2021 Administrative Professional Contribution Award Winners
You may view the 2021 Contribution Award Zoom meeting recording here.
Jason Abrams (Pullman)
Jason was nominated for his far reaching efforts to support with innovative problem solving and team work. Whether maintaining positive working relationships throughout the Division of Student Affairs or co-facilitating Diversity Equity and Inclusion workshops, Jason’s nominator emphasized the value that he brings to the University through his positive disposition and efficiency in handling massive administrative projects with ease. “Jason builds rapport with others and maintains positive working relationships because of his disposition and his ability to execute. He works hard and cares about others, which has helped him to cultivate positive working relationships with those across the system.” A colleague commented, “Jason is one of the most productive and efficient people with whom I have ever worked.” Jason has shown exemplary dedication to the support of mental health and happiness throughout the WSU system with special care especially towards marginalized communities. Linked Nomination Letters
Micah Bockstruck-Martinez (Pullman)
Micah was recommended for the Administrative Professional Contribution Award by a colleague who describes him as, “an incredible champion for the work in Student Affairs and Fraternity & Sorority Life. I appreciate his strength, hard work, and commitment to this profession.” Throughout the virtual year managing COVID-19, Micah developed a variety of new support based programs, coordinated focus groups, and was an integral part of the successful Multicultural Greek Recruitment Week. “His ability to manage multiple competing priorities seamlessly has not gone unnoticed, and he has been sought out by several departments to assist on a variety of committees.” Micah has been described as being an exemplary in leading, developing, and engaging with others. Nomination Letter
Maureen Bonnefin (Pullman)
The level of trust Maureen’s work colleagues expressed for her in her work is 100% and emerged from knowing just how good she is at her work. “I cannot tell you how many times in our team meetings we asked Ms. Bonnefin to provide a summary of where we were on all the supporting documents. We knew her answer would be up to date and accurate. We also appreciated the Saturday meeting when we were close to the deadline.” Among Maureen’s five letters of support, the consistent theme from each of her nominations is that she goes above and beyond her expected job performance and makes a unique and unparalleled impact on WSU. Maureen’s supervisor praised her for her full-service approach to proposal writing which has resulted in the receipt of over $27M in research grants since 2016. “Every faculty member that she has assisted has nothing but praise for her competence, professionalism, commitment, and resourcefulness.” Other team members commented on Ms. Bonnefin’s unparalleled knowledge and mentorship, “She is often ought after to present on research topics for both the research administrative community quarterly meetings and the Research Administrative Series. This series presents to new grant administrators on a variety of topics about both pre- and post-award compliance. Her extensive knowledge in both topics means she can present, even as a last-minute substitute, on any subject the class has to offer. She has also extended her reach by being a presenter at regional and national grant conferences and meetings. Her presentation on working on large multi-disciplinary grant proposals is always well attended.” Linked Nomination Letters
Katie Forsythe (Pullman)
Katie is an employee that has made unit goals a reality. In addition to serving as Director for the Transformational Change Initiative since 2017, Katie is an integral part of the successful Learn. Inspire. Foster. Transform. (LIFT) Faculty Development Program which introduces faculty to brief instructional interventions known to support student success and resilience. “As important as Katie’s contributions have been [to the LIFT program], I believe what she has done in those domains is exceeded by the work she has done with LAUNCH. The LAUNCH program facilitates students’ appreciation for, and engagement in, co-curricular learning opportunities… It is because of Katie’s creative problem-solving and “can do” attitude that we were able to successfully pivot the entire program for AY 20-21 without compromising its integrity or the values that inform it. Katie has been described as a positive, supportive, and thoughtful presence; the glue that keeps the team together and never fails to celebrate unit milestones and accomplishments. Linked Nomination Letters
Josefina Galvan (Pullman)
Josefina Galvan inspires greatness in those around her. As a Student Services Coordinator / Advisor, Ninety-seven percent (97%) of Josefina’s students have provided consistent “Outstanding” support ratings. Josefina is passionate about her work has stood out as exceptional to both her staff and students. Josefina’s supervisor observed that Josefina has, “a remarkable ability to support students holistically (providing academic, financial, and career guidance and referrals) while enhancing students’ non-cognitive and social/emotional development. She has outstanding documented success rates in serving students. This is demonstrated in exceptionally high persistence (92%) academic standing (93%), and graduation rates (75%) of students assigned to her.” The impact that Josefina’s performance has had on the academic, financial, and emotional wellness of students without a lifeline during a global pandemic directly contributes to the continued success of our Washington State Students. Linked Nomination Letters
Lisa Hunter (Pullman)
“Lisa’s entrepreneurial spirit has shown her resilience and creativity, she has accomplished a great deal sharing duties across campuses with the School of Hospitality Business Management in both Pullman and Everett.” Lisa serving in two interim roles in addition to her primary role as a Senior Academic Coordinator is just one example of the many ways she goes above and beyond her expected job responsibilities. Lisa’s nominators provided examples of her strong problem solving skills and ability to speak up to resolve challenges for the greater good. She has worked to create a dual-enrollment plan for Community College Students, has developed and tested a conditional certification plan for students, and serves as an expert advisor for International students and Veterans. Lisa’s nominators share that she not only works to maintain current programs and processes, but she actively adapts to find opportunities to build and improve them. Linked Nomination Letters
Allyson Kincaid (Pullman)
Aly’s nominators praise her for exemplifying what it means to be a Coug! “The uncertainty and learning curve associated with new business systems can be challenging. Aly has demonstrated exceptional professionalism and is helping build a positive culture as she helps others learn and adapt [to Workday and modernization systems]. She has become a trusted, knowledgeable voice that other units look to for problem solving and guidance.” Allyson is recognized for her energetic, imaginative, resourceful, competent and genuine approach towards her work. She has been described as, “a silent leader who motivates her team by her own willingness to go the extra mile to make sure the end goal is reached.” In addition to performing her job duties at an extraordinary high level within the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Aly demonstrates an admirable commitment to serving all of Washington State University through insight of streamlined support to business operations and office practices. Linked Nomination Letters
Linda Loos (Spokane)
Linda is a master of efficient workflows, guides, and checklists that help to organize her team. She performs in exemplary fashion while managing a challenging workload that requires a high attention to detail and accuracy under tight timelines. Linda’s colleagues share that, “she is often able to pull off mini miracles because of the strong relationships she has forged across the university. Linda not only fulfills her job duties with a standard of excellence unmatched, but also continuously exceeds what is expected of her to ensure the continued success of the WSU Youth & Families Unit.” another team member commented, “Linda has eased the burden on all of us during a very hard year. She regularly goes above and beyond what should be expected of her, providing the foundational support to the Youth and Families Unit. If someone has a question regarding personnel, Workday, or any administrative function, Linda is the first person they think of who is both knowledgeable and helpful. She gets to every request as quickly as possible, and in super-human fashion. I do not know how she accomplishes all that she does.” Linked Nomination Letters
Eric Rogers (Pullman)
It has been shared that Eric cares deeply about his staff and the people that he serves at the University. He values people and prioritizes effective working relationships through his efforts to understand others. One team member noted, “Faculty and staff rely on a wide variety of goods, equipment and services to fulfill WSU’s instruction, research and service mission. Hundreds of millions are spent each year on these critical items. Yet at times, it can be incredibly complex to acquire needed goods and services while ensuring that the department and WSU meet federal, state and local regulations. Creative and positive thinkers like Eric are required.” another team member expanded on this idea, “A major challenge brought on by the current Covid-19 pandemic illustrates Eric’s incredible value to WSU and to CDC. As the pandemic unfolded, the supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE) became constrained and, increasingly, nationalized. The U.S. government placed a prohibition on shipment of PPE out of the country, a blanket prohibition that jeopardized the health of CDC and WSU personnel working in Kenya. Many individuals would have accepted the regulation as the end of the effort. However, Eric did not—he worked assiduously to not only identify availability but also to “unlock” the restriction on its procurement for subsequent international shipment. In the end, he succeeded, protecting WSU and CDC personnel and allowing them to safely begin to address the rapidly spreading pandemic. His impact does not end there—when CDC needed to deploy new funding to address the pandemic in east Africa, they insisted WSU accept funding, without application, as they were confident that WSU, based on their experience with the PPE challenge, could deliver. Internally, we know that it was Eric Rogers who made it happen. Linked Nomination Letters
Nicole Witham (Extension)
Nicole leans in and contributes to work outside of her program areas because of her unique and powerful skill set. Nicole’s innovative mindset helped to revamp a nearly two decades old program during the global pandemic. “Nicole lead’s the Farm Walks Series for the WSU Food Systems Program and had started planning for the 2020 program year when COVID hit. She quickly transitioned the Farm Walks program from an in-person event to a podcast series. She worked tirelessly all summer to learn how to use new technology, booking guests, building a new website, and learning how to be a podcast host. This new Farm Walks model was launched in early 2021, with six podcasts now available for download. Like with our other programs throughout COVID, we have seen access to our programs increase because of the virtual format– and Nicole’s Farm Walks are a big hit. We will continue this model beyond COVID, mixing podcasts with live events because of the success that Nicole has had with this format.” In another remote pivot due to the pandemic, Nicole’s diligence and foundational development in facilitating an opportunity to build a virtual online cohort of new farmers and ranchers in Washington has resulted in an improved Food System Program model that will continue to be developed for years to come thanks to her hard work. Nicole’s supervisor noted that, “without Nicole’s support, we would not have advanced as much as we have in the past three years.” Nomination Letter
2021 Contribution Award Honorable Mentions
During 2021 the APAC Contribution Award Review Committee received an outstanding selection of deserving APAC Contribution Award Winner recipients. Please see the list of our honorable mentions and review the nomination letters that are linked to them by clicking on their name below:
2020 AP Contribution Award Winners
Araseli Solorio (Pullman)
Araseli was nominated by her supervisor who says her ability to bring about innovation and infuse others with her easy-going yet determined personality has allowed Araseli to become a doer and a highly consequential professional staff on campus in her short time with the office. From the onset, Araseli transformed her role and brought about new ways to provide student services. Araseli has consistently demonstrated how capable she is of taking on increasing responsibilities and willingly stepped into a leadership role to ensure the office moved forward while Ray, her supervisor was out of the office and country due to a family emergency. Then with the disruptions that COVID-19 brought, Areseli recognizing the need to supplement student’s learning and the missed opportunities as a result of the virus, found new opportunities for students to engage in. She played a crucial role in the planning and executive of high-impact presenting delivered through Zoom. Outside of her role as project coordinator, she was asked to serve as the campus advisor for the National Honors Society of Leadership and Success and was selected as the Academic Advisor for Kappa Delta Chi Sorority and serves as a mentor to young Latinx women. Letter
Sophia Hutton (Pullman)
Sophia’s efforts have become increasingly critical to ensuing the School of the Environment functions as smoothly as possible given SoE extends across 5 campuses and 2 colleges. Sophia combines very well-honed technical capabilities, amazing people skills, a magnetic personality and an incredible work ethic to form a dynamic package that has played a big part in forming the identity and forging esprit d’corps among the staff and faculty of SOE. This spring semester is a prime example of the enormous load she carries. In addition to her usual duties (which take up all of a normal person’s time), Sophia ran two (successful!) faculty searches, coordinated an accreditation site visit (in Forestry), coordinated and trained new additions to the SoE support staff, coordinated transition to on-line instruction in response to the coronavirus. Sophia has been a constant in an ever-changing atmosphere. Sophia also helped me understand many aspects of our former units such that I could help facilitate changes in culture that would help us become a fully integrated unit. Meanwhile, Sophia always brings sunshine to each of us, with her smile and laugh – even by distance. This community that Sophia builds, nurtures, and mentors extends to faculty and students as well. She has nudged faculty out of their offices and labs and into social interactions. This type of mentorship is critical to moving faculty away from “well, we’ve always done it this way” tendencies that continue old encampments to “how do we build a cohesive unit and work together toward a new common goal”. Letters: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9
Erin Carroll (Pullman)
Erin has been serving as Interim Director of Marketing and Communications for the Division of Student Affairs for about the past year since her predecessor left. In her interim leadership role, she has radically transformed both the unit she oversees and the impact her team has on the division and the student experience. Erin’s exceptional ability to think through a problem, ask incisive questions, and implement solutions has been truly amazing to watch. She has gone above and beyond any job description. Getting to work alongside her has reinforced my belief that she can and will elevate those around her, manage more than even she thought possible, and keep her team motivated through challenging times. Letters: #1 #2
Megan Harre (Pullman)
Ms. Harre has continuously gone above and beyond in her work, developing a variety of programs that are focused on directly supporting our students, she has proven to be one of the most productive members of our team, not only managing her regular duties but also rising to the occasion to cover work from multiple vacancies in our department. She has nearly doubled her advising load, because of staff vacancies, has managed a variety of administrative tasks, all while maintaining composure and a professional demeanor. Her ability to manage multiple competing priorities seamlessly has not gone unnoticed, and she has been sought out by several departments to assist by chairing searches for at least 3 positions in the last year. Megan can solve challenges quickly, putting students’ needs first, while acknowledging the challenges that exist in for the community, and being innovative in her approach, not always relying on old solutions to new problems. Letter
Michael Caulfield (Vancouver)
Mike was instrumental in developing and leading summer workshops for faculty members who wished to teach hybrid courses long before the term COVID-19 became part of our daily vocabulary. He also developed and led workshops to enable faculty members to teach via distance learning rather than cancel classes during inclement weather. Because of this groundwork, some of WSU Vancouver’s faculty were already well-prepared for distance learning and pieces were in place to bring others up to speed quickly.
Mike has continued to emphasize “care at the core,” and to put equity and inclusion at the center of his work. Our campus and our system are incredibly fortunate to have him with us in the current situation. He is someone who has risen to the challenge of the times for the greater good of students
He continues to help faculty understand how making improvements to asynchronous course delivery benefits the broadest range of students by taking into account accessibility, privacy and technology access issues. His leadership has focused on helping WSU Vancouver courses meet established learning objectives in effective ways for students and instructors. Letters: #1 #2 #3
Holly M. Prouty (Everett)
Holly has always been someone that anyone can turn to for assistance, to brainstorm ideas with, or to work through problems. Holly builds positive working relationships with everyone that she encounters. She closely works with the Academic Coordinators on our campus to recruit, admit and confirm an excellent class of students. She is someone that they turn to with questions or out of the ordinary student circumstances knowing that she will have the answer or a creative solution. In her past work experience, Holly advised for Women in Engineering at The Ohio State University. Even though that has nothing to do with her current position Holly jumped on the opportunity to advise our local Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter. She has created a positive relationship with the leaders in this organization and has helped them become more productive and increase their reach to students at WSU Everett as well as community members Letter
Cesar Munguia Letter
Waylon Safranski Letter
Leslie Thompson Letter
Angie Klimko Letter
Cathy Lenz Letter
Katie Forsythe Letter
Jessica Perone Letter
Josie Cohen-Rodriguez Letter
Joy Scourey Letter
Sarah Larson Letter
Tami Vik Letter
Susan Lundquist Letter
Amanda Yager Letter
Sisouvanh Keopanapay Letter
Tim Wood Letter
Nolan Yaws-Gonzalez Letter
Jessica Gerdes Letter
Veronica Puente Letter
Phil Boal Letter
The Administrative Professional Contribution Award changed for 2019. APAC recognized the following six outstanding WSU administrative professionals
Lynne Haley, Senior Director, Development and External Relations, College of Veterinary Medicine
The nominator said the following: She does not simply assign duties, she pitches in to help those around her at every level. She has a great team that she leads well, with clear expectations and with a quiet, calm demeanor. Her ability to mentor has increased our unit’s participation across campus and in the community. She is juggling several growing roles to build a sustainable and expanding pipeline of philanthropy to provide a higher level of excellence for WSU.
Michael Highfill, Director, Student Success Initiatives, Office of Academic Engagement
The nominator said the following: He is keen at identifying gaps in student services and determining steps to address such need. He is passionate about creating sustainable practices that translate into greater student success and satisfaction with the university. He is committed to supporting the integration of efforts across the institution and state and understands the importance of communicating and sharing best practices with others at the university.
Brant Schroeder, IS Manager, Project Management, Enterprise Systems Group
The nominator said the following: He mentored me on what I should do with my unit to change the culture and implement sound project management practices. His eagerness to teach, support and contribute to the university has been influential in moving core project management principles forward at WSU. His professionalism, transparency and organization has led to other units implementing project management based on his example.
Becky Morton, Manager, Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience, Veterinary Biomedical
The nominator said the following: She brought accuracy and efficiency to our graduate program by reworking outdated processes and finding better ways to get relevant information to potential students. Her attitude is that we are all a team and all here to help each other succeed. She is a leader that sets high expectations and manages staff with care and sensitivity, while maintains an atmosphere that is friendly and supportive.
Anna McLeod, Academic Coordinator, Carson College of Business, WSU Everett
The nominator said the following: She has the ability to be innovative at problem-solving and her process of student reinstatement boosted enrollment. She is the glue that binds the students, faculty and staff to Everett. She cares deeply and takes the time to personally develop so that she can add value to each student interaction.
Margaret Holt, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, WSU Spokane
The nominator said the following: She has the perfect demeanor for her leadership role. She is approachable and will listen to whoever is in front of her. Her relationship with the chancellors to ensure smooth transitions was evident. Her quiet strength keeping our campus moving forward in a relationship with one another.
AP Contribution Awards honorable mentions
The Administrative Professional Contribution Award changed for 2018. For the first time, APAC recognized six outstanding WSU administrative professionals.
Monica Babine, senior associate, WSU Extension Division of Governmental Studies and Services. Babine leads the Program for Digital Initiatives and works with business, government, economic and community development organizations on promotion, research and technical assistance to increase broadband awareness, access and use. One of her nominators stated “Monica’s efforts are an example of the fundamental contribution that staff make to the success of endeavor throughout CAHNRS, Extension and the University.”
“At a time when broadband access and use is critical for everything from our own university’s enterprise operations to the daily activities of people in large and small towns that we serve, it is a privilege to work for an organization that values and supports my work,” said Babine.
Kate Gannon-Cullinan, assistant director, Residence Life. Gannon-Cullinan’s leadership has tremendously benefited the Residence Life team. Not only does she lead and mentor her staff, she developed an influential staff training curriculum and solicited feedback from staff and students to continue providing a world-class experience for students. Gannon-Cullinan also serves on campus committees and oversees numerous department initiatives. She completed her third year as communications director for the Northwest Association of College and University Housing Officers. One of her nominators stated “Kate embodies exceptional professionalism and is tirelessly committed to her work.”
“Every day I have the chance to help someone—whether that’s listening, working through a process, or giving a high five—it’s a rewarding feeling,” said Gannon-Cullinan.
Kathleen (Kate) Kamerrer, director of finance, contracts, and administrative services, Facilities Services. In her department, Kamerrer is acknowledged for her “can do” attitude and problem solving. One of her nominators stated “Kate has built a climate of trust that enables my managers to be transparent as they discuss their personnel and budget challenges.
“I’m very honored by this recognition. I love what I do and am so proud of all my WSU connections as an alumna, sports fan and staff person. I am especially proud to be a part of Facilities Services at WSU. The dedicated, hard-working team we have in this department inspire me,” said Kamerrer.
Faith Price, assistant director, Native American Programs. Price assists with strategic planning, program development and implementation, and oversaw the early outreach, recruitment, retention services, communications, and coordination of the newly created Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program. One of her nominators stated “Faith consistently performs above her designated job duties. She possesses both excellent interpersonal skills and technical skills. Her creativity and enthusiasm are evidenced in all aspects of her work, arising from her deep commitment and passion for empowering native students toward attaining their personal goals and positively contributing to their tribal nations and communities. Price is currently working toward her doctoral degree.
“I am grateful to my colleagues and APAC for recognizing the passion I have for my students and my work to ensure WSU embraces native students,” said Price. “Kutâputunumuw (thank you)!”
Mary Stender, academic coordinator, Carson College of Business, WSU Vancouver. Stender ensures her advisees make progress towards graduation. She is also a member of the National Academic Advising Association, an advisor for ROAR and a member of the professional development committee of the Vancouver Advising Council. One of her nominators stated “Mary is a quiet and self-effacing leader. Her contributions have shaped the lives of our students, the enhancement of our programs, and the professional development of her colleagues.
Stender has honed skills in problem-solving and adapting to new technologies, different personalities and ways of doing things. She has also learned to guide students in developing these skills. Stender describes her advising philosophy as “nurturing personal growth, goal setting, and accountability, while challenging students to take opportunity risks as well as to engage with a wide network of resources.
Kathy Stilwell, assistant to the associate dean and director, and administrative manager for the Agriculture and Natural Resource Program Unit, WSU Extension. Stilwell provides administrative support for the associate dean and acting director of Extension and serves as the key administrative point of contact and liaison for other WSU departments and offices. Stillwell’s nominators applaud her can-do attitude, positive nature about policies, honesty, reliability and integrity. She is also recognized for building a culture of trust and respect between leadership and faculty.
One of her nominators stated “Kathy just rocks! Her efforts have allowed my program to flourish as I can spend more time on programming, research and outreach.”
“I want to express special and heartfelt thanks to my colleagues across the state who so graciously nominated me and for their kind words,” said Stilwell “I can’t think of a better organization to work than in Extension—it is very special place, and I appreciate all of the wonderful people I work with every day.”
2017 AP Award Winners
Kristina Peterson-Wilson in Pullman
Becki Meehan in Spokane
Congratulations to the honorable mentions for the AP Contribution Award as well:
Lisa Clyde, Sara Ackerson, Denise Echelbarger, Leslie Thompson, Anjie Bertramson, Jason Sampson, Denise Keeton, Jodi Anderson, Mysti Meiers, Kristy Gutierrez, Heather Johnson, Erin McIlraith, Sisouvanhy Keopanpay, Dave Hoyut, Brigitta Jozefowski, Kent Miller, Diane Wick, Deb Cox, Vicky Murray, and Susan Butts.
2016 AP Award Winners
Student Activities Advisor
Office of Student Involvement, Student Affairs at WSU Vancouver
Instructional Lab Supervisor
Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, WSU Pullman
2015 AP Award Winners
Pam Loughlin, WSU Everett and Russ Salvadalena, WSU Pullman
Honorable Mentions for 2015:
2014 AP Award Winners
Susan K. Wright from WSU Spokane and Nancy Shrope from WSU Pullman
From the nomination for Susan Wright: “Susan K. Wright, as the Assessment Analyst in the College of Pharmacy’s Assessment Office, has provided exceptional contributions to the assessment and evaluation initiatives of the College of Pharmacy (COP). What is truly exceptional about Sue is the quality and quantity of work she contributes as well as her willingness to assist all units of the College to develop sound assessment methodologies and data collection tools.”
From the nomination for Nancy Shrope: “Nancy Shrope has distinguished herself both professionally and personally throughout her tenure as an exemplary Administrative Professional at Washington State University. Nancy has spent the majority of her WSU career (30 years) in the Office of Grant and Research Development (OGRD) and because of her skill and professionalism rose to the rank of Assistant Director in 2002. But Nancy is so much more than just a WSU employee. Nancy is a leader and a mentor committed to creating and sustaining a diverse community at WSU.”
Honorable Mentions for 2014
2013 AP Award Winners
Teresa Phimster from WSU Vancovuer & Chris Boyan from WSU Pullman
Honorable Mentions for 2013
2012 AP Award Winners
Jeanne Burritt from WSU-Mt Vernon Research Center and Sue Zumwalt from WSU Pullman
Honorable Mentions for 2012:
2011 AP Contribution Award
2010 AP Contribution Award
2009 AP Contribution Awards
Ching-Guo Wu and Mary Stender
2008 AP Contribution Awards
Sandra (Sandi) Brabb and Joanne Greene