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 2023 award is CLOSED. Thank you to those that took time to nominate a collegeague!



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

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

Past Awardees

1 awardee(s) for this year

2021 Awardees

composite photo of headshots of the entire Incident Management Team

WWU 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.