Western Michigan University employees from the following employee groups are eligible for Make a Difference awards.

  • Staff Compensation System—administrative, professional, clerical and technical employees.
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—custodial, dining, landscape and maintenance employees.
  • Michigan State Employees Association—employees working at the WMU Power Plant.
  • Police Officers Association—police officers and detectives.

Questions regarding eligibility may be directed to For more information on additional WMU faculty and staff awards, visit the Office of Faculty Development.

Number of awards

Up to 15 awards will be made in each of two semiannual competitions, with fall nominations due Oct. 31 and spring nominations due Feb. 28. From the pool of semiannual award recipients, four annual awards will be selected. Additional information supporting annual award candidates is due May 31.

Nature of awards

  • Semiannual award recipients will receive $300 (before taxes) and a certificate.
  • Annual award recipients will receive $1,200 (before taxes) and a plaque.

Publicity of awards program

The Make a Difference awards program will be publicized via: website, Western News, poster and email.

Origin of nominations

Nominations will be accepted from the entire University community, including staff, faculty and students.


Candidates shall meet all job expectations and demonstrate dedication to outstanding service. The following examples, while not all-inclusive, can be used as a guide.

  • Projecting a positive attitude.
  • Promoting a positive image of Western Michigan University.
  • Providing outstanding customer service.
  • Finding innovative solutions to problems.
  • Volunteering to serve on University committees.
  • Finding ways to cut costs, eliminate waste and save time or money.
  • Other examples of service over and above normal job responsibilities.

Nomination form

Nominations may be made by email, letter or via the online form, which is has continuous year-round availability. The Make a Difference website also lists prior award recipients.

Administration and selection

Human Resources will collect forms, organize them to preserve anonymity, and disseminate them to selection committee members.

Selection committee

The selection committee will consist of two representatives each from the staff compensation system (exempt), staff compensation system (nonexempt) and AFSCME, one representative each from MSEA and POA, and one non-voting member at large from any of these eligible employee groups. The committee will elect a chair and secretary. It will be facilitated by Human Resources.

Award notification

Committee members will call award recipients and notify group presidents. Human Resources prepares award payments, letters and certificates. Copies of award letters go to supervisors and employee files.

Public recognition

  • Semiannual award recipients will be honored at two university-wide receptions.
  • Annual award recipients will be honored at WMU Academic Convocation, and will have their pictures displayed in the Seibert Administration Building, Western News and WMU News.

Repeat award recipients

Eligible for award more than once but limited to one award every five academic years.