Productivity, service innovation honored

Five WSU employees will receive President’s Employee Excellence Awards at the Celebrating Excellence recognition banquet March 28, part of WSU’s annual World Class. Face to Face.
Showcase festivities to honor the achievements of faculty and staff across the university. Showcase reservations are being accepted at until capacity is reached or until March 19.
The awards recognize outstanding contributions to WSU by classified and administrative professional employees from across the state. Criteria focus on employee efforts toward increasing the productivity of their unit; innovative problem solving; positive working relations with students, the public and co-workers; and community service.
Vickie Chalmers, director of finance and administration for Capital Planning and Development (CPD), has been at WSU for 24 years. Her nominators honored her for providing an outstanding level of innovative and effective financial administration of complex capital design and construction projects while emphasizing respect and consensus.
She is recognized as the person to go to for an accurate and real-time status of all financial aspects of major capital projects. She is organized and hardworking, yet remains courteous and positive in inspiring team efforts to get the job done.
She serves as past chair of the WSU Administrative Professional Advisory Council and is annual chair of the CPD holiday potluck and auction for local children’s charities and food banks. She is a teacher and adviser to children and youth at the Community Church in Albion, where she also serves as treasurer and organist.
Charles Cody has managed plant growth facilities for the College of Sciences for 25 years. He is honored by nominators for listening to the concerns and needs of all involved and then fairly and innovatively finding them the facilities and materials they need.
A case in point was the 1999 merger of WSU’s zoology and botany departments into the School of Biological Sciences. During this transition, Cody communicated with everyone, exhibited patience and fairness and coordinated the space so everyone’s critical needs were met.
He serves on WSU’s land use and arboretum committees and is manager for some property on Puget Sound donated to WSU. In these roles, he works with students and speaks about plants and their use to schools, donors and other groups, thus performing substantial outreach for WSU.
Pamela Medley, principal assistant in the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane, is described by nominators as the master of multitasking — with a smile. She is credited for changing the environment of the institute to one that is welcoming and positive for visitors, staff, faculty and students.
Medley is the main point of contact between all these people and the institute. Among her many duties, she manages faculty grant budgets, purchasing, arranges travel and supervises student assistants. She works hard to help find good solutions.
She frequently is called upon to plan and coordinate events for the institute and executes them masterfully. She manages design research week activities, coordinates the Combined Fund Drive, has organized holiday parties and has helped with student Habitat for Humanity projects.
Leilani Stevens is program coordinator for Residence Life, where she has worked for the past five years. Her nominators honored her for being solution-oriented and resourceful and yet service-minded, composed and compassionate with the variety of students and parents with whom she comes in contact.
Among her accomplishments, she helped streamline the Residence Life purchasing system. She routinely adjusts and comes up with new options to handle projects in order to keep the process running smoothly and on time while not disrupting neighboring colleagues.
She finds creative ways to include her team in feedback on policies, guidelines and paperwork to continually improve their productivity and job satisfaction. She interacts with students, parents, employees and co-workers with consideration, grace and good cheer.
Jim Zuba, associate director of engagement for the Alumni Association, has worked at WSU for 3 1/2 years but in that time has conceptualized, proposed, designed and developed a number of far-reaching programs to support the growth of the association.
He helped revitalize the alumni information network; establish the 21st century committee; develop college chapters in education, veterinary medicine, communication, distance and professional education and business; and collaborate with multicultural alumni alliances.
He actively recruits and cultivates alumni who have an interest in using their contacts and influence to support WSU. He is especially effective because he is a person of integrity. He clearly and respectfully communicates what alumni can do to help WSU improve. 

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