April 22, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Tyler Heard Named Student Employee of the Year

Pictured is Tyler Heard, VSU's 2015-2016 Student Employee of the Year and a December 2015 graduate from Adel.

VALDOSTA – Tyler Heard is Valdosta State University’s 2015-2016 Student Employee of the Year.

Heard worked for the Office of Financial Services under the supervision of Morgan Hanna, senior administrative secretary, from June 2013 till he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration in December 2015.

“It has been an honor to be named the Student Employee of the Year,” said the 21-year-old son of Lance and Lisa Heard of Adel. “I have truly enjoyed every aspect of being a student assistant. Not only did I gain valuable experience in my field, but I was [also] able to help faculty, staff, and fellow students on a daily basis. It’s a great feeling to be recognized for [my] efforts.”

Hanna described him as a highly qualified, professional individual who was very unique from the rest of the student assistants.

“Tyler’s initiative is 100 percent … he steps up to the plate no matter what the situation is … he is the most reliable student that I have ever had,” she said.

As a student assistant, Heard’s responsibilities began with answering phones, keeping records, entering data, and assisting faculty and staff with questions regarding payroll, accounts payable, and the travel reimbursement process.

“Somewhere along the way, it became evident that he was capable of being trusted with more responsibilities,” said Antolina Pilgrim, director of accounting and procurement in the Office of Financial Services. “We spoke to him about how he felt taking on responsibilities that were more in line with his major, which was accounting, and he agreed. The quality of his work spoke for itself in that it was thoughtful, error free, and timely completed.”

Pilgrim noted that Heard was later charged with responsibilities more akin to a graduate student, including reconciling general ledger accounts, assisting with capital asset review at the end of the fiscal year, managing student accounts during the fall and spring fee payment deadlines in the Bursary, and working with university vendors on completing the invoice payment process in the Accounts Payable and Travel Office.

Heard said the multiple roles he held gave him a whole new perspective on what it takes to run the university’s Office of Financial Services.

“I was able to use the things I learned to be able to assist faculty, staff, and other students and try to offer the best solution to each individual situation,” he said. “Being able to solve someone’s problem, no matter how small it may be, is a very rewarding feeling.”

As a student at VSU, Heard was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier honor society recognizing business excellence.

Heard recently completed an internship at Henderson and Godbee LLP. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall where he will pursue a Master of Accountancy degree.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.