Nine to be feted as top staffers for fall 2017

Contact: Jeanne Baron

WMU Make a Difference Award logo showing three brown building columns behind a gold "W."KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Nine Western Michigan University staff members will be honored as outstanding employees during a reception at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in 157 Bernhard Center.

The University community is invited to attend the event, which recognizes the fall 2017 recipients of WMU's Semiannual Make a Difference Award. Only members of the nonfaculty workforce of more than 1,800 people are eligible to receive the accolade.

Fall award recipients

  • Diana Blouin, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Melanie Chapin-Lechner, Facilities Management-landscape services
  • Natalie Faculak, College of Fine Arts
  • Susan Kramer, Facilities Management-building custodial and support services
  • Chris Praedel, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Ewa Urban, Career and Student Employment Services
  • Connie Volenski, Department of Economics
  • Ashleigh Watson, Lee Honors College
  • Harmony Williams, College of Education and Human Development

Make a Difference Award Program

The Make a Difference Award Program is a campuswide peer-to-peer initiative that annually recognizes WMU staff members for their outstanding accomplishments and daily investment of energy and creativity.

Up to 15 staffers may be selected in each of two semiannual award periods. Semiannual winners receive a before-tax prize of $300. They are selected by a committee comprised of their peers.

Recipients of each year's fall and spring semiannual award are eligible to receive one of four annual Make a Difference Awards that carry a before-tax prize of $1,200. Those who earn the annual award represent the best of the best.

For more information or for a year-round nomination form, visit

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit