Team Recognition Award

The Team Recognition Award recognizes a team of Western employees who exemplify cooperation, collaboration, and open communication. The team receiving the award must be comprised of a core group of integral team players who actively worked in partnership on a project that significantly advanced one or more of the three core themes of the strategic plan: Advancing Inclusive Success, Increasing Washington Impact, and/or Enhancing Academic Excellence.

If you would like to see the nomintion form questions ahead of time to prepare your answers before entering them into the Qualtrics form, please reference the PDF of Team Recognition Award nomination questions.

Selection Criteria

To be considered, the team must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Build effective collaborative relationships across different work units, groups or departments.
  • Produce a measurable positive impact on the advancement of the university mission and strategic plan goals, beyond the expectations of team members' regular position requirements.
  • Approach the team project in an innovative way that departs from "business as usual."
  • Create a team environment that promotes cooperation, communication, trust, and respect for differences.


The team receiving the Team Recognition Award will be recognized at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in May, and each team member will receive a Team Recognition Award medallion pin and certificate.

Award Administration

President’s Office (

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by any WWU faculty or staff member. The team of faculty and/or staff may also include students. The President's Cabinet will review all nominations and make the final selection.

The nomination process for the 2024 award is CLOSED. Thank you for taking the time to nominate a cross-functional team making a positive impact on the WWU community!



Group photo of nine of the Leadership Philanthropy to Geology Team members smiling in front of the Old Main steps

Leadership Philanthropy to Geology Team - Various

A team of professionals across the university worked together to make possible a $5 million gift that endowed a geology professorship and will support geology graduate students for decades to come. They developed and executed a strategy that led to this second-largest cash gift in Western’s history. Members of University Advancement and the College of Science and Engineering came together to engage an alum after a lengthy period of reduced engagement with Western. As they built a relationship with the alum and learned of his interests, they identified what would be transformational for the Geology Department while resonating with the donor. This 18-month collaboration to engage the alum in a meaningful way resulted in a $2 million endowed chair named for the donor’s graduate school mentor Ned Brown, and a $3 million endowment to support graduate students in Geology, creating an enduring legacy for the Geology Department.



Amber Asbjornsen, University Advancement (former); Frances Badgett, University Advancement; Mark Bagley, University Advancement; Mark Brovak, University Advancement; Ty Hill, University Advancement; Bernie Housen, Geology; Zeck Koa, University Advancement; Victoria Martinsen, University Advancement; Sean Mulcahy, College of Science and Engineering; Rayne Rambo, Presidents Office; Liz Schermer, Geology; Angie Vandenhaak, University Advancement (former); Calloway Warnick, University Advancement


  • Fairhaven Staff Team
  • Department of Education Leadership & Inclusive Teaching Team

Past Awardees

2 awardee(s) for this year

2022 Awardees

Gender Affirming Care Team members

Gender Affirming Care Team - Various

The Gender-Affirming Care Team is comprised of staff from multiple Western departments including the Counseling & Wellness Center, Student Health Center, LGBTQ+ Western, Residence Life, and the Speech-Language Clinic, and grew from the critical need to provide what can be lifesaving compassionate, holistic, gender-affirming care to transgender and gender non-conforming students at Western. This ties directly to Inclusive Success, one of the three core themes of WWU’s strategic plan. From initiating gender-affirming hormone therapies, building community and social connection through innovative programming like Trans Tea, or voice and communication training through the Speech-Language Clinic, the GACT upholds holistic care as paramount to thriving as a transgender or gender non-conforming student at WWU.


Derek Bryson (he/him/his), University Marketing; Katie Cook (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Sindy De La Garza (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Christopher Edwards (he/him/his), Counseling & Wellness Center; Deidre Evans (she/her/hers), Counseling & Wellness Center; Maggie Feeney (she/her/hers), Counseling & Wellness Center; Jennifer Gildner (she/her/hers), Counseling & Wellness Center; Litav Langley (they/them/theirs), LGBTQ+ Western; Sharlotte Lily (she/her/they/them), LGBTQ+ Western; Danny Moloney (they/them/theirs), Counseling & Wellness Center; Dr. Deborah Oksenberg (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Lucia Pearson (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Yarrow Pospisil (she/her/hers), Speech Language Clinic; Edward Torres-Ochoa (he/him/his), Residence Life; Michele Tulk (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Heather Whitaker (she/her/hers), Student Health Center; Renee Wilgress (she/her/hers), Student Health Center



  • COVID-19 Emergency Aid to Western Students
  • Orientation, Advising, and Registration (OAR) Leadership Team
Facilities Management Ventilation Improvement Team members standing in front of Old Main

Ventilation Improvement Team - Facilities Management

As WWU prepared for students and faculty to return to campus for the start of this academic year, one of the biggest areas of concern was to ensure that there was the cleanest possible air in all our buildings. Building upon efforts in place for the previous school year, this team expanded its ventilation improvement efforts to all campus buildings, installing dozens of additional CO2 sensors, modifying thousands of lines of building controls programming, adding enhanced filtering to ductwork, and creating an open source data tool to enable all campus occupants to see near real-time information on occupied spaces. Delivering high quality clean air to building spaces takes a team of experts from multiple shops and works units working together at all times and was compounded in complexity due to the extended pandemic.


Don Bergler, Jim Brady, Chris Brueske, Chad Campbell, Craig Dienburg, John Furman, Chris Hadley, Greg Hough, Glenn Huschka, Travis Ivarra, Cheyenne Lofton, Dan Miller, Robert Recio, Thomas Trebacz, Chris VanAllen, Gerry Vermeulen, Billy Walker, Joe Weber,Tom Yakavonis