2013 Exceptional Effort Awards


Pictured from left to right: Gayle Shipley, Environmental Health & Safety | Scott Stilts, Facilities Management | Carmen Werder, Teaching-Learning Academy | Francis Halle, Space Administration & Management | Matthew Anderson, Communications & Marketing | Marc Fromm, Financial Aid | Elizabeth Mason, Enrollment & Student Services | Steve Treloar, Technical Services


Gayle Shipley, Director, Environmental Health & Safety

Gayle consistently puts the needs of the University and its people first. She has a genuine concern for the safety and well-being of students and employees. She is a tireless advocate for doing the right thing. Gayle also provides excellent management of her department and is able to step in when necessary to perform any of the diverse functions of her staff in their absence. Her passion for safety fuels the greatest benefit in her interaction with others and she is respected for it. She provides knowledgeable support for each of her employees, but she does so in a consistently positive manner. She is her staff’s greatest cheerleader and gives them ample room to grow professionally and personally. Gayle has consistently provided an effective response to day-to-day issues and emergencies while building on a vision of a safer and healthier future for the Western community. She has worked tirelessly in building partnerships with local and state community members. Her efforts to guide individuals to a higher level of readiness are widely acknowledged and respected, and position Western and the greater community to better manage incidents, emergencies and disasters of all types. Without a doubt, Gayle has proven an indelible champion in making Western a safer place and we are all the better for it!

Scott Stilts, Electrical Supervisor/Maintenance Specialist 4

Scott began researching energy saving ideas for campus lighting in 2000, and has been a key figure in Western’s efforts to obtain rebates for conversion of lighting fixtures around campus. These projects will reduce the amount of hazardous waste Western generates from fluorescent lamps. Scott is also a leader among his peers in Facilities Management. He is a staunch supporter of Western’s recycling and sustainability initiatives, and continuously works to increase FM’s recycling efforts. Scott fully embraces his role as a customer service provider to all of campus. He strives to respond in person to customers’ needs rather than just an e-mail or phone call so no details are missed and needs are fully understood. He actively listens to customer requests then reaches out to other subject matter experts to ensure he provides the most complete and accurate expectations possible. He never fails to follow up in a timely manner, delivering good news and bad with a positive and optimistic demeanor.

Carmen Werder, Director, Teaching-Learning Academy

Carmen’s contributions to Western are continuous and remarkable. Rarely have I worked with a person who is so consistently inclusive and supportive with everyone she encounters. Carmen has the unique ability to level the playing field between faculty, staff and students and create a rich environment for dialogue and exploring new ideas. Her global perspective helps to connect our Western community with the local and international communities. Her inclusive and affirming style has made the Teaching Learning Academy a mainstay for many at Western. Western is a priority and love for Carmen. Her passion about her work is contagious. Carmen champions the best in all of us when we work with her. It is a win-win situation for all. She is a role model for many on how to walk through this world with wonder and curiosity. She is a gift and more than deserving of this award.

Francis Halle, Director of Space Administration & Management

Francis Halle's depth of professional experience and creative thinking skills have profoundly transformed space planning and management, and influenced capital planning processes at Western. With his ability to maintain a broad university-wide perspective, Francis has a positive impact on countless decisions related to space planning throughout campus. Working with Facilities Development and Capital Budget Office he successfully implemented innovations across campus that includes the Classroom and Lab Upgrades and Fraser Hall Renovation. He has also had successes in lease consolidation, One-Stop Student Business Shop, and the Library Learning Commons. From planning ideas and decisions related to the smallest office space or to an entire building, Francis’ greatest strength lies in his creative, innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. He genuinely cares about people, seeking the very best way to accommodate their space needs. Francis is resourceful in mapping the functional needs of a unit onto space and is tireless in examining many options to that end. He has high standards, a high level of integrity, excellent business sense, and a strong commitment to the institution. Francis cares first and foremost about the people that comprise the Western community and incorporates that concern into the university’s need for efficient and appropriately purposed space use, and the need to align space needs with the university’s and academic division’s strategic plans.

Matthew Anderson, Communication Consultant

Matthew Anderson consistently demonstrates the highest levels of excellence in his demanding and complex job duties. He has been an outstanding leader in the development, fostering and utilization of social media for Western, staying abreast of and mastering the many changes in this rapidly evolving communications revolution. Matthew interacts with students, student interns, faculty and staff from across campus and his personal interaction is unceasingly friendly, pleasant and entirely professional. He makes others' jobs easier by always looking for solutions to problems, often before those problems are even noted by others. He frequently receives praise from people from throughout campus, as well as alumni, the media and the public. His caring and thoughtful manner inspires confidence and trust. His leadership of the development of social media at Western and his agile response to a shifting social media landscape has enabled Western to greatly expand its ability to communicate effectively with multiple crucial constituencies.

Marc Fromm, Information Technology Specialist

Marc excels in his duties day-in and day-out in our department. Marc figures prominently in our effort to become a paperless office to save resources and increase efficiency. He cleverly designed a web-based application form that includes a student authentication process. His work on this application improved service delivery to our students and to staff both within and external to our department. Marc continually supports and refines our web-based Counselor Scheduling System. He’s incremental innovations throughout the year contribute positively to our increasing departmental efficiency and works late at night performing the maintenance to minimize the impact of the planned downtime. Marc is a go-to guy whenever there are software or hardware problems. He is patient and answers questions and resolves problems promptly, accurately, and with good humor. He is open and approachable. Marc is more than happy to share his work and in fact, after designing a web-based calculator he made the code especially easy to share. Marc recently innovated a solution to communication. He programmed a web-based process to provide better information and reduce staff interruptions. He simply does excellent work. He is a high performer and enhances the lives of staff in our department, students campus-wide, and members of the Bellingham community.

Elizabeth Mason, Admin Assistant to Senior VP of ESS

Elizabeth has demonstrated all of the characteristics imbedded in the exceptional effort award not only in the past year but for many years. She makes the ordinary extraordinary, whether it is in handling difficult phone conversations with complainants or drafting correspondence for donors. She drafts, edits, manages a myriad of details with constant changes, all the while handling incoming communication and prioritizing work. She listens to her surroundings and connects information in a way that reflects sophistication well beyond the job description. It is not just what she does, but how she does it! She is trusted both in her ability to prioritize and communicate and to remain level headed in the middle of chaos. She is respected because of her personal interaction style which is consistent and welcoming. Elizabeth has demonstrated a commitment that goes well beyond the norm. Her attitude of service is what makes Western a great place. She does not respond, she anticipates what needs to be done, while still ensuring that her actions are appropriate and fit the needs of the University.

Steve Treloar, Operating Systems Manager

Steve shows exemplary dedication to keeping the computer infrastructure running for all of us. He has been performing duties that have kept him very busy while remaining personable and diligent through the process. Steve has managed many changes with university servers with skill, patience and grace. He has helped many during very stressful times. Steve has stepped up and ran meetings, planned changes and improvements, and made himself available to help other units on campus. He did all of this while balancing his desire to support his family and community. Steve is a true, unique asset to the entire University.

Page Updated 01.24.2014