our soon-to-be-graduates at a student assistant graduation luncheon in early May, the occasion also gave us opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions of three students in particular who distinguished themselves with beyond-the-call-of-duty service and an exceptional level of team spirit.
The award winners are:
Matt Casbarro (Biology and Society, Class of 2017)
Matt has worked at the Mann access services desk for the past three semesters. In describing her reasons for nominating Matt for the Tom Clausen Student Assistat award, his supervisor Kat Stanton said “Matt has been my right-hand man this year. As a student supervisor at a super-busy service point in the Library, he delegates well, streamlines tasks, and is meticulous about completing each and every to-do list I’ve ever come up with for him. He helped me complete a major stacks management project over the winter break, always has a smile on his face, and trains new students with comradery and tact. We couldn’t have managed all that we accomplished at the circulation desk this year without him. Matt has been indispensable!”
Maura Thomas (Comparative Literature, Class of 2017)
Maura has worked with Mann’s outreach and public programming group over the past two years. Supervisor Eveline Ferretti nominated Maura for the Betsy Bush Student Assistant Award because of the invaluable help she has contributed toward the enormous group effort that goes into effective outreach and public programming at Mann Library. In her years at Mann, Maura has distinguished herself through a high level of self-direction, extraordinary creativity, and cheerful willingness to mentor more junior student assistants on the outreach team. Among other things, Maura has been a key contributor to different exhibits at the Library, authored Tumblr posts about Mann’s special collections, taught peers in the use of some complicated graphic design apps, and even created a beautiful new font that we’ve used for different displays. She’s made a wonderful difference to how well Mann Library has been able to reach out to our community—on campus and beyond.
Alex Gugliuzza (Human Ecology, Class of 2017)
Alex received Cornell University Library’s Myron Fuerst Award for her dedication as student assistant in Mann’s InterLibrary Loan Services department. Supervisor Chris Johns nominated Alex for her 3 ½ years as an efficient liaison between our patrons’ and processing their loans. “Our patrons wrote many emails thanking us for same day delivery due to Alex’s unflinching resolve,” noted Chris. In addition, Alex worked on binding books, UPS shipping, document delivery, scanning, paging materials in the stacks- all with a receptive engagement and attention to detail. Alex will be leaving Cornell to pursue a career in Washington D.C. in public policy.
Nine other Mann Library student assistants will be graduating along with Alex, Maura and Matt this year–for a total of twelve graduates—and, really, we wish we could give awards to all of them. Their accomplishments, both on duty at Mann and as students at Cornell, are impressive and many. We’ve created a slideshow on our Youtube channel to give you a taste of their cheerful awesomeness. If the difference these students have made to Mann Library over the past four years is any indicator, the world can look forward to the contributions of some wonderful young minds over the coming years. We wish them some fabulous adventures ahead and hope they will stay in touch.
The Tom Clausen and Betsy Bush Student Assistant Awards are yearly awards given to Mann students in recognition of excellence in service to the Library. Established by emeritus professor of animal science Ari van Tienhoven, these awards also honor the legacy of two Mann staff members, Tom and Betsy, who have made indelible impact on Mann and Cornell through their own dedication to daily acts of service and kind good cheer at the Mann Library circulation desk.