Team Recognition Award

The Team Recognition Award recognizes a team of staff and faculty who exemplify cooperation, collaboration, and open communication. The team receiving the award must be comprised of supportive team players who actively worked in partnership on a project that significantly advanced university mission and strategic plan goals to advance inclusive success, enhance academic excellence, and/or increase Western's impact in Washington State.

Please reference the PDF of Team Recognition Award nomination questions if you would like to see the typical questions on the nomination form.

Selection Criteria

To be considered, the team must meet 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 presented with one shared Western medallion at the Celebration of Excellence Awards in June, and each team member will receive a Team Recognition Award 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, provost, and vice presidents will review all nominations and make the final selection.

The nomination process for the 2021 award is currently CLOSED. Thank you to those who nominated a team for recognition.



composite photo of headshots of the entire Incident Management TeamWWU COVID-19 Incident Management Team - Multi-department

Since late February of 2020, this team has planned, implemented, evaluated, and adapted a complex institution-wide response to the global pandemic. In one sense, every member of the university has been part of that team—every one of us has been involved in this response and adaptation to the COVID environment. The members of the Incident Management Team, however, in addition to their regular duties, have spent countless hours working on the details that have kept the university running, assessing situations in real time and recommending critical decisions, even when so much has been unknown and unpredictable. The team’s tireless efforts to anticipate, assess, and evaluate the impacts of the pandemic on virtually every aspect of the institution—and provide recommendations for action—has required extraordinary levels of collaboration, communication, and resilience under sustained pressure. While we may never know how much of their work took place well beyond regular work hours and to the detriment of their “day jobs”, we do know that it has been absolutely central to our ability to navigate the pandemic.

In naming members of this team, we recognize that behind each name are many others, each an integral part of our response. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the dedication that the Incident Management Team has demonstrated over a very long year. A heartfelt thank you to the members of this team, and all that supported them.


Jesse Atkins, Facilities Management; Linda Beckman, Financial & Capital Resources; Bruce Boyer, Environmental Health & Safety; Max Bronsema, Web Communications Technology; Chris Brueske, Facilities Management; Matt Bryant, Student Success Initiatives; Brian Burton, Academic Affairs; Anna Carlson, Facilities Management; Ted Castro, Budget & Financial Planning; Paul Cocke, University Communications; Austin Cooper, Academic Affairs; Ryan Cullup, Facilities Management; Debbie Curry, Enrollment & Student Services; Holly Diaz, University Residences; John Farquhar, ATUS; Maggie Feeney, Prevention & Wellness Services; John Furman, Facilities Management; Faye Gallant, Budget Office; Wayne Galloway, Facilities Management; Anne Gilbert, Business & Financial Affairs; Jamie Granger, Facilities Management; David Hansen, Student Health Center; Casey Hayden, Student Activities; Jessica Heidemann, Student Health Center; Pete Heilgeist, Business Services; Jack Herring, Academic Affairs; Kevin Jenkins, Transportation Services; Leonard Jones, University Residences; Ichi Kwon, Academic Affairs; Julie Larmore, Facilities Management; Sislena Ledbetter, Counseling, Health and Wellness; Adam Lorio, Counselling, Health & Wellness; Janet McLeod, Counselling, Health & Wellness; Gena Mikkelsen, Public Safety; Paul Mueller, Risk, Compliance and Policy Services; Melissa Nelson, Office of Attorney General; Troy Ragsdale, Registrar's Office; Darin Rasmussen, Public Safety; Andrea Rodger, Business Services; Michael Sledge, Student Life; Brian Sullivan, Business & Financial Affairs; Sue Sullivan, Environmental Health & Safety; John Thompson, University Communications; Steve VanderStaay, Academic Affairs; Lynne Walker, Enrollment & Student Services; Andy Wilken, Facilities Management (formerly); Sara Wilson, Student Success Initiatives; Chyerl Wolfe-Lee, Human Resources; Holly Woll-Salkeld, Environmental Health & Safety; James Yates, Facilities Management

Not Pictured: Lea Aune, Human Resources; Max Cohen, Facilities Management; Connor Culhane, Facilities Management; Jessica Dean, Prevention & Wellness Services; Mark Okinaka, Academic Budget & Administration; Shelli Soto, Enrollment & Student Services; Michael Ulrich, Financial Services; Taya Winter, Registrar's Office;


ATUS Team, CAnada House-Transboundary Programs Team, COVID-19 Emergency Aid to Students Team, Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment Team, Custodial Transport Team, COVID-19 Response Team, Enterprise Infrastructure Services Team, Procurement & Contracts Team, Transition to Remote Teaching Team, Registrar's Office COVID-19 Response Team, University Marketing & ATUS Production Team, Virtual Viking Night Team, WACOM-ReADY Tracking Team. 

Past Awardees


Composite photo of individual headshots of SBDC Kitsap Team MembersSmall Business Development Center - Kitsap - Multi-department

Working collaboratively over a two-year period, this team was able to create broad community enthusiasm and secure support from five different funders to expand Western’s presence on the Peninsulas with a new Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Taking on an aggressive short-term fundraising challenge outside of their ongoing job duties, the team's sustained efforts led to the creation of the University’s newest SBDC serving Kitsap County.  Driven by Western's values of innovative thinking and inspired by new WWU programming in Kitsap County, the idea to create a Western-hosted Kitsap County SBDC was born. Centers require both Federal funding and local stakeholder support, so we looked to the Outreach and Continuing Education’s Puget Sound West team to extend their relationships, share our vision, and lead community meetings far from home. University Advancement’s Major Gifts Team agreed to spearhead the task of securing local three-year funding commitments and we are proud to have reached this goal. 

The Center launched in late summer 2019 and has assisted over 143 entrepreneurs with annual sales of $6.6M through December 2019. Kitsap County is vital to Western’s ‘University of the Peninsulas’ effort and the team saw an opportunity to leverage our popular SBDC program to increase engagement between Western and the local communities of the County.  Working together, the team established new community relationships and forged new local partnerships. It’s amazing what a committed group of professionals can accomplish when we share a passion for service to the university.


CJ Seitz, SBDC; Mark Bagley, WWU Foundation; Chris Baker, University Communications; Suzanne Blais, University Communications; Stephanie Bowers, University Advancement; Derek Bryson, University Communications; Christa Countryman, University Advancement; John Dlouhy, Special Events; Effie Eisses, Outreach & Continuing Education; Mary Gallagher, University Communications; Earl Gibbons, Outreach & Continuing Education (retired); Donna Gibbs, University Relations & Marketing; Marlene Harlan, Outreach & Continuing Education; Tim Szymanowski, University Advancement; Manca Valum, University Advancement


Concur Travel Systems Team, Journalism Department Pop-Up Pantry, Residence Life, Public Safety Operational Recovery and Enhancement Team, Window Magazine Staff and Editorial Advisory Board