University Relations and Communications
MSU Billings accounting major selected as top student employee in Montana
April 3, 2008
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — As a student, Wayne Scharnhorst is a familiar face around the Montana State University Billings campus. And it’s not because he seemingly has a twin brother.
Here are just a few examples:
- The first-year senior has been involved in the university’s Accounting Club since 2005, and has been the organization’s secretary for the last two years.
- He has served as a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Board since 2004, which means he has a close working relationship with the dean and faculty.
- He has been involved with Jacket Student Ambassadors (the blue-vested, student-led MSU Billings advocacy team) for three years and has spent the last two years recruiting new members.
- He is an academic leader (his GPA is holding strong at 3.97) and for the last year, he has been a lab leader for Business 101 classes.
- He and his brother, Kasey, have been featured in promotional materials about the university and scholarships
But last month, Scharnhorst was recognized for his work and commitment to the university in a less visible, very behind-the-scenes way. He was honored by the Western Association of Student Employment Administrators (WASEA) as Student Employee of the Year for the state of Montana for the work he does at the MSU Billings Library. He was one of seven nominees at the university.
Being a numbers guy in a world of words may seem a bit incompatible. But mix an accounting student’s eye for detail and a strong work ethic and it’s a dream come true for a library staffer.
Rachael Kelly, serials and access services technician for the library, nominated Scharnhorst for the award and said his help in properly handling the roughly 700 periodicals the library receives each month is invaluable.
“He does the work of two student workers,” said Kelly, noting that maintaining a database, access and service for serials in a facility that is open 85.5 hours a week requires a lot of attention.
Scharnhorst, a Billings Skyview High School graduate who is pursing degrees in accounting and management information systems, is one of 212 MSU Billings students who work part-time jobs and earn money for college with federal work study funds. They work in different parts of the university and in the community. And not only do they earn some extra cash, but they build relationships.
When he came to MSU Billings, Scharnhorst found a job as a student circulation clerk in the library. His quiet, friendly demeanor almost allowed him to blend into the background, but when he had a chance, he began training across multiple departments within the library. When in early 2007 an opening came up in her area, Kelly recruited Scharnhorst.
“I knew I needed someone really good, so I stole Wayne,” she said with a laugh.
She noted, however, that he was a good fit for the job. He has worked more in depth in the library software than most student assistants and has had a hand in training new student workers. He understood the specific database management and circulation needs for the daily, weekly and monthly periodicals that are relied upon by students and faculty at MSU Billings.
“People have been great here,” said Scharnhorst, sitting in the backroom of the library.
He said he liked the opportunity to learn about the variety of services at the library and the diversity of demands required by the different jobs. He even got a bit of a history lesson.
“I never used a typewriter or microfilm machine until I came here,” he said.
Other MSU Billings nominees for student employee of the year were:
- Jillian Cole, nominated by the Student Union Building managers and staff
- Kaybree DeCock, nominated by the Office of Admissions and Records
- Megan Jones, nominated by the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning
- Jeff McGough, nominated by St. Vincent Healthcare
- Alyssa Rossmiller, nominated by the Office of New Student Services
- Sara Shaffer, nominated by the Department of Art
PHOTO ABOVE:Rachael Kelly, serials and access services technician at the MSU Billings Library, and Wayne Scharnhorst, whom she nominated for student employee of the year.