Second Place Winner

Student Employee of the Year - second place winner - Kayla McElreath

Kayla McElreath, Senior

Data Analyst, Auxiliary Services
Major: History & Geography
Hometown: Monroe, Georgia

As a director for almost thirteen years at the university, in an organization that employs hundreds of student workers every year, I have observed the performance of many students. I cannot think of any student who has had more positive impact on the campus community than Kayla. Although her duties are not glamorous and are behind the scenes, she has provided a significantly unique contribution to making the campus a safer place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Please allow me to explain. All campus buses house 10 cameras, an accelerometer (which records G-force events such as hard braking, hard turns, excessive acceleration, etc.), a GPS operating system (which records the speed and location of the bus, among much other data). The bus system even sends an e-mail alert to Transit’s main e-mail system if the bus exceeds the speed limit. Campus Transit also encourages feedback and receives hundreds of emails from customers every year regarding service and safety concerns. Drivers are required to press a camera button, which “marks” the camera video every time the driver sees a safety issue – Campus Transit records about 800 “marker presses” every month. These safety issue involve other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, and even skateboarders. Kayla investigates every one of these 800 markers every month. Because the markers do not come with explanation, Kayla must examine each video to determine the nature and extent of the safety concern. These examinations are time-consuming, repetitious, and laborious and require a great deal of concentration and “stick-to-it” mindset. Kayla then goes one step further by organizing and collating all information from camera investigations, accelerometer events, and emails and analyzes this data to produce a monthly report. She categorizes the events by location, day, time of day, and nature of the event. This report is then sent to the UGA Police Chief every month. Campus Transit buses have essentially become the “eyes and ears” of the police department, with Kayla as the interface. Kayla’s report enables the Police Chief to concentrate his force on locations, days, and times where there are the most safety incidents. The Chief and his officers have raved about the usefulness of Kayla’s information. Both Chief Silk and Captain Faust have made special appearances to tell, face-toface, Campus Transit supervisors and drivers how important their video markers are to the safety of the campus community.

Nominator: Thomas Duke, Project Coordinator, Auxiliary Services (contribution by Michael Goltzer)