Outstanding Classified Staff Award
The Outstanding Classified Staff Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies a positive and creative approach to problem solving and innovation. Their work significantly advances departmental goals and/or the university mission through initiative, leadership, or creative problem-solving. With the support of the President, the two classified staff unions on campus (WFSE and PSE) together select members to receive this award.
Nominations for this award are currently OPEN and can be submitted through the online Outstanding Classified Staff Award nomination form by February 10, 2023.
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.
- Personal initiative and leadership that supports and builds a positive work environment.
- Innovative approach to problem-solving that enables sustained improvement
- Commitment to student success, critical thought, creativity, and sustainability.
- Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others.
- Nominees must be a permanent classified staff member who has completed one year of service by January 31, 2023.
The nomination process for the 2023 award is currently OPEN and nominations can be submitted via the link listed above by February 10, 2023.
Megan Brown - Elementary Education
Megan started working at Western in 2015 as an Office Assistant in the Elementary Education Department. Presently, she is a Program Coordinator in the same department, with specific focus on the Early Childhood Education Program.
Megan strives to diversify the teaching workforce by recruiting and retaining pre-service teachers that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, first generation, as well as other underrepresented groups within the teaching profession. Megan’s office is frequently occupied with students, which speaks to the trust she has built with them, and the safe, supportive space she provides. Students highlight the knowledge that Megan provides to them about the program, university and community resources that have been critical for their success in the program. One student shares, “She is always willing to make time for anything I need, whether that is degree related or mental support.”
Outside of her department work, Megan is also a member of Woodring’s Equity and Diversity Committee, and works closely with Woodring’s Office of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to review practices and advocate for strategies that promote equity and honor diversities.
Megan graduated cum laude from Western in 2014, receiving a B.S. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Economics.
Chase Macomber - Woodring College of Education
Chase Macomber has been an invaluable addition to Woodring College of Education since he joined in 2008. Before, but especially during, the COVID-19 pandemic Chase has gone above and beyond to ensure the needs of Woodring faculty and staff are met. Whether that is helping to loan out equipment, picking up deliveries from Central Services, packaging and shipping necessary equipment to folks who were working remotely, and/or providing computer support in both an online and face-to-face capacities.
Woodring staff and faculty know that they can always ask Chase any question about technology, no matter how silly or small, and he will always answer (more than likely with a smile on his face). As a caring and dedicated employee, he is always willing to assist in all areas of need at the college, with a calm and positive attitude. Chase's prompt solutions to technology issues empowers Woodring College of Education to fulfill its Mission and Vision Statements. In particular, he enables the staff and faculty to be able to foster community relationships and develop collaborative partnerships.
Chase looks forward to many more years of working with all his friends and colleagues at Woodring and the University.
Luke Mason - Viking Union Operations
Luke started at Western as a gardener in 2011 and moved through the campus community as a utility worker, irrigation specialist, building mechanic, and carpenter. In 2017, he moved to the position of Maintenance Services Coordinator in the Viking Union. During the pandemic, he helped to find ways for his staff to work remotely by providing educational opportunities to work towards certifications based on industry best practices as well as a deeper sense of cultural humility relevant to our increasingly diverse student body. He led his staff in taking on special cleaning and restorative projects that could not have been completed during typical cycles of building activity. He also developed and executed a plan based on pandemic safety recommendations and operational needs for people to move throughout the building safely.
Luke has worked cross-campus to help create a sustainable environment, including creating the Campus to Compost program at Facilities Management that eliminates tons of waste by returning it to campus landscape. Some of his favorite projects during his time at Western have been helping to preserve the Burn’s cabin by Fairhaven College, watching the many campus trees he helped plant grow, and working to create and maintain the student union as a fun, safe and engaging space.
Scott Wilkinson - College of the Environment
Scott is a lifelong learner and sees his success at WWU as a product of time spent in both the Chemistry Department (from 2001-2009, as an undergraduate, graduate student, and General Chemistry Lab Coordinator) and the College of the Environment (CENV), where he has served in the role of Lab and Classroom Support Technician since 2009. Over the last 13 years he has seen the College grow substantially and this expansion has afforded opportunities to serve students and faculty who are engaged in ever more interesting projects in disciplines like nanomaterials, the cryosphere, microplastics, restoration, marine science, and more. With help and mentoring from colleagues in CENV, EH&S, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, AMSEC, and SciTech he now has the experience and institutional knowledge to effectively serve as the College’s Safety Officer, Lab Coordinator, Stockroom Attendant, and Purchasing Agent. One of Scott’s mottos is “The show must go on,” and he does his best to provide seamless support for the College’s many research projects, classes, and field trips. Accomplishments over the years include cultivating positive working relationships across campus, maintaining a strong safety record, serving as a Site Supervisor through the pandemic, and helping acquire ~$100,000 in STF funds for CENV.
2 awardee(s) for this year
Byron 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.
Rose 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.”