2010 Exceptional Effort Awards
Many would agree, there are few individuals who have supported the academic mission of Western with such unflagging energy, keen intelligence, and professional acumen as Esther Harris.
As Assistant to the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Esther supports 15 academic departments working tirelessly with each in providing leadership, support, and direction in significant contribution of the University and College mission. Her prowess has made possible the smooth and strong transition of the new college in its formation, and her outstanding leadership during the recent economic downturn in supporting a diverse array of needs from faculty, staff, and students has made the challenges that face the college, the seeds of her success.
Esther demonstrates and models the absolute highest of performance standards, a reason why much of her work has become the process that is adopted across the entire campus. With nearly half of all graduating students and the largest cadre of faculty across numerous disciplines, the demands on the Dean’s office could not be higher. To Esther, this is just another day at the office.
Joan on the surface is the laboratory supervisor for the Institute for Watershed Studies, a state-certified water quality testing lab. But in reality, Joan is a scientist, an educator, a supervisor, and a mentor of student research and development all wrapped into one.
Whereas, most labs have trained and paid technicians to conduct analysis, Joan spends countless hours training and preparing students to perform their own analyses. This model of student empowerment has provided a huge benefit for student growth and experience, while maintaining a competitive standard of excellence rarely exceeded by other laboratories in the state.
The testament of Joan’s success is exemplified in numerous letters of commendation from the Wash. State Dept. of Ecology. With each step, Joan is the primary individual teaching field and lab techniques, quietly and calmly approaching a standard that many could scarcely dream, let alone achieve.
Joan has for nearly 20 years consistently served as an exceptional role model for our students. In providing superior training and mentorship whilst never sacrificing consistency and excellence, Joan represents the perfect balance of performance, excellence and scholarship.
No matter how challenging the job demands or how stressful the day, there is always a smile on Tim Kraft’s face. His positive spirit in serving as the Biomedical Electronic Technician Lead is both a contagious and remarkable contribution to the success and excitement of working in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Through the years that Tim has been with at Western, he has been a major contributor in placing Western’s program among the best equipped in the nation.
Some examples include the implementation of improvements to the closed-circuit TV system, and the successful migration of the clinic into the new AIC space. Through Tim’s expertise the potential for constant improvement and upgrades have been limitless and made the Clinic and the department more effective in teaching and serving the community.
Tim’s ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve allow for a superior system at a considerable cost savings. Tim exemplifies what it means to create excellence through engagement of the students, faculty, and the staff around him in the interest of supporting both education and client service.
Paul Madison is a Viking’s Viking. For over 40 years of service as the Sports Information Director one thing is certain about Paul: His blood runs blue.
Two things to recognize about Paul, first he never stops caring for his students and staff, and he is always striving to tell the Western story.
He spends each day scouring a multitude of media sources for both past and present Western student-athletes, always keeping the Athletics connection active for all who participate. Always supportive, always positive, Paul delights in his interaction with students, faculty, staff, and Viking Fans, getting the word out, and preparing each student-athlete and staff member for the rigors of media inquiries and interview requests.
Whether it is large scale projects, such as the creation of the highly regarded Athletics website, or departmental leadership and connection to students, Paul is always out front and giving his all to Western and its students.
In many ways, the Office of Admissions often stands on Lori Larkin’s shoulders. Particularly in this year of tremendous staff turnover; her efforts as an Information Technology Specialist have been an instrumental part of the success of the Admissions office.
Lori takes tremendous pride in her work. She is always assisting in the completion of projects, finding answers, or brainstorming on what changes could be made for improvement. Her role as leader and mentor in the office with new staff is tremendous and raises the level of success of the office, and their careers. She is peerless in her ability to work with both students and permanent employees, and she bridges effectively scholarship-related efforts with Financial Aid, the Western Foundation, and Student Accounts, not to mention the dozens of students and parents she talks with throughout the scholarship awarding process.
Lori’s patience, memory and attention to detail have made managing a complicated awarding process, while addressing a constantly changing scholarship model, along with the management of other priority responsibilities, easy and routine. Her leadership and efforts are an indispensable part of our Western success.
It is impossible to overlook the work of Donna Janigo, or as many of us know her, Data Donna. Donna’s work as Director of Constituent Records in University Advancement makes a significant impact on the quality and operation of the entire division. She sets a high bar for customer service, and meets countless requests for information day after day with a positive attitude and infectious enthusiasm.
Donna always takes the initiative to improve existing processes. She has collaborated with her colleagues in redefining how donor receipts are sent and received through a new electronic system while ensuring that the important relationships with our donors are continually met.
She is always looking for new ways to be more effective, and is never afraid to think outside of the box to do so.
Donna is instrumental in the positive results for University Advancement. Whether it is her numerous contributions towards our Comprehensive Campaign, or in her unflagging positivity in her contribution to Foundation efforts, Donna represents the best that Western has to offer.
Wherever the job is the toughest or the dirtiest, you’ll find Joe. As a Plumber in Facilities Management, he is unfailingly cheerful in the face of many seemingly insurmountable problems. He is the first to respond to a phone call to handle emergencies in the middle of the night, no matter the weather.
Joe is more than just an outstanding plumber; he is also sets a standard of what it means to be an outstanding leader at Western. Both in Facilities Management and in the University he is respected by his peers and supervisors alike for his constantly encouraging and positive communication within the organization. Even more importantly, he inspires others to share his enthusiasm for his work and for Western.
Outside of Joe’s excellence in Facilities, he is also a world class auctioneer who has donated endless hours of his time and talents in raising funds for worthy causes. He has helped numerous members of the Western family, assisting in the raising of funds for employees with severe injuries or illness. His superb skills as a plumber, auctioneer, and as a human being are so often in the benefit of our community and touch so many on our campus.
To describe Debbi is to describe what it means to be a consummate professional; she is efficient, kind and courteous, and exemplifies an exemplary work ethic among her peers by going out of her way to be helpful. She brings positive energy to the Accounts Payable department and is a wonderful role model at Western.
As the Program Coordinator in Accounts Payable, Debbi has spearheaded the development of several significant efforts in serving the Campus Community. One such project included the creation and implementation of an on-line archive of training presentations on Accounts Payable procedures and rules. Her hard work has provided a means to deliver excellent service and efficiency with minimal impact on an increasingly limited staff through her innovation and knowledge.
Today it is my pleasure to recognize Tim Wynn for Excellence in Performance and Outstanding Achievement in his role as the Director of Facilities Management.
With significant funding reductions and marked increases in service requirements, Tim has personified leadership and poise throughout, calmly guiding the Facilities Management department through each challenge strategically to support his staff and the university effectively. Some of the many key initiatives requiring Tim’s participation include: re-engineering of the Capital Planning Process, the Buchanan Towers Addition project, the climate action plan initiative, the opening of the AIC, the new energy risk management committee, and the means to communicate them all through the development of a bi-monthly campus e-newsletter.
Each of these initiatives involves complex collaboration with numerous off- and on-campus offices and departments. The only link in common from the above list initiatives is Tim and Facilities Management. To grasp the scope of Tim’s involvement on campus is an exercise in futility, as there is no part of campus he does not touch or influence.
With dignity and class, through challenge and hardship upon Western and his Facilities team, Tim has been the example of excellence in the face of difficulty. A true model for our time.