Outstanding Classified Staff Award

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies a positive and creative approach to problem solving and innovation that significantly advances departmental goals and/or University Mission. With the support of the President, the two classified staff unions on campus (WFSE and PSE) together select one of their members to receive this award, which is presented each year at Opening convocation in the fall.


To be considered, the individual must demonstrate contribution to the work unit, department, college or university that furthers the university's mission and strategic goals through any of the following ways:

  • Excellence in job performance that results in efficiencies
  • Personal initiative and leadership that supports and builds a positive work environment
  • Innovative approach to problem-solving that enables sustained improvement and/or
  • Completed scholarly or creative work that contributes to Western's learning community.


2013 recipient: Susan Cahill

Supervisor, Certification and Accreditation, Woodring College

For nearly 10 years Susan has been making sure that Woodring College of Education students are on track to become certified, assisting them down their paths in any way she can. Before working in higher education, she worked for the Olympia School District as the assistant to the director for Special Programs at Olympia High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Government and Journalism from California State University in Sacramento, and after graduation she was a legislative reporter for the League of Women Voters.                   


2012 recipient: Kevin Dixey

Information Technology Specialist, Academic Technology

As an IT Specialist and technology trainer in Academic Technology and User Services, Kevin Dixey believes in teaching skill, and tailors his training workshops to meet the specific needs of students, faculty and staff. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of California, San Diego, Kevin started his technology career in Seattle where he managed his own media design firm, Spinwire.  He and his wife moved to Bellingham in 2002 to pursue graduate degrees, with Kevin earning a master’s degree in Environmental Education from Huxley College.  As a graduate student, Kevin helped to establish the Tech Tonic Technology Expo, a free hands-on learning and demo event for the campus community.  In his current position he created the ATUS instructional video website and leads numerous workshops and training events.


2011 recipient: June Fraser Thistle

Program Support Supervisor, Residence Life


2010 recipient: Heidi Zeretzke

Gardens and Grounds Specialist, Facilities Maintenance

Page Updated 11.27.2013