CAMBUS recognizes two outstanding employees – Cameron McKnight and Rachel Woodley – by nominating them for the 2024 UI Student Employee of the Year award. CAMBUS leadership nominated, McKnight and Woodley for their leadership and exceptional work to maintain and improve CAMBUS services.

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Cameron McKnight

Overall campus winner

Current position: bionic bus supervisor

Course of study: entrepreneurial management

"Being nominated for this award is amazing. I often focus on how I can improve and rarely stop to see what I have accomplished. The nomination alone tells me that I am moving in the right direction for making the Bionic department the best it can be."

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Rachel Woodley

Certificate of Distinction - Top 8

Current position: staffing supervisor

Course of study: business management and psychology

"This nomination means so much to me! This job has been the highlight of my college career. I definitely look forward to coming to work! CAMBUS has set me up in many ways to succeed and grow as an HR professional in more ways than one and I am truly grateful for the nomination."

Cameron McKnight - a thoughtful dynamic leader

Cameron McKnight’s leadership as the Bionic Bus supervisor has been transformative despite service challenges over the past year. Rider demand for Bionic Bus service has nearly doubled in the past year and McKnight helped lead two key projects that improved CAMBUS’ capacity to keep up with campus needs.  McKnight continued the implementation of Spare, CAMBUS’ Bionic scheduling platform that includes a driver and rider app. 

Additionally, McKnight collaborated with full-time staff in the implementation of the non-CDL Demand-Response Driver (DRD) position. The position allows students to work at CAMBUS without getting a CDL, resulting in quicker hiring and training period. This was a strategic accomplishment that significantly advanced demand-response operations. 

“Without the position, many rider's requests would be unable to be accommodated, leaving much of our Bionic community without service.”

Cameron McKnight

It is one small step for McKnight, one giant leap for Bionic Bus. Without the success of the Spare app and the effectiveness of the DRD position, the Bionic Bus team would be in a different position. McKnight says, “Since DRDs are strictly Bionic operators, they can understand the passengers' needs on a deeper level, building personal relationships while providing the best service possible.” 

Thanks to his leadership, innovative thinking, and dedication for excellence these services have continued to adapt and expand to support the ever changing UI campus community.

When asked what his favorite part of the job was McKnight said, “CAMBUS has given me the ability to meet and foster relationships with so many people from different walks of life that are truly grateful for the service we offer. Being able to be a part of it has made an extraordinary difference in my life.” 

"It’s a job with considerable and important responsibilities and requires someone who will put substantial thought and care into how we can accommodate each rider. Cameron has navigated significant challenges with grace and determination, and his accomplishments this year are remarkable."

Mia Brunelli, CAMBUS operations manager


UI students, staff, and faculty rely on Bionic Bus

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Rachel Woodley - a creative hiring mogul

Rachel Woodley has made her mark as the staffing supervisor at CAMBUS putting up record-breaking hiring numbers. CAMBUS started fall 2023 with a 37% vacancy rate in student driver positions, resulting in temporary service reductions across the system. Woodley has an unwavering dedication and has yielded remarkable results for hiring over the past six months at CAMBUS.  

Woodley says, "I was able to be so successful in hiring over the past 6 months because of the team I was working with especially from the CAMBUS Personnel Supervisor – Alyson Holevoet.

Some processes I changed were when we were bringing groups of people in for orientation, I would have them send their class schedule (or availability to work) to me prior to coming to orientation. This way the trainers were able to create schedules for their training and have them already scheduled once they attended. This helped get new hires started quicker and therefore through the trainer process sooner." 

As a direct result of Woodley’s efforts, CAMBUS restored all reduced services at the beginning of the spring semester and will continue to help staffing demands as campus grows.

CAMBUS searches for employees like Woodley and thankfully she is in the right position to help choose the future employees of CAMBUS. Woodley’s impact has been transformative to CAMBUS’s hiring and her ability to execute has been monumental. 

"I love being the welcoming face for new employees and sharing with them the many aspects of why I love the job and why CAMBUS is the best student job!"

Rachel Woodley

"The staffing challenge CAMBUS faced this fall would have understandably intimidated many. Rachel breezed through and exceeded expectation as staffing assistant, and her resiliency, professionalism, and initiative prompted us to promote her to a brand new role, staffing supervisor."

Mia Brunelli, CAMBUS operations manager


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Hired and onboarded new drivers

About UI Student of the Year

The University of Iowa employs approximately 8,000 students across campus. Each year, the Office of Student Employment calls upon supervisors to nominate students for the Student Employee of the Year Awards. A selection committee determines winners in the following categories: overall campus winner, category winners, and certificate of distinction. Learn more: 


CAMBUS was founded by University of Iowa students in 1972. It has been operated by students ever since. CAMBUS employs approximately 160 students to operate the campus-wide transit system, including fixed-route operators, Bionic paratransit operators, dispatchers, trainers, maintenance assistants, office assistants, and supervisors. In their commitment to sustainable and accessible campus transportation, student employees at CAMBUS are a remarkable example of the superior abilities and dedication of Iowa students.