WMU News

Four staffers lauded for excellent service

July 16, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Four outstanding Western Michigan University staff members have been chosen from among 21 candidates to receive the 2002 Staff Service Excellence Annual Award, which comes with a $1,000 prize.

The winners chosen by the Staff Service Excellence Awards Program Selection Committee are: Sherry K. Bate, administrative specialist in the College of Fine Arts; Scott M. Keeler, environmental control person, Physical Plant-Maintenance Services; Pamela D. Ross, senior administrative assistant, Unified Clinics; and Kathryn A. Wright, office coordinator, Department of Geosciences.

The prestigious award is reserved for WMU's most outstanding staff employees--those who reach far beyond their assigned responsibilities to give generously and creatively of their time and talents. Winners are chosen from among the winners of the semiannual awards of the same name. The selection team includes representatives from four participating employee groups representing a broad spectrum of University staff members.

In addition to the cash prizes, recipients will receive framed certificates and will have their photos displayed in the Siebert Administration Building. A luncheon in their honor was held June 26.

A WMU employee since 1965, Sherry K. Bate joined the College of Fine Arts in 1973. Initially hired there as an administrative assistant, she has risen through the ranks to her current post as administrative specialist. Fourteen nominators spoke out in support of Bate, praising her meticulous attention to detail, impressive writing skills, pleasant and professional demeanor, and deep institutional knowledge. She was also recognized for her mentoring skills, excellent memory and impressive knowledge of the University and its procedures.

Scott M. Keeler has been an environmental control person in maintenance services since 1998. He fills in regularly at the University's new Campus Environmental Control Center, and he's currently training the employee who will operate that station full time. Lauded for his problem-solving skills and keen focus on customer service, Keeler is also an effective formal and informal mentor to a variety of other employees.

A member of the University staff for 10 years, Pamela D. Ross began her WMU career in with Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse. In 1994, she transferred to the Unified Clinics and in 1998, she was promoted to her current position as senior administrative assistant. Noting that she always gives 150 percent, her nominators praised Ross for her unfailing dedication, accessibility, professionalism and ability to stay calm in the midst of chaos.

Before taking her current post as office coordinator in the Department of Geosciences two years ago, Kathryn A. Wright worked as a secretary in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The improvements in the geosciences office since Wright took over are marked, according to her nominators. Her colleagues applauded her for her organization, efficiency, professionalism and willingness to help others.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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