Nakama: A Circle of Friends
2008 Nakama Brochure Design By: Chantel McMahon
Colleagues from across Student Affairs and Academic Support Services met on September 4th to celebrate two full decades of Nakama, the division's annual fall conference. The planning committee worked hard to make sure that this year's conference was a memorable and rewarding experience for all staff involved. The theme for Nakama XX -- Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future -- provided an opportunity for us to reflect on our past successes, and to think about the opportunities and challenges that the future holds. It was also a great time to catch up with old friends, make new friends, and energize and focus ourselves for the exciting tasks facing us in the coming year.
Following tradition, the conference format was designed to include team building activities, and provide options for personal growth, employee skill development, and the exploration of university and division-wide issues in higher education.
We broke with a few traditions this year. Instead of having a keynote speaker for the opening session, we were treated to short speeches by Dr. Coughlin and Western's new President, Bruce Shepard.
We also viewed a short video entitled "I Love Western in the 80s" which was a lighthearted look at where Western has been in the past 20 years, and where we're headed in the future. The video is available here in Windows streaming media format (by clicking the image below):
Nakama 2008 Photo GalleriesPre-Event Slide Show
(Historical pictures from past Nakama events taken by various photographers)
Nakama 2008 Event Photos
All photos by Nate Marino
2008 Nakama Award WinnerThis year's Nakama Award was presented to Kurt Willis, Associate Director of University Residences.
Kurt Willis - 2008 Nakama Award Winner Photo By: Nate Marino
The following quotes are excerpts from the many nominations that were received from Kurt's peers. They speak volumes and provide vital insight into his value to Western. Congratulations Kurt!
|Kurt is a “’steward of process,’ integrating thoughtful reflection and integrity into every discussion, policy and decision, always with an eye on what’s the right direction for an institution that is here to educate, develop and serve students.”
He is “on the leading edge when it comes to utilizing technology for efficiency and improved services.”
He is instrumental in “collaborating with others in many areas” and “in ensuring the long term health” of University Residences.
Kurt has the ability to “bring others on board with the tough planning and decision-making around resources.”
“[His] wonderful gift for clarity and openness results in an overall feeling of integrity and trust. In the midst of maintaining day-to-day operations, [he] encourages creative solutions, is open to constructive feedback and is not afraid to gently change norms. His openness and availability to troubleshoot and problem solve is refreshing. He stewards new ideas, encourages input from others across campus departments, shares information and genuinely supports the on-going training and skill development of staff.”
“Kurt is patient, clear, and makes sure that all viewpoints are considered. Additionally, [he] does not shy away from difficult situations requiring enforcement of ethics or policies with staff, but does so in a way that is responsible and respectful.”