Every year about 900 students are employed at Illinois State’s Campus Dining Services. Our employees—whether in the dining centers, retail venues, or catering—showcase a passion for their jobs and want to do their absolute best, not only for themselves, but for their fellow employees.
As a thank you to our student employees, Campus Dining Services offers them the John Green Scholarship. Created by Agriculture Professor Emeritus John Green in 1970, this annual scholarship is awarded to student employees of Campus Dining who have excelled on and off the clock. In the spring, the students selected are awarded scholarship money for the following semester. This year, we highlight our latest scholarship winners: Karli Bonges and Danielle Hall.
It all started for Bonges, of Lake Villa, in 2013. Her Campus Dining experience began on the first day of classes as a dining attendant. From her freshman to her current senior year, she has been active on-campus: She is in her fourth year playing saxophone in the Big Red Marching Machine, as well as holding three internships and becoming the information officer for the Student Society of Human Resource Management. Through it all, she continued working for Campus Dining Services, eventually reaching her current position as a student hiring manager for the Marketplace at Linkins.
For Bonges, the best thing about working for Campus Dining is the people: “I love getting to meet new people and help them find a job. Especially if this is their first job, because this was my first job and I can relate to them.” Bonges’ experiences in human resources with Campus Dining inspired her to change her major from accounting to human resource management and organizational leadership.
When asked if she had any advice for potential Campus Dining employees, Karli said: “This is a great environment to meet lifelong friends and get great experience while doing it. I have had three internships and they are all impressed with the time commitment I give to keeping a job while being in school. I would have never guessed that I was going to change majors, but Campus Dining helped me find my passion.”
Danielle Hall started her time with Campus Dining as a freshman. The Byron native came to Illinois State to pursue her major of horticulture and landscape management, along with a double minor in Spanish and business administration. Once she arrived, she got involved with the Horticulture Club, which led her into volunteering at places within the community such as the Horticulture Center, and holding the secretary position of the club in 2015. When she isn’t dedicating her time to the club or her books, she is working for Campus Dining, first starting at the bakery station at Watterson Dining Commons.
For the seven semesters Hall has worked for Campus Dining, she has worked her way up and has been promoted to her current position as a student manager for Watterson Dining Commons. Hall said the most rewarding part of working as a student manager is that it has shaped her into a reliable and efficient leader. “Not only have my leadership skills improved, but working with such a diverse group of people has allowed me to develop better interpersonal skills,” she said.
Customer Service Administrator Kelsey Korn, who recommended Hall for the scholarship, agrees: “Dani is a strong leader who trains and educates staff on proper policies and procedures, delegates tasks, and leads by example.”
These two students and their dedication to Campus Dining Services represent the amazing dedication from our student employees. Both Bonges and Hall have been able to successfully manage their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and their careers over the course of four years. Through it all, they never stopped becoming great examples of the very ideas that John Green used to create this scholarship. For this, Campus Dining Services once again congratulates and thanks Bonges and Hall for their contributions and wishes them both the best as they graduate this May.
Current student employees looking to apply for next year’s John Green scholarship can find more information on Financial Aid’s Scholarship Finder. Student employees must have completed 60 course hours and have a 2.75 GPA at the time of applying. If any student wishes to STATE their flavor and apply for employment, check out Dining.IllinoisState.edu/Working to find out how to apply and Jobs.IllinoisState.edu to find Campus Dining’s job postings.
Danyelle Clements is a marketing intern of for Campus Dining Services.