Western staff member recognized for support of military student

Contact: Chris Hybels

Anthony Pederson, Christy Chambers and Major General Dennis Lutz, U.S. Army (Ret).

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Christy Chambers was recognized by the Office of the Secretary Defense on Oct. 6 as the recipient of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's (ESGR) Patriot Award. Chambers, a budget analyst in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), was nominated by a former student employee and Army reserve service member.

"We're here to celebrate an employer who showed compassion and understood there were things going on that required some balance," said ESGR volunteer and retired U.S. Army Major General Dennis Lutz during the award reception. "On the behalf of the Secretary of Defense, it is my pleasure to recognize Christy Chambers as a patriotic employer."

The Patriot Award is given out by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense Office. The ESGR was established to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. The Award recognizes supervisors for providing support to Service member and his or her family through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

"I am very honored to have received this award and humbled to hear how much our support meant to him," said Chambers.

Chambers was nominated by former student employee and alumnus, Anthony Pedersen, B.S.'22. Currently a computer/detection repairer in the Michigan Army National Guard, Pedersen worked for Chambers when he was a Western student in CEHD's Student Services Office. During his employment as an office assistant, she made accommodations to allow him to fulfill his obligations to the Army and his family. 

"Christy made it really easy when deploying last May without notice," said Pedersen "Don't get me wrong the work was hard, but the amount of stress I felt coming to work and obligating time to work was nonexistent thanks to her."

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