As the second-largest student employer on campus, each spring the UCR Library takes time to celebrate the students who comprise half of our staff team.
At the annual Student Employee and Staff Appreciation Luncheon held in the lower courtyard at Rivera Library, we also recognized these 25 library student employees who will graduate with UC Riverside’s Class of 2019: Alma Ramos, Andrea Mares, Anthony Valverde, Cameron Tuck, Chia Wu, Cindy Chau, Daniel Chen, Dulce Melo, Gursimran Singh, Hana Tran, Jacqueline Hernandez, Janice Liu, Jessica Leon, Jose Peralta, Kaitlyn Lara, Margaret Gardner, Matthew Diep, Matthew Garrido, Matthew Moreno, Noah Nguyen, Patrick Zydziak, Reajinae Jenkins, Roger Peralta Gomez, Serena Rodholm, and Sergio Banegas.
We asked our 2019 graduates to share their favorite memories from their time spent working at the UCR Library, and what they would miss most about working here. Here are some of their responses:
"I have worked at Rivera Library since my very first weeks of my first year of being at UC Riverside, so I have a lot of great memories from these past 4 years. It took me a while to pick my favorite one, so I would have to say my favorite memory from working at the library is being able to see our wonderful diversity at this school. I come from a place where there are predominately Asian and Hispanic people and not much diversity. The Rivera Library is one of the most visited places on campus, so I was able to see many different students, staff, and visitors. After my first month working here, it was nice to see how diverse our campus is and I wish the world was more like it. Four years later, I believe I have assisted and encountered almost all the ethnic groups around the world and it's a pretty great achievement. I myself come from Poland and I do not think I have met another individual from there at UCR, but that just shows the diversity of the campus. I wish I had the time to get to know these different ethnic groups better, but I cherish the short conversations I was able to have. I think what I will miss most about working here is being able to actually encounter and talk to a diverse community. Working at the library gave me an excuse to talk to and meet people. I cannot think of any other way to be able to talk to these people unless I go up to anyone on campus and introduce myself to anyone who walks by me but that is obviously out of the norm. The food industry also experiences many different people, however, it is a much faster paced environment and gives workers not much time to see around them. I'm not sure if my future career after graduation will have a diverse community like this, so that is something I will surely miss from working at the UCR Library. " - Patrick Zydziak
"My favorite memory from working at the library is actually a collection of memories. I loved running into my professors while working at the desk. I enjoyed having conversations with them about what books they were reading, any literature recommendations they had, etc. I also enjoyed being helpful to those who were helpful to me in the classroom. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to professors who have given you so much. It was also crazy to see how much they read! I am going to miss my coworkers and supervisors the most. I have been working at the library since I started undergrad and because of this, my coworkers have become close friends. We always catch up with one another during our shifts. Even outside of the library we are texting one another, making each other laugh. We are a group of students from different backgrounds, different majors, different years -- but we are all connected by our love for the library. I will especially miss my boss Leslie Settle. She always emphasizes how we are a family and we look out for one another. She would continuously go out of her way to help her student employees, and she would give us cute treats for each holiday! Her laugh is contagious and her smile lights up the room. It is truly bittersweet to leave such a caring group of people." - Andrea Mares
"It is really difficult to pick a favorite memory from working at the library because there were so many fun moments from collection maintenance projects to staff potluck events. If I had to pick one, it would have to be getting to serve pie to fellow students on Pi Day. I got to smile at stressed students during week 10 and wish them good luck on their finals while handing them free food. Moments like those made my job at the library more special. I think I am going to miss all of the friendly people I have had the opportunity to work with. It has been really fun to interact with new faces every year." - Jessica Leon
"My favorite memories are the crazy finals week festivities. I loved helping set up events to lighten the mood, listening and motivating patrons to push through until school break, and seeing all the funny things patrons would resort to sleeping on. Finals week brings a bittersweet sense of community feeling to the library as it is stressful because we all have important deadlines and tests to take, but comforting because we're all going through similar struggles. The thing I'll miss most about about working here at the library is how much the career staff here supports and cares for the student workers. It is so easy to get adjusted to working here because the staff is so helpful and friendly. I have never seen another workplace that praises and supports their workers as much as they do here. Shoutout to everyone working in circulation, you guys are wonderful." - Anthony Valverde
"Even though it was a stressful time for myself, students and staff alike (as they had to organize and put on a variety of events), my favorite memories are usually associated during the Finals Week Stress Relief events. I enjoyed working finals week because of the various events we had to host. It felt really good to see how grateful students were when we handed out food, scantrons, UCR gear, etc. My favorite event was probably working Therapy Fluffies. The dogs were honestly the best and always brought a smile to my face. I will probably miss the staff the most. My supervisor, Elisha Hankins, gave me so many opportunities to be a leader, grow, and flourish both academically and professionally. She hired me for my first real job and I will be forever grateful she took a chance on me. I will also miss the other staff; they were also so welcoming, available, and ready to help me with whatever assignment or life decision I needed to make. The environment was always cheery and even on the not so good days, they were always there to make it a little better." - Alma Ramos-Gutierrez
"Working at Special Collections has been one of the most formative experiences of my collegiate experience. I have made some of the closest friends working at the UCR Library that have influenced my life for the better." - Kaitlyn Lara
"My favorite memory from working at the library is when I helped out with the Therapy Fluffies, and was able to hold them! Something that I will miss the most from working at the library will be the people. Everyone is so kind and makes you feel welcome every time you enter the circulation desk." - Jacqueline Hernandez