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Student Employee of the Year Award




Luke Colburn

Luke Colburn
Lead Student Developer at the Center for Advanced Public Safety

The UA Department of Human Resources is proud to highlight the accomplishments of Student Assistants that contribute to the essential daily operations of The University of Alabama, including Luke Colburn, who works as Lead Student Developer for the Health and Human Services group at the Center for Advanced Public Safety.


The Department of Human Resources congratulates Luke Colburn, winner of the 2012-13 UA Student Employee of the Year Award.

A Computer Science major, Luke works as Lead Student Developer for the Health and Human Services group at the Center for Advanced Public Safety, where he is responsible for the design, architecture and development of various programming projects, including his primary project, myDHR - a software application for the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

We asked Luke to share some of his insights about working as a UA Student Assistant.

Q: Why did you choose to work while in college?

While the classroom learning I’ve received at UA has been invaluable, I wanted the practical, hands-on experience that a job brings. CAPS seemed like the perfect place to get that experience.

Q: What do you like best about being a UA student employee?

I work with a great team of students and full-time staff. The mentoring and hands-on training I’ve received has given me a huge advantage in my classwork and life.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a student employee?

Balancing work responsibilities with class responsibilities is definitely the biggest thing. But the experience in time-management and goal setting is invaluable training for the future.

Q: How has working as a student employee prepared you for the future?

I’ve learned as much and more about programming and software engineering while working at CAPS as I have in my CS classes. I feel more confident in my career choice and am excited to continue in this field into the future.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation/future?

I hope to work full-time for CAPS as a research engineer continuing to develop systems for health and human services agencies.

Q: Any advice for other students that plan to work while in college?

Get to know the full-time employees in your group. The wisdom they have to share, as well as the experience and practical training I’ve gained working at CAPS is more than anything I ever expected.

Luke was recognized for his achievements along with all the nominees at a luncheon held on April 10, 2013. He was presented with a $500 award from the Department of Human Resources, and also represented The University of Alabama in the southeast regional-level of the Student Employee of the Year competition.


The University of Alabama employs more than 4,000 student employees in any given academic year.  If you are interested in learning more about providing student employment opportunities or working as a Student Assistant, please contact Vaishali Patel at 348-4354 or