Teamwork, selflessness characterize staff winners

Five WSU employees will receive President’s Employee Excellence Awards at the Celebrating Excellence recognition banquet March 23, part of WSU’s annual World Class. Face to Face. Showcase festivities to honor the achievements of faculty and staff across the university.

The awards recognize outstanding contributions to WSU by classified and administrative professional employees from across the state. Each recipient is awarded a plaque and $2,500 provided by the WSU Foundation.

Nominations focus on employee efforts toward increasing the productivity of the unit; innovative problem solving; positive working relations with students, the public and co-workers; and community service.

The winners are:

Christie Alexandre– Zeoli, farmer 4, WSU Creamery.

Alexandre-Zeoli, cheese maker, is commended by nominators for her advocacy for and mentoring of the student employees she supervises and for her passion for cheese making. She voiced concerns regarding the workplace, and her efforts have improved the creamery work environment — helping make it safer, more professional and more productive. She is enrolled at WSU and works part time as production supervisor. 

In her community of Uniontown, Alexandre-Zeoli has helped coordinate efforts to develop the Dahmen Barn arts project. She has a booth in the barn where her paintings are on display.

Sandi Brabb, assistant director, neuroscience program in veterinary and comparative anatomy, pharmacology and physiology (VCAPP).

Brabb’s outstanding organizational and administrative skills are put to work recruiting and advising students, helping faculty with curriculum, grant application and budgets, and coordinating student club and outreach activities. Nominators describe her as a hardworking, loyal team player willing to tackle and succeed at whatever challenge presents itself.

Brabb’s efforts have helped to build the neuroscience program. She mentors those she supervises and instituted a program in which WSU students serve as recruiters in their local communities when they’re home on break.

Brabb has served as chair on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the former Staff Senate.

Lynn Buckley, principal assistant, educational leadership and counseling psychology.

Nominators praise Buckley for the stability she lends her department. Her 25+ years at WSU make her a valuable resource to new faculty and leadership, providing insights, history and contacts.
Her cheerful, even disposition makes her office a friendly, helpful place where people want to drop in. Her hard work and efficiency make even challenging and stressful times an occasion for teamwork and success.

Buckley also is commended for her efforts to organize special programs for the department and the College of Education.

Gary Frost, custodian, facilities operations.
As custodian of Todd Addition, Frost is responsible for the upkeep of 42,600 gross square feet of campus building — the equivalent of more than 17 2,500-square-foot homes.

Nominators say he keeps the area clean and sparkling. They commend him for always being on top of the details — like replenishing toilet tissue rolls and even emptying used coffee filters.

He manages his time so well that he also routinely completes extra carpet cleaning, floor polishing and wall washing. And he regularly volunteers to cover for co-workers when they’re sick or fall behind in their work.

Frost’s friendly and helpful rapport with building occupants — especially on the topic of local sports — is noteworthy, as well.

William (Bill) Kelley, director, facilities operations, WSU Vancouver.

Kelley has brought together a diverse staff into a cohesive team that has gained positive marks from the campus community for its maintenance of grounds, buildings and other facilities. He has a strong record for safety and other training of his employees. And, say nominators, he collaborates with others on campus and in the community to improve many facets of work and life at WSU Vancouver.

Kelley is a key organizer of WSUV’s Cougar Pride Days. He has been instrumental in expanding and maintaining the campus trail system. And in 2002 he founded the WSUV choir, which is comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members.

Reserve your place online
Reservations are still being accepted for the Distinguished Faculty Address Luncheon, inventors and retirees receptions and Celebrating Excellence banquet at the Showcase website, ONLINE @ The site includes more information and a schedule of events.

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