(L-R) Abdullatif Hamad, PhD, chair of the Department of Physics, senior Khoi Minh Pham, and Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD.EDWARDSVILLE - Khoi Minh Pham, of Olney, a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville senior in the School of Engineering, was surprised with the news this week that he is the 2023 Student Employee of the Year.

Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD, and Abdullatif Hamad, PhD, chair of the Department of Physics, presented Pham with an award certificate and $500 on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

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“I was very surprised yet honored to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Pham. “Every student job I have had has strengthened my leadership and problem-solving skills. These skills have helped me become a better student and prepared me for my future profession.”

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Pham has served as a physics student lab prep assistant, lecture recitation leader, lab teaching assistant and a resident assistant for Cougar Village. The award recognizes Pham for his reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and the ability to exceed expectations.

“Khoi’s strongest attributes are his impeccable work ethic, his enthusiasm for all he takes on and his natural intelligence,” said Catherine Williams, MS, instructor in the Department of Physics, who nominated Pham for the award. “He builds his confidence by working hard toward his goals and continually maintaining a growth mindset. As others get to know him and his work ethic, they are positively influenced by him. Khoi respects other students, and they respect him.”

First runner-up was Charlie Whittleman, of Chicago. Whittleman works for the Department of Information Technology Services (ITS). Allison Simpson, of Tower Hill, was second runner-up.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality education that powerfully transforms the lives of all individuals who seek something greater. A premier metropolitan university, SIUE is creating social and economic mobility for individuals while also powering the workforce of the future. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 12,500.

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