Student Workers Honored for Contribution in the Workplace


April 17, 2012

“Alex Hirata is dedicated, reliable, and passionate in his role as La Sierra University’s Student Director of Missions,” his supervisor says. It was for these qualities that Hirata was selected as Student Employee of the Year from a field of eight nominees.

Alex Hirata
Alex Hirata

Hirata’s award took place during National Student Appreciation Week, April 8-14. La Sierra’s student workers were honored throughout the week for their dedication in the workplace. Employers in different departments on campus celebrated with their students; taking them out to lunch, providing them with theme park tickets, or enjoying the annual Student Worker Ice Cream Bash.

In addition, a number of specific student workers were nominated for the prestigious Student Employee of the Year award. Among them were:

  • Leang P Chervie Ku, Center for Student Academic Success
  • Evelyn Felix, Admissions
  • Alexander Hirata, Missions
  • Brittany Detwiler, Bursar
  • Molly Jackson, Human Resources
  • Alexis Guzman, Security
  • Jessamine Martinez, Athletics
  • Tabitha Acosta Bayangos, Biology
  • Edgar Hernandez, Library

After much deliberation, the Human Resources committee selected Alexander Hirata for the top honor, in acknowledgement of his reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness of contribution.

According to missions director, Linda Biswas, Alex is “hands down, one of the most reliable individuals ever. He is always early for meetings, with planned agendas in hand and his response time to emails, personal requests, etc. is within 24 hours. His work never needs to be rechecked and he often has constructive feedback on how to improve the work of others. He’s always early, and he puts as much time into a job as needed, whether or not he’s working or volunteering.”

Examples of Alex’s work include:

  • Planning and executing a campus-wide University Worship
  • Coordinating outdoor mission recruitment days
  • Biannual mission retreats
  • One-on-one meetings with potential student missionaries
  • And weekly updates

Of his work, Biswas says, “it is always beyond the quality of what I expect. He takes the time to problem solve, fine tune and critique his own work before presenting it.”

Those who know Hirata agree that his dedication exceeds the workplace, extending to everyday relationships as well.

“Not only is he an origami extraordinaire and a tea connoisseur”, says his friend Kelli Kam, “but he is one of the most loyal and kind friends anyone could ever hope to have in their lives. He is selfless and always down for an adventure. I’ve also enjoyed his homemade cards during rough times when I need them the most.”

“He definitely values people,” says his girlfriend Emily Gifford. “One time he drove eight hours on a Friday afternoon to make a family reunion, even though he would have to drive eight hours back down to school that following Sunday.”

“Overall,” concludes Biswas, “students from all over campus recognize Alex’s dedication to people and often come to Alex to ask for advice, to seek out prayer, and to discuss their worries or concerns with him. I am blessed beyond measure to have the privilege to work with Alexander Hirata and it is obvious that he’s passionate about his work; that it is more than simply his job, but his ministry.“


PR Contact: Larry Becker

Executive Director of University Relations

La Sierra University

Riverside, California

951.785.2460 (voice)

  • Last update on  April 19, 2012