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BYU Student Employee of the Year Brings a Unique Approach to the Bean Museum

Nathan Hawks


Nearly 100 children have taken advantage of a new program at BYU’s Bean Life Science Museum since October, learning how to draw animals through Discovery Drawing.

They have one student employee to thank, Nathan Hawks. Nathan is the 2016 BYU Student Employee of the Year.

The illustration major created and implemented the Discovery Drawing program. Nathan teaches kids how to observe and draw the physical characteristics of animals at the museum one Saturday each month.

“The idea for the drawing program came from my own experience at the museum,” Nathan said. “I used to wander through the museum and draw, but when I came to work here, I realized that lots of kids come here to draw. The program grew from there. I wanted to help those kids in a fun, meaningful way.”

Each year nearly half of BYU’s student population is employed by BYU. This year that number reached 14,355 students. Student employment helps students avoid debt, gives them valuable experience in their field, and creates opportunities for mentored work experience.

“We offer jobs in almost every field, from carpentry, to web development, to academic lab work,” said Angela Murdock, assistant manager of BYU student employment. “The student who takes advantage of on-campus job opportunities leaves with practical job skills, leadership and work experience not often accessible to students outside of BYU.”

The benefits aren’t just for the employees. Employers across campus get student contributions that go well beyond grunt work. Students are often given considerable responsibility and make impactful contributions.

"Nathan's talents in a variety of areas make him one of the most unique, dynamic and valuable employees I've ever had at the museum,” said Katy Knight, Nathan’s supervisor at the museum. “His outgoing and approachable personality make him valuable, and his knowledge about animals and science allows him to focus on teaching students and patrons rather than content or script."

Not only was this story about a student employee, it was also written by a student employee in University Communications.

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