Staff Excellence Award
 
What would you do if you received a pair of purple sneakers during a white elephant gift exchange?
 
Well, if you opened the gift at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at
WSU Spokane, you would throw the holiday party. And that’s just what Pam Medley did.
 
Tradition holds that the lucky recipient of the purple trainers is to organize the following year’s holiday gathering, a task that Medley first approached with trepidation but grew to thoroughly enjoy.
 
“It took a good two months to get together, from booking a band to selling tickets,” she said, “but it turned out really well.” She credits lots of help from co-workers as well as faculty who decorated the room and staffed the wine/beer bar for making the event the success it was.
 
“It was more than just an office party — it was like a real party!”
 
Medley brings that same enthusiasm to her job as principal assistant at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute (IDI), where she has managed everything from daily office work to events like cooking breakfast for 200-plus students at 5 a.m. to ensure local media attention.
 
“No matter the number or the attitudes of the persons seeking help, Pam treats them courteously and efficiently with endless good cheer and a smile,” said Kerry Brooks, associate professor in horticulture and landscape architecture. “Along with those responsibilities, Pam also manages faculty grant budgets, purchasing, arranges travel, supervises student responsibilities, and likely 25 other things that I don’t know about!”
 
Medley doesn’t leave her customer service at work, either. She helps IDI international students find housing, takes them shopping and invites them into her home for Thanksgiving.
 
“The students here are so talented — they knock your socks off!” she said. “I’m a very linear thinker and designers aren’t, so they broaden my horizons.
 
“This award is such an honor. I was blown away to find out I’d even made the short list,” said Medley. “My parents are very proud!”
 
About the awards
 
Employee Excellence Awards recognize outstanding staff contributions toward productivity, good work relations, community service and problem-solving.