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 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

Past Awardees


Group photo of the MABEL TeamThe MABEL Team - Multi-department

The MABEL Team is comprised of representatives from Western Libraries, WebTech, Western Marketing & Communication, and Video Services. This team is responsible for the creation of the University’s new centralized, open source, online repository for digital assets. MABEL, which stands for Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library, is a database of collections that enable the discovery, sharing, and preservation of Western's digital assets, including photos, videos, oral histories, and much more from a central location.  MABEL is the direct result of the work conducted by the members of the MABEL Team, comprising a cross-campus partnership involving content creators, stewards and stakeholders. This new central platform -- the first of its kind at the university -- is a transformative step forward in Western’s efforts to disseminate and preserve digital content.

In alignment with Western’s strategic goals, numerous collections housed in MABEL illuminate the history of the university and the Pacific Northwest, and thereby advance a deeper understanding of and engagement with place and regional history. Housed in an open source software system (i.e., software that is freely available to all people for use and innovation), MABEL bypasses the inequities perpetuated by expensive, licensed software systems and related content, which restrict access to those who can afford to pay. Instead, MABEL is an affordable tool for the university, and its content is freely discoverable to users worldwide.


David Bass, Western Libraries; Tamara Belts, Western Libraries; Max Bronsema, WebTech; Derek Bryson, University Communications & Marketing; Chris Casquilho, College of Fine & Performing Arts; Jon Dillon, Western Libraries; Elizabeth Joffrion, Western Libraries; Tony Kurtz, Western Libraries; Clarissa Mansfield, Western Libraries; Rebecca Marrall, Western Libraries; Stephanie Mason, WebTech; Tim McLaughlin, Enterprise Infrastructure Services; Justene Merriman, College of Fine & Performing Arts; Casey Mullin, Western Libraries; Nigel Packer, WebTech; Kris Rex, Western Libraries; Ruth Steele, Western Libraries; Jesse Sturgis, Outreach and Continuing Education, Steve Swan, Former VP, University Relations (Retired)


Admissions CRM Implementation Team, Banner 9 Admin Pages Upgrade Project, External Recruitment Marketing Team, Forest School Curriculum Development Team, Global Pathway Program, Make Waves Design System Team, President's Advisory Committee on Institutional Resource Modeling, Procurement and Contracts Team, Social Justice Equity Committee, Writing in Accounting, WWU Food Security Network