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Sophomore Shilk wins prestigious PennACE Student of the Year award

March 19, 2021
Madison Shilk
Madison Shilk

Madison Shilk, a sophomore who triple majors in management, human resource management and finance at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, has been selected for the prestigious JoAnne Day Student of the Year award through Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers.

The annual award recognizes the achievements and contributions made by undergraduate students enrolled at member institutions who have completed an internship or co-op with the JoAnne Day Student of the Year Awards program. One recipient in each of four categories – Business, STEM, Liberal Arts and Associate Degree – is recognized and awarded a plaque and $500.

Shilk won in the Business category for her work as a human resource intern at Contact Technologies, Inc., St. Mary's, where she led the Lean Leveled Cells project.

"The project allowed me to demonstrate my leadership and organizational skills," Shilk said. "I worked hands-on with the operators in the plant to determine the specific duties they were responsible for in each cell. Once the criteria were established, I conducted meetings with management to determine a skills matrix for each operator in that cell."
She was responsible for presenting the project during the monthly communication meeting and to the company's chief financial officer.

"Maddie created this project from scratch and soared with it," said Jackie Lenze, Contact Technologies' human resource generalist and Maddie's internship supervisor. "While these experiences pushed her out of her comfort zone, she took on the challenge with ease."

Shilk said her Management 120 class at Clarion helped her become familiar with the terms the company used, and her experience working as a peer career coach at Clarion's Center for Career and Professional Development was particularly applicable.

"My job duties (at CCPD) include reviewing resumes, which was very beneficial. I also help students with resumes, job searches and connecting them to career-related services," she said. "All aspects of my job as a peer career coach really helped me thrive as a human resource intern."

Josh Domitrovich, interim director of CCPD, wrote Shilk's campus support statement. He said her achievement is particularly impressive because she was up against juniors and seniors, but she was prepared.

"As a freshman, Madison set a goal to obtain an internship prior to her sophomore year. She engaged in our preparatory services to become career ready, networked and was mentored by a senior level industry professional in Texas to gain insight from a female leader," Domitrovich said.

"Prior to Madison's internship with Contact Technologies, Inc., she exhibited all of the career readiness competencies outlined by the National Association of College and Employers," he said, "However, the internship with CTI contributed to and strengthened her overall career readiness and skill development, which has been evident in her return to work with our office."

Last year, Clarion senior Taylor Mahan also won in the Business category. In each of the three years prior, a Clarion student has placed in one of the JoAnne Day award categories.

The award is named in memory of JoAnne Day, the first president of PennACE, who developed the Student of the Year contest. Winners receive a plaque and $500.

Shilk is a daughter of Carl and Dawn Shilk, Ridgway. She is a 2019 graduate of Ridgway Area High School.


Last Updated 3/22/21