Celebrating Joel Redmond, Finalist for the President’s Student Employee of the Year Award
The President’s Student Employee of the Year Award is given annually to an outstanding student employee at The University of Texas at Austin who has positively impacted the university and has demonstrated exceptional quality of work, initiative, and professionalism. RecSports student employee Joel Redmond was named one of the 10 finalists for the prestigious award this year.
Joel is a Program Assistant for Facility Operations and a Facility Supervisor at Gregory Gym. Outside of work, Joel is a junior with two majors in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Linguistics, along with a German and Scandinavian Studies certificate. He began his time at RecSports in the fall of 2019, just a few months after the start of his first year. Joel’s dedication to his work was immediately apparent, and he quickly rose from his Facility Assistant role to a Supervisor. This new title came with increased day-to-day responsibilities and required Joel to help lead the 70+ student employees that keep Gregory Gym running. Joel took these changes in stride, stepping up whenever duty called.
Sometimes Joel was called to go above and beyond his daily duties as a Facility Supervisor. For example, in the summer of 2021, a storm drain in Gregory Gym burst from torrential rainfall and threatened to wreak havoc across the building. Joel was not scheduled to work, but he immediately headed to campus when the RecSports staff asked for extra help. Greeted by gallons of water rushing out the front door, Joel took off his shoes and grabbed a broom, immediately helping get as much water as possible out of the building. He even spent the next few nights at Gregory Gym to ensure that another flood would not get out of hand. Although this emergency was far from normal, Joel never wavered in his commitment to RecSports and his team.
Beyond his consistent, reliable work ethic, Joel is also known for his ability to build cohesion and to lead with empathy. Bridget Tasker, Senior Assistant Director for Gregory Gym and Joel’s supervisor, shared a story of Joel taking the initiative to welcome a new Facility Assistant by organizing a staff volleyball game where everyone could socialize and build connections. Finding this tactic to be successful, Joel then organized a staff intramural volleyball team so that this social activity could be a regular part of the team’s week. Joel’s ability to connect with others is the foundation of the leadership he shows in the workplace.
“I am not sure if everyone studying linguistics has a passion for connection and inclusion, but I know Joel does. I am a better supervisor because of Joel’s awareness of staff’s feelings, concerns, and situations.” -Bridget Tasker, Senior Assistant Director for Gregory Gym
Joel has made a meaningful impact on the students he supervises, RecSports participants, and Team RecSports. But perhaps his most valuable impact is ensuring everyone feels heard and supported. Joel always puts others first and has been a steady, reliable leader through the challenges the last two years have brought.