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  • Customer Service Award: Ginny Hensley, Housing & Residence Life
  • Teamwork Award:  Brandi Fowler, Application & Program Services
  • Student Support Award: Melissa Flowers, Advising & Career Development Center
  • Part Time Award:  Debbie Gabbard, Agriculture & Research Education Center
  • Unsung Hero Award: Gary Chandler, Facilities Management 
  • WKU Affiliate Award:  Brad Hornal, Barnes & Noble


  • Customer Service Award:
    Robin Lovell, Psychology
  • Teamwork Award:  Dana Divine, Educational Television Services
  • Student Support Award: Lamario Moore, Intercultural Student Engagement Center
  • Inclusion Award:  Laura Smith, Alumni Engagement
  • Unsung Hero Award:  Jessica Steenbergen, Academic Affairs & Provost's Office
  • WKU Affiliate Award:  Sherry Kuehlthau, Sodexo


  • Customer Service Award:
    David Oliver, Environmental Health & Safety
    Sharon Hunter, Housing and Residence Life
  • Teamwork Award:  Amber Boards, Engineering & Applied Sciences
  • Student Support Award:  Julie Jones, Social Work
  • Inclusion Award:  Peggy Crowe, Counseling Center
  • Unsung Hero Award:  Tammy Younglove, Infrastructure & Ops- AVS
  • Part-Time Award:  Elizabeth Fogle, Engineering & Applied Sciences
  • WKU Affiliate Award:  Patsy Perkins, Sodexo


  • Skilled/Technical/Service: Casey Peden, Information Technology
  • Administrative Support: Jarrod Smith, Psychological Sciences
  • Professional/Non-Faculty: Naomi Rowland, Biology


  • Skilled/Technical/Service: Adam Blessinger, WKU Farm
  • Administrative Support: Josiah Super, School of Teacher Education
  • Professional/Non-Faculty: Alicia Pesterfield, Chemistry





Staff Excellence Awards

2023 Winners


Click here to nominate!


What are Staff Excellence Awards?  Staff Excellence Awards honor and recognize WKU Staff Employees who go above and beyond the call for service.  Award winners are those individuals whose character, conduct and actions amplify the WKU “Spirit”.  Winners show respect, cooperation, courtesy and fairness to others, and concern for the well-being of others.   They embody an innovative, creative and a solution-oriented approach to work and make positive contributions to the University’s mission, strategic plan, and communities we serve.


What are the award categories?

  • Customer Service Award- to a staff member who:
    • displays extraordinary service to internal and external customers including fellow faculty and staff members, students, parents, and the WKU community.
    • is committed to customer satisfaction and exceeding expectations.
    • demonstrates excellence in resolving conflicts and/or when facing challenges.
  • Teamwork Award- to a staff member who:
    • exudes the spirit of collegiality and teamwork.
    • regularly contributes to team goals and projects, often going beyond their regular job duties to ensure a positive outcome.
    • shows respect to fellow teammates and others in their department, consistently displaying a spirit of cooperation and trust.
  • Student Support Award- to a staff member who:
    • provides superior support to our students, contributes to their success at WKU and does so outside of their regular, expected duties.
    • takes extraordinary steps to ensure academic and non-academic accomplishment.
    • is sensitive to unique needs that may be critical to retention and engagement.
  • Unsung Hero Award- to a staff member who:
    • exceptionally maintains the integrity of our physical campus, often behind the scenes of daily campus operations.
    • consistently provides exceptional service to the WKU community.
    • can generally be found outside of an office, offering hands on services to ensure a positive campus experience for their coworkers, customers, and WKU community.
  • Part-Time Award- to a staff member who:
    • provides outstanding support to their unit.
    • shows commitment to student success.
    • has a respectful, inclusive working relationship with their coworkers, customers, and WKU community.
  • WKU Affiliate Award- to a Sodexo staff member who:
    • consistently provides excellent customer service to the WKU Community.
    • has a respectful, inclusive working relationship with their coworkers, customers, and WKU community.
    • contributes to a positive, student-centered campus experience.


What is the reward?

Each winner will receive:

  • $1,000 cash prize
  • A plaque presented at the annual Employee Excellence Event


Who is eligible?

  • Full Time eligibility: Must work at least 37.5 hours per week and be employed in a full-time, benefits eligible position.
  • Part-Time eligibility: Must work, on average, less than 37.5 hours per week and be employed in a part-time position.
    • Nominees must have been employed in their current part-time position, without a break in service, for 1 full year (12 months) as of January 1st of the nomination year. 
    • Part-Time WKU Employees are eligible for the same awards as full time employees but are exclusively eligible for the Part-Time Award.  All eligibility guidelines should also be met.
  • Sodexo employees are eligible for the WKU Affiliate Award only and should be regular employees (part-time or full-time) who have worked in their position for at least 1 continuous calendar year (as of January 1st of the nomination year).
  • Nominees should have at least 1 year of continuous service as of January 1st of the nomination year. (Must have been employed on or before January 1st of the previous year and maintained continuous employment.)
  • Nominees who have received a Staff Excellence award, from any category (past or current), within 5 years are NOT eligible.
  • Nominees who have been nominated in previous years but have not received an award are eligible for re-nomination.
  • Nominations cannot be made for teams or groups of employees but individuals only.
  • Staff members may be nominated for more than one category but may only win one.
  • WKU Cabinet members and Selection Committee members are not eligible for nomination.


What is the timeline?

2024 Timeline:

Nomination Period

January 29 - February 12

Verification of Eligibility

February 13 - 14

Supervisor Approval 

February 15 - February 23

Selection Committee 

February 26 - March 8


How are winners determined?

The Selection Committee is made up of nine (9) WKU Staff Employees that are nominated by the corresponding VP/EVP, along with with the Staff Senate Chair and Staff Regent representatives. The Selection Committee members include:

  • Staff Senate Chair
  • Staff Regent
  • Academic Affairs representative
  • Athletics representative
  • DEI Work Group representative
  • Enrollment & Student Experience representative
  • Facilities Management representative
  • Communications & Marketing representative
  • Strategy, Operations, & Finance representative


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 Last Modified 2/16/24