April 2020 Appreciation

Nicole Lockwood-Womack, CEHD Certification Advisor, deserves appreciation for continuing to respond in detailed and thoughtful ways to students, faculty, staff and alumni even on a significantly reduced schedule.  After Nicole helped two alumni teachers understand certificate renewal requirements this week, they wrote:

"Fantastic! Thank you for helping us navigate this! Even in the short time since we graduated with our education degrees, things have changed. Your email is very thorough! Thank you!!!"  Another alumni wrote "I felt like you were the best help to me in this process with answering my questions." I appreciate that I can always count on Nicole to be professional, accurate, supportive, and kind to everyone with whom she interacts. Thank you, Nicole!

Posted By: Laura Ciccantell

Svetlana Stone, Immigration Advisor, International Student Office. I really appreciate Svetlana helping me to prepare my OPT application, especially during the difficult time with the COVID-19 situation. Since we cannot meet in person, she was able to help me prepare my application through phone for nearly 2 hours. She was very thorough in making sure that I had all the information I needed. Certain processes, like application for employment authorization for international students cannot stop even during a national pandemic.

Therefore, I really appreciate Svetlana goes above and beyond to help students with their needs.

Posted By: Qi Zhang

Jennifer Klauth, the Manager of Recruitment and Outreach for the School of Social Work, has developed numerous outreach, recruitment, and retention resources to use during COVID-19.  She also is in the process of developing a virtual hooding and pinning ceremony for our School to be held and simulcast to all stakeholders on April 23rd.  Finally, Jennifer Klauth, as a true social worker, has been our point person to develop and then triage any of our "I need support" requests available for all students, faculty, and staff, throughout the College of Health and Human Services.  Jennifer is practicing support, stability, and social work in a time of crisis!

Posted By: Jennifer Harrison

Dr. Linda Reeser has been the School of Social Work's AAUP representative, as well as the chair of our Departmental Policy Statement, for several years.  This has always involved working with each of the committees in the School of Social Work, and consolidating information and changes to our policy articles, and presenting them to our full faculty for review and decision.  During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Reeser has also been instrumental in working with others in the AAUP to develop and share information about the WMU Solidarity Fund to support students, staff, and faculty with financial needs during this crisis.  We are better as a School for Linda's leadership and coordination!

Posted By: Jennifer Harrison

During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all of our BSW and MSW field placements, which are the signature pedagogy of our field, have been impacted.  Some of our students could not continue with in-person field activities during the pandemic.  Other field organizations saw a significant uptick in the call for their services, and our BSW and MSW students a similar uptick in the need for their contribution.  There were also policy changes and implications that we experienced at a state and national level.

Through this crisis, our Field Director, Paul Mailloux, and Field Coordinators, Vicki Poleni and Marian Tripplett, have led in big and small ways.  They have communicated regularly with our students and field instructors.  They have advocated successfully with colleagues around the nation for flexibility in field requirements to enable students to continue towards graduation and entering the field.  They have  outreached to individual students and field instructors, many of whom are struggling with their own needs even while meeting the needs of their clients and communities.

In the School of Social Work, we are always looking for ways to "practice" social work.  Vicki, Marian, and Paul have been doing this practice for years, but it has been especially on display during our current crisis.  They are modeling for all of us what social work is and does!

Posted By: Jennifer Harrison

Stephen Kettner as per this testimonial from a CAS faculty member to Stephen's supervisor Josh Grant:

Dear Mr. Grant,

I wanted to bring to your notice the recent work of Steve Kettner and commend him on the production of a video promoting our archaeological field school (“Learning to Dig It: The WMU Archaeological Field School”) soon to be uploaded to the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project website. We were fortunate that Steve was able to interview three field school participants just before the lock-down occurred in early March. Then working remotely, he integrated that footage with previous footage he had gathered over nearly two decades of work with us in Niles as we investigate Fort St. Joseph, one of the most important French colonial sites in the western Great Lakes region.

We now have a collection of 6-7 DVDs that document various aspects of our studies from discovery and student opportunities to public participation.

Steve is the consummate professional creating a quality product in a timely manner. He doesn’t mess around—Steve’s the real deal! We are so fortunate to have his talents at Media Services and WMU.

We plan to submit the video to an annual archaeology video competition (Lisbon, Portugal this January) in which we/he previously took second place (New Orleans, 2018). We are confident that “Learning to Dig It” will be equally well received as we showcase the fine partnership between Media Services and the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project.


Michael S. Nassaney

Posted By: Tom Wolf

Mrs. Svetlana Stone deserves an appreciation and admiration from everyone.

Mrs. Svetlana has been going with me through every step, without caring how long it will take, how difficult could it be, or anything. She is a strong woman and very positive inspiration, besides my international student advisor I consider her a dedicated human being that fights until achieving her goals and her students' goals. Most importantly, she makes me feel comfortable because she is very knowledgeable which makes her advise the best and making you feel that you are doing the right thing. Thanks to her effort and consideration, I obtained my work permit due to a family crisis and loosing my economical support, she was cheering me up in every step and getting appointments from me for every week of a whole month.

- Mrs. Svetlana, you are amazing and thank you for this journey! Thank you for not only cheering me up but for getting excited when your students achieve their goals.

Posted By: Manuela Villota

Email to Missy Bininger from a student Help Desk leader: 

Hello Missy,

I wanted to reach out on the day in which I was supposed to attend my graduation ceremony and thank you for the opportunity you have given me. I can't express how grateful I am that you were able to allow me to work in such a professional and responsible department. On the surface, it may seem like the switchboard or front desk doesn't involve much, yet I was able to learn more than I initially anticipated. I learned the value of serving WMU in the most positive and helpful way possible.

Your ability to be a leader, problem solver, and decision maker is what I look up to and hope that someday I can accomplish. No matter how busy you may have been, I never felt intimidated and always felt that I could talk to you about anything. Aside from just the snacks and holiday gifts, you have been one of the kindest and most helpful supervisors I've ever had.

While it would've been nice to have a little send off party in the office, I thought I'd write you this email and attach this photo. Thanks again for welcoming me with open arms into a department that does so much for the university. I appreciate all that you have done for me and I wish you the best of luck with everything!

Posted By: Tom Wolf

Kamrin RIchardson and Scott Kendall:

Kamrin and Scott were contacted by the Help Desk on the first day of finals week because the 59 residents of Spindler Hall had lost wifi connectivity. When they came to campus to investigate they found that a water pipe had sprung a leak and damaged network equipment. They quickly installed alternative equipment and within hours of finding the leak wifi service had been restored to all of Spindler Hall so that the 59 students and instructors could continue their finals week activities.

Posted By: Tom Wolf

Josh Enos was praised by Help Desk leader Tony Hendrix:

I just wanted to take a quick moment to rave about Joshua Enos. I am sure you have already heard this from others but he has been an absolute treat to work with since joining OIT. He always gets back to us quickly when we put in tickets, he is always kind, professional and most importantly, he always solves our issues. I don’t think we as an organization take the time to recognize excellent work often enough so I just wanted to let you know how great the Help Desk’s experience has been with him since he joined your team.

Posted By: Tom Wolf

Brian Shade, Charles Heynig, Amanda Wessels:

A software licensing appliance failed around 5:30 PM Friday (4/24) affecting student access to CEAS and CAS software. Charles Heynig drove up to WMU at 6 PM and tried to manually restart the appliance. By 6:30 PM it was determined that a new appliance was needed. Brian Shade worked with Amanda Wessels and by 7 PM the vendor had received WMU's order for a replacement appliance. The replacement was mailed to Brian Shade's house. It arrived Tuesday and was installed, configured and fully functional by noon Wednesday. This was simply an amazing turn around for an issue of this magnitude.

Posted By: Tom Wolf