2017 Recipient: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Proposal Development Team
The HHMI proposal development team originated as a group of faculty members from Biology, Chemistry and Geology concerned about climate, access and retention for underrepresented students in STEM majors. The group began to meet on a biweekly basis to identify barriers for these students, including enrollment limits on STEM courses, under-preparation for the Math Placement test, and the lack of faculty and graduate student awareness concerning equity and inclusion. When the HHMI, the world’s foremost biomedical research foundation, announced that it would be accepting proposals for $1M grants to increase minority inclusion and representation in STEM disciplines, the team’s previous conversations and shared understandings made it possible to prepare a proposal to address these issues at Western. From a field of 1500 eligible colleges and universities, and 91 submitted proposals, Western was one of 24 to receive a $1M grant. Because of HHMI’s national prominence and resources, with this grant Western is positioned to become a national leader in STEM inclusion, which can in turn increase Western’s ability to recruit more diverse faculty and students.
2016 recipient: The Morse Hall Fire Recovery Team
Immediately after the fire in the Morse Hall chemistry building on August 25, 2015, this team came together to ensure its successful reopening in time for the start of the 2015 Fall Quarter only twenty five days later. The team reviewed, evaluated and implemented solutions to the multiple obstacles to restoring service in the building, considering safety, financial, strategic and operational impacts to the University. Consistent, swift, and accurate communication at all levels was critical to the success of the response, and each member of the team was empowered to provide information and input at every step of the recovery effort. Even under intense time pressure, each area within this large team understood their goals and objectives to ensure the safety of students and employees, all coordinated to minimize disruption to Western’s academic mission. Thanks to the team’s effort, thousands of students, faculty and staff were able to continue their coursework and research without disruption, relocation or resource constraints. This is what Active Minds Changing Lives, and the Western Way is all about!
2015 recipient: The Institute for Energy Studies Team
2014 recipient: Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Team
2013 recipient: Multi-Purpose Field Team
2012 recipient: The Back2Bellingham Weekend Team
2011 recipient: Institutional Scholarship and Waiver Streamlining Project
2010 recipient: Advanced Materials Science & Engineering Center
2009 recipient: Early Registration Team