An award given for the first time this spring -- Student Employee of the Year -- was granted to Patrick Dunigan '06, who works at the help desk of the Saint Mary's College Computer and Technology Services department (CATS). Among faculty and staff, said Uyen Trinh, help desk coordinator and Patrick's supervisor, Patrick is known for his diligence and his professional manner, as well as his logical, clear explanations of how to deal with computer problems.

Dunigan was selected from a number of students who were nominated by their supervisors as part of Student Employee Appreciation Week, which was held April 11-15. Along with the award, presented by Vice Provost for Enrollment Michael Beseda, Patrick received a gift of $450 to be used for purchasing textbooks. He was also feted at a reception in Filippi Hall, where his name will be placed on a plaque, along with future winners.

The junior has worked at the CATS help desk for three years. Dunigan admits that he isn't the kind of person who has long been interested in fixing technology bugs. In fact, he applied for the job as a freshman because he knew he would have to supplement his financial aid with earned income. He has no particular specialty when it comes to problem solving. Instead, he said, he works on "whatever comes across the desk." He likes demanding jobs, said Trinh.

Dunigan become very familiar with the demands placed on an office that is often called upon to solve serious problems on short notice. That made his award more rewarding.

"I was extremely excited when I learned I won," he said. "It seems like we take a lot of flack, so it was nice to see people were paying attention."

Dunigan appreciated the recognition, but he hopes he isn't the only one who benefits from it. "I wish the school had been giving the award out five or ten years ago," he explained. "Student workers have been doing a great job long before they recognized me."
-- Joseph Wakelee-Lynch
Office of College Communications

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