Professional Staff Award for Excellence Past Recipients

2017 Recipient: Linda NormanLinda Norman

Senior Systems Analyst, Enterprise Application Services, Academic Affairs

Linda Norman has worked as a Senior Systems Analyst since 2000, developing and enhancing IT systems that support student success. She serves as a bridge between the institution’s complex technical systems and the departments interfacing directly with students, faculty, and staff. Currently she is the lead analyst assigned to the Degree Works Implementation Team, which is responsible for replacing Western’s current degree audit software with a new system designed to increase student achievement by improving retention and graduation rates.

According to one of her colleagues, “If you can’t figure out how something works or the history of how it was developed; Linda either knows or she delves into the data until she finds out.” Another stated that Linda “has an encyclopedic understanding of the Banner Student Information System.”

When asked what she values most about her work at Western, Linda’s response makes it clear that for her, it’s all about the students. “The most important thing I’d like to say is how grateful I am for all of the amazing people I have worked with at Western.  I’ve supported a lot of users in a lot of departments over the years and have always considered it my job to make their jobs easier. Together we have been able to accomplish wonderful things for the students.”

2016 Recipient: Casey Hayden

Casey HaydenCoordinator of Student Activities

Viking Union

Since 2006, Casey Hayden has served as the primary adviser for the AS Club System, AS Productions, and Resource and Outreach programs. He has supported students in leadership development while carefully balancing the needs of the institution, mitigating risks of student events, counseling students in stewardship of S&A Fee funds, and maintaining good relationships with the local community.

Recently Casey went above and beyond in supporting the Students for Renewable Energy (SRE) club in their direct-action organizing efforts for Divestment. Casey supported the development of these student leaders, while facilitating constructive communication between them and the University Administration. When SRE staged a sit-in outside the President's Office, Casey volunteered to spend the night in Old Main to supervise the protest and ensure the students engaged in their activities safely and responsibly. This is just one of many examples of Casey’s skill in finding balance between supporting student development and protecting Western as an institution.

Casey has also been a leader and innovator in using technology to enhance the student experience. He led implementation of the OrgSync Organization Resource Management platform, which has greatly enhanced efficiency of business processes for AS Clubs and Program Offices. The platform has been so successful that Viking Village and Rec Sports Clubs have adopted it, with Casey taking the lead in those collaborations.

2014 recipients: Renee Collins & Todd Epps

Renee Collins & Todd Epps

Renee Collins Associate Dean of Students, Director of the Ethnic Student Center, of LEADS and of Student Outreach Services, Division of Enrollment and Student Services

Over the course of many years, Reneé Collins has held a variety of roles, including Director of Student Life, and Equal Opportunity and Human Resource specialist. Reneé obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western, and earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seattle University. In 1999, Reneé was the recipient of the prestigious Community Builders fellowship appointment by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and attended the Community and Urban Development program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She was the founding president of the Northern Puget Sound N.A.A.C.P. and has lived and worked in the Bellingham community for the past 26 years. In 1994 she received the Cultural Arts Award from the City of Bellingham for being instrumental in lobbying for the Martin Luther King, Jr. official city holiday.  Prior to coming to Bellingham, Reneé worked for the Department of Defense as a civilian Personnel Specialist and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Epidemiology Field Services Department.  She is most proud of the Collins family obtaining seven degrees from Western and she is passionate about developing students and staff to become responsible and ethical global leaders.


Todd Epps, Director of Networking Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Science and Engineering

Todd Epps has been in his current position for nearly 16 years where he and his staff support the technical needs for both the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) and the College of Science and Engineering (CSE). Todd’s outstanding performance, tireless efforts and exceptional interpersonal skills have earned him the respect and appreciation of the faculty, staff and administrators in both CHSS and CSE. Todd goes above and beyond the requirements of his position by serving on various college and university committees, including the CSE Technical Operations Committee, CHSS Computer Advisory Committee, CNET Advisory Committee (to Bellingham Technical College), and Western’s IT Professional Group as its long-term chairperson. He has also been a valuable and willing resource in implementing CSE’s Workstation Replacement program, providing technical information for decision packages and Student Tech Fee proposals, and analyzing various space needs for CSE equipment.

David Davidson2013 recipient: David Davidson

Associate Director

Border Policy Research Institute

David Davidson has served as the Associate Director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western since 2005. Before his position at BPRI, he served as the City Administrator in Sumas for eight years and has gained a wealth of experience with the border between Whatcom County and Canada over the last 20 years. He earned his master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.




Dana Edward2012 recipient: Dana Edward

Director of Certification and Accreditation

Woodring College of Education

Before she came to Western in 1999, Dana Edward had more than 25 years of experience in the public sector.  She has worked for the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, the San Diego Housing Commission, and the San Diego County Department of Social Services.

During the academic year, she works with faculty and staff across campus dealing with curricular revisions and proposals, and advises on educator certification. For the last few years, her focus has been on the coordination of a concurrent state program approval and national accreditation site visit.



2011 recipient: Devlin O'Donnell

Coordinator of CASAS

Prevention and Wellness Services

Devlin O'Donnell

2010 recipient: Bill Managan

Assistant Director of Operations

Facilities Management

Bill Managan