Hailey Modin, an entrepreneurship senior from Sumner, Wash., has served Washington State University for more than three years as a peer mentor with the Center for Civic Engagement. Her exemplary efforts to benefit students and staff, and her support of the Pullman and nearby communities, has earned her the distinction of being selected as WSU Student Employee of the Year for 2018-19.

“Hailey is beyond her years when it comes to reliability, quality of work, and professionalism,” said Ben Calabretta, CCE associate director. “She exhibits these attributes while maintaining a positive attitude, a friendly demeanor, and a sense of humor.”

Sought a larger role

Modin’s role at CCE drastically changed when the office became short-staffed and she found herself filling the role of project leader. This required extra time and additional training as Modin was responsible for transporting students off campus and out into the community for various CCE activities.

“I really did not anticipate doing anything outside of front desk work,” Modin said. “I learned that if I asked for more opportunities and extra time, they were willing to let me try new things and learn different positions.”

Thanks to Modin, the CCE was able to make weekly trips to take WSU students to help at the Colfax Food Pantry about 15 miles northwest of Pullman. She also helped transport them to the local Sunnyside Elementary School where they worked one-to-one with second-grade participants in a writing program called Pen Friends. Her efforts further strengthened the ties WSU students have with the region and its residents.

Promoted student service

In her new expanded role, Modin also made presentations to student groups to explain the benefits of community service.

“She delivers information in a way that is very understandable and shows her confidence as a presenter,” said Jessica Perone, CCE faculty consultant. The two worked together connecting service learning courses with the CCE and supporting student’s community engagement. Perone joined the CCE team after Modin.

“I relied on Hailey to teach and explain my position,” Perone said. “She was so well versed in the logistics of making the program successful.”

Her contributions made trainings at the CCE rich and well received among her coworkers.

“Hailey really has brought the student perspective to the CCE, especially in ways that support our student staff members’ professional development,” Calabretta said.

CCE and professional growth

Modin has excelled at connecting the staff and student populations, and attributes it to the nurturing environment at the CCE where she herself was able to grow professionally.

“I had a lot of direct mentoring in terms of professional development,” said Hailey, who received feedback on everything from her presentations to how to communicate professionally to different audiences.

“It was a lot of super-important little things that turned out to be big things in the professional world,” Modin said.

CCE Director Melanie Brown said that Modin took on new projects with intention and enthusiasm and her competency allowed her to further her professional reach.

“I think there are a lot of different ways to keep asking for more responsibilities and I think the college environment lends itself to that growth,” Modin said. “The depth of my experience was not anticipated but I’m very thankful for it. It was totally beyond my expectations but I love learning new things anyway.”

Teach for America and back to school

Modin graduates this May before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she will teach middle school math as part of Teach for America. She will also pursue her master’s degree in mid-grade mathematics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. All while helping her husband, Daniel, start his business, Modin Brother’s Composites.

“I have the utmost confidence that Hailey will excel in the Teach for America program and that her considerable qualities and skills will continue to grow,” Brown said. “Hailey is a woman of many talents and competencies that are only just developing.”

Hailey will leave the CCE a better place than she found it, added Brown.

“It is hard to imagine what the department will be like without her presence,” Calabretta said.