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Student Employee of the Year uses creativity to improve BYU newspaper

Communications major and The Daily Universe student employee Eric Forbush pairs creativity and hard work to improve BYU publications.

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More than 14,000 students are employed on BYU campus in roles that range from food service and custodial to campus tours and peer mentoring. Once a year, BYU full-time employees are asked to recommend candidates for the BYU Student Employee of the Year award. Students are nominated for excellence in their roles in various capacities, including leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, intercultural fluency and more.

The winner of this year’s award is Eric Forbush, an advertising consultant at The Daily Universe, the student newspaper at BYU.

Forbush is a communications major with an emphasis in advertising and has worked at The Daily Universe for over two and a half years. During his time as an employee, he has used his creative skill set to consult with clients, train students, take on general management roles and come up with solutions to various situations.

Ellen Hernandez, manager of business operations at The Daily Universe and Forbush’s supervisor, nominated him for the award.

“Eric has a natural ability to look at problems in a unique way,” Hernandez said. “His creativity and ingenuity are unparalleled in our organization.”

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Hernandez also commented that Forbush does not shy away from the brainstorming process and has come up with many innovative and valuable ideas for his team and their organization.

“To come up with a good idea you have to be willing to wade through thousands of horrible ones,” Forbush said. “The people who are willing to go through the bad ideas are the people who will come across something really good.”

When the pandemic began to affect the country, many uncertainties and questions arose among the students and staff at The Daily Universe. Forbush took initiative and immediately identified areas where changes needed to be made to succeed while working remotely. He also suggested offering pro bono online ads to clients during the pandemic.

“It was important to reach out to all of our clients and let them know that we were there for them and wanted to help during such a weird time,” Forbush explained. “We wanted to give them the opportunity to get good publicity and hopefully get more business or donations.”

When a new augmented reality software was implemented in their office, Forbush noticed that it was difficult to explain to their clients how this would help them. To solve the problem, he came up with the idea to make short promotional videos to explain the benefits of the new software. He took on the project himself and sharpened his skills in videography, editing and animation to make it come to fruition.

“Eric is a problem solver,” Hernandez said. “He is open-minded and accepting of all people. His friendships know no bounds and embrace people of all walks of life. He truly is a model representative for BYU that this university can be proud of.”

Additional Winners

Scott Barclay from the BYU Store was the first runner-up for the award, and Jeremiah Madsen from Continuing Education’s multimedia services and Monica Reynolds from Creameries tied for the second runner-up position.

The winner of Student Employee of the Year receives $300, the first runner-up receives $100 and the second runner-up receives a $50 gift card to the BYU Store.

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