Outstanding Classified Staff Award

The Outstanding Classified Staff Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies a positive and creative approach to problem solving and innovation that significantly advances departmental goals and/or the university mission through initiative, leadership, or scholarly or creative work, which contributes to Western's learning community. With the support of the President, the two classified staff unions on campus (WFSE and PSE) together select members to receive this award.

Selection Criteria

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
  • Completed scholarly or creative work that contributes to Western's learning community.


The award recipient will be presented with a Western medallion award at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in June.

Award Administration

Heather Christianson, PSE Vice President and Award Committee Chair - heather.christianson@wwu.edu

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by any member of the Western community. Nominees must be a permanent classified staff member who has completed one year of service by January 31, 2022. 

The nomination process for the 2022 award is now OPEN, and the nomination deadline is Monday, February 14, 2022.


Photo of Byron Gouette, Facilities ManagementByron Gouette - Facilities Management

Byron Gouette started his WWU employment as an ACS student worker in 2009 acquiring the skills that led to his current position as Team Lead for the Project/Repair Shop.  After graduating from WWU with a BA in English and Film Studies, he made it a mission to inspire and promote inclusion and equity; so to further his knowledge and better communicate with the deaf members of his team, Byron took ASL classes and continues to provide assistance.

When asked to join the Water Damage Response Team, Byron jumped at the opportunity; quickly becoming instrumental with tackling large and small-scale floods campus-wide.  He contributes as a member of the ACS Safety Committee discussing and strategizing precautionary measures for the department and FM.

Byron serves as one of the three original members of the ISOQ Transport and Response Team alongside his director Wayne Galloway and teammate Jeff Osthimer – relocating sick students (off and on campus) to isolation/quarantine areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This high-risk task has been a challenge that he has graciously accepted.

Outside of WWU, he works in film and photography and has utilized these skills to create videos highlighting the WWU FM team and all of their hard work.

Photo of Rose Kawczynski, Environmental SciencesRose Kawczynski - Environmental Sciences

Since March 2014, Rose Kawczynski has served as Manager of the Department of Environmental Sciences, one of the largest STEM departments on campus.

Rose is innovative in improving the department procedures. With 100+ field trips per year, there is a high need for frequent access to 12-passenger vans. Rose found a way to transition from strictly using rental car companies to a more permanent leasing of vans from the State of Washington by working with Facilities Management. To date, the department has three large vans on campus which provide a seamless process for field-based classes, keeps academic fees affordable for students, and saves the department thousands of dollars every year. 

Rose recognizes the significance of the faculty research with their countless scientific publications and millions of dollars in external grants. She is not hesitant to go above and beyond expectations to provide the administrative service they need as scientists.

To students, fellow staff and visitors, she always offers a warm gracious smile along with her administrative expertise. She adheres to a strong ethic of inclusivity to ensure that everyone knows that they belong. Her greatest strength is community building. As one faculty member stated “She is the glue that holds our department together.”

Past Awardees


Photo of Teri Hall, CBETeri Hall - College of Business & Economics

Teri Hall is the Student Success Specialist for the College of Business and Economics (CBE). She provides advising, both academic and developmental, to students interested in, or already pursuing, a degree within CBE. Teri believes in the transformative power of education, and is dedicated to helping students achieve their goals.

Teri served on the 2019-20 President’s Council for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, which works to identify structural barriers at Western, and recommends policies and practices that help create and sustain a more just and inclusive community. She is also a founding member of the CBE Equity, Inclusion and (EID) Task Force. She procured a $32,000 grant for the EID Task Force for 2020-2021, which will enable the Task Force to hire five EID student advocates and to invest in programmatic efforts to increase cultural competency at CBE. Teri also serves on the Value Leader Team for Navigate, the student outreach platform for advising at Western, and has utilized the platform to provide innovative outreach campaigns and advising services in order to reach CBE students and help them on their educational paths.