Shianne Chatarjee Selected as Student Employee of the Year

Univ. Communications – University of Rochester senior Shianne Chatarjee has been named the 2011-2012 University of Rochester Student Employee of the Year. The award, which is given annually by the Student Employment Office, recognizes an outstanding student employee who has made valuable contributions to the department in which he or she works. Chatarjee, who works for the Office of Alumni Relations as the Meliora Weekend Student Program Assistant, was nominated by Donna Colline, Assistant Director of Operations.

“I’ve been working at the Office of Alumni Relations for about 2 years now and I absolutely love it.  The award means a lot to me, especially because I’m working in a field in which I hope to enter professionally,” said Chatarjee.

As a member of the Alumni Office’s Regional Events and Operations team, Chatarjee’s responsibilities include conducting research for venues, preparing promotional materials, managing several small events on Meliora Weekend, and recruiting student volunteers for the weekend’s events.  In fact, she was promoted to her current position after performing her duties  as a general office assistant remarkably well.

In a letter nominating Chatarjee for the award, Colline says, “She brings her intelligence and zest for life to the workplace each and every day.  Whether on an independent project or a member of a team, she provides nothing but excellent work and a positive attitude.”

“I can honestly say that my experience in this position is the largest contributing factor to not only my professional, but also my personal growth during my time at UR,” said Chatarjee.  “It has allowed me to build my organizational and leadership skills, as well as meet great people who were extremely supportive and helped me prepare for a future in event planning.”

Chatarjee, who is an economics & business strategies major, has been involved with the Office of Alumni Relations as a Student Alumni Ambassador since spring 2011.  She also is a residential adviser and serves as an officer for several student organizations.

“She is the quintessential ambassador. She loves her university and demonstrates that bond each and every day through her work assignments,” Colline wrote in her nominating letter.

After graduation, Chatarjee plans to move to New York or Washington, D.C. to seek out full-time employment in the event planning and public relations field.

“Prior to working at the Alumni Office, I did not know what I wanted to do in my future, but now I have no doubt that I am going in the right direction and pursuing a career that fits both my skills and my personality and will make me very happy,” Chatarjee said.

In celebration of Student Employee Week, the Student Employment Office recognized Chatarjee, along with all of this year’s nominees, at a private reception. As Employee of the Year, Chatarjee will have the opportunity to compete at regional and state levels through the National Student Employee Association’s awards program.

This year, the following 22 students were nominated for the Student Employee of the Year award: David Aguila ’13, Naomi Ahsan ’12, Shianne Chatarjee ’12, Christina Cordell ’12, Courtney Diamond ’12, Douglas Done ’13, Amanda Gaboriault ’14, Ian Gauger ’12, Rebekah Goldstein ’14, Devin Granahan ’12, Kaitlyn Karpenko ’12, Janixa Mejias ’13, Byron Miller ’12, Andrew Moran ’12, Craig Pais ’12, Danyel Quackenbush ’14, Bo Reynolds ’12, Nick Runeare ’12, Shamara Saffore ’15, Erin Slocum ’12, Annamarie Spielmann ’12, Alana Valvo ’13.

Article written by Maya Dukmasova, a Take 5 Scholar at the University of Rochester and an intern at University Communications. She majored in philosophy and religion and focused her Take 5 year on researching the way American media covers current events in the Muslim world. An aspiring journalist, Dukmasova has freelanced for Rochester Magazine, the Phoenix New Times, and the Daily News Egypt in Cairo. She also maintains two blogs, one devoted to culture and society in Russia ( and the other to photography (


Photos courtesy of J. Adam Fenster, University Communications.