Program Developer Named UA Student Employee of the Year

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Luke Colburn, lead student developer at the Center for Advanced Public Safety, has won the 2013 University of Alabama Student Employee of the Year Award.

The award, from UA’s Department of Human Resources in coordination with the National Student Employment Association, recognizes individuals who best represent the contributions and achievements of students who work while attending UA.

A Northport junior majoring in computer science, Colburn was selected from 45 UA student employees nominated by their supervisors. Several members of Colburn’s department praised him for his professionalism and quality of work.

Colburn is responsible for the design, architecture and development of programming projects, including myDHR, a software application for the Alabama Department of Human Resources. More than 60,000 people have used myDHR over the past year to apply for food assistance in Alabama, said Chris Sims, project manager for the Center for Advanced Public Safety.

Because of the high quality of Colburn’s work, Alabama’s citizens have access to a user-friendly, interactive application system that has over a 90 percent approval rate according to user satisfaction surveys, Sims said.

“Luke has done a remarkable job in leading a major software development for one of our most important customers,” said Dr. Allen Parrish, director for the Center of Advanced Public Safety and UA professor of computer science. “This job is not normally one that would have been entrusted to a student, but because of Luke’s superior skills we are able to trust him with tasks that normally belong to a seasoned professional.”

Colburn was recognized for his achievements along with all the nominees at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 10. Sponsored by the UA Department of Human Resources, the event was part of the University’s celebration of National Student Employment Week, April 8 – 12, 2013. The National Student Employment Association designates this week each year to recognize the essential role student employees play in the daily workings of colleges and universities across the country.

As the 2013 recipient of the UA Student Employee of the Year Award, Colburn was presented with a $500 award from the UA Department of Human Resources, a merchandise certificate from the UA Supply Store and a class ring provided by Balfour. Colburn will also represent UA in the southeast regional-level Student Employee of the Year competition.

“Student employees are a vital part of our campus community, performing helpful services all while balancing their individual academic commitments,” said Amy Heatherly, director of UA Human Resources. “The commitment and dedication of our student employees contributes to UA’s overall success, and this award celebrates their hard work and achievements.”

A list of this year’s finalists and nominees can be viewed online at For more information about UA Student Employment, go to


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782


Victoria Corley, 205/348-6045,