Past Awards

In 1995, Eileen Coughlin, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, introduced a new tradition of acknowledging staff members and their contributions with a Nakama award. Each year, division members have an opportunity to nominate a colleague who has fostered the division’s traditions by excelling in any of the following areas:

  • Demonstrate outstanding commitment to the development or support of students
  • Create or significantly contribute to initiatives which promote student success
  • Strengthen the Division’s work within the University and larger community
  • Provide dedicated and consistently excellent service to students and/or the Division

Congratulations to Dong Vo, NAKAMA's 2014 award recipient.

 “Above and beyond” describes Dong Vo's commitment to serving others – students, family members and fellow colleagues. Whether greeting someone in person or on the phone, Dong always extends a warm welcome and is eager to assist. Dong is described as a multi-tasker extraordinaire – able to triage a crisis and make the necessary contacts while also handling the needs of a customer in the office, or a staff member who needs a message out to a group of students.

A Western graduate, Dong places students’ interest first. As an undergraduate, he served three years in paraprofessional roles and has brought his strengths from those experiences to his staff role.

Dong constantly analyzes processes and, in his quiet way, seeks streamlined alternatives, often engaging technologies our students are already using. When he’s done with one project, he is likely to ask “Next? What else would you like?”
Here are two of many laudatory things staff and students who nominated him had to say…

“He has absolute dedication to every task he undertakes. Even when he is under pressure he has the presence to remain calm and work through the situation without negatively affecting others.”


“His positivity is inspiring and his attitude is contagious.”

Dong is an active member of the Teaching Learning Academy, volunteers his time teaching others his passion for sailing, and this past spring he received the Pacific Northwest Circle-K International Faculty Advisor Award for his outstanding work with Western’s Circle-K  club. 

Congratulations to Dong Vo, 2014’s Nakama award recipient.

The following individuals have received Nakama awards:

2014 Dong Vo, University Residences
2013 Janet McLeod, Enrollment and Student Services
2012 Lori Larkin, Admissions
2011 Sally Abbott, University Residences
John "Fuzzy" Fuchs, Athletics
2010 Jean Meyer, Financial Aid
2009 Michael Postlewait, University Residences
2008 Kurt Willis, University Residences
2007 Dixie Doran, Registrar's Office
2006 Lynda Goodrich, Athletics
Chris Roselli, Admissions
2005 Connie Copeland, Special Assistant to VP
2004 Jules McLeland, Child Development Center
Emily Gibson, Student Health Center
2003 Margie Conway, Admissions
2002 Jennifer Pickeral, Admissions
Kevin Majkut, Student Activities
2001 Lynn Thomas, Registrar's Office
2000 Deborah Frost, University Residences
Renée Murray, Career Services Center
1999 David Brunnemer, Student Support Services
1998 Patricia Fabiano, Prevention Health and Wellness
1997 Anna Carey, New Student Programs/Family Outreach
Sonia Arevalo-Hayes, Student Support Services
1996 Kay Rich, University Residences
1995 Jack Smith, Student Activities

Their names have been added to a plaque that resides in the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. 


Page Updated 08.19.2015