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Showcase Awards

President’s Employee Excellence Awards


For administrative professional and classified employees

These awards recognize outstanding contributions to the University by employees statewide.

J. Manuel Acevedo

Director, Team Mentoring Program, Assessment & Advancement of Student Life, Division of Student Affairs

For more than 30 years, J. Manuel Acevedo has supported the academic success of underrepresented students at WSU. His leadership has made the university more equitable and inclusive. Manuel created and directs the innovative WSU Team Mentoring Program, a model for institutions nationwide. The National Science Foundation recognized the program in 2018 with its prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Manuel has motivated countless students in STEM fields to complete their degrees. Whether collaborating with faculty, staff, students, donors, or federal agencies, he treats every person with respect.

Rob Baker

Information Systems Coordinator, Academic Outreach and Innovation

Since March 2020, Rob Baker has been the technological wizard behind every WSU presidential town hall and more than 100 virtual events for departments across the WSU system. When the COVID-19 pandemic drove many to work remotely, Rob enabled senior leaders to share critical information with the campus community. He set up open links for attendance, bridged the technology from Zoom to YouTube, and ensured that presenters’ materials were queued and ready. He graciously trained everyone—even the university president—to use the technology to broadcast to WSU stakeholders. If last-minute glitches arose, Rob calmly and creatively found solutions. He always approaches work with patience and humor.

Erin B. Carroll

Director, Marketing & Communications, Division of Student Affairs

Erin B. Carroll has been the driving force behind health and safety communications for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her outreach was key to achieving high COVID vaccination rates among students. She spearheaded the Cougs Cancel COVID campaign, which used peer-created content to promote safe behaviors. Erin played a key role in town hall meetings with the WSU community, often serving as the voice for students. She strives for equity and inclusion, ensuring that marginalized students are supported, represented, and heard. Erin is always focused on making the Coug experience better for all students and her colleagues.

Norman Fung

Custodian 1, Facilities Services Custodial

Staff in the French Administration and Lighty Student Services Buildings take notice of the meticulous cleaning and maintenance work performed by Norman Fung. Norman works diligently, doing his best every time—not just most of the time. He genuinely cares about the people he serves, as well as his coworkers in Facilities Services. Colleagues know they can count on Norman. He rarely misses work, completes his work on time, and selflessly volunteers when other areas need assistance. Upbeat and friendly, Norman always greets people enthusiastically. His kindness and unflagging work ethic make WSU a better place.

Zach Holden

Research Assistant, Department of Horticulture

Zachary Holden’s research and extension work is pivotal to the vitality of Washington’s potato industry. Zach conducts field operations across 20 acres at WSU Othello and oversees personnel. He often works 12-hour days and endures extreme field conditions. His contributions to studies have been so substantive that principal investigators have named him a co-author on scores of publications and presentations. Zach also orchestrates annual industry events. He has been key to maintaining the WSU Potato Research Group’s strong reputation with industry and funding agencies. His mentorship has prepared graduate students for successful careers.

Previous recipients

2021Robert K. Ames
Meg Autrey
Maria Clara De Souza
Kathryn L. Dahmen
Shawn Ringo
Jason Sampson
April Seehafer
2020Karen Fischer
Denise Keeton
Kenneth Innami Porter
Sue Sheppard
Nina Woodford
2019Chris Benson
Deb Howe
Kathie Jahn
Beverly Makhani
Terresa Watson
2018Paula Adams
Cheryl Hagelganz
Julie M. King
Vicky Murray
Andy Percifield
2017Raul Garza, Jr.
Don Hulst
Darrel Nelson
Tom Parrish
Josue Rodriguez
2016Kelly Beckman-Nigro
Aaron Brumbaugh
Vickie Dickson
Kim Holapa
Coree Newman-Coronado
2015Gayle Anderson
Susan Cao
Ann Marie Gooch
Amy Grey
Brady Ratsch
2014Brandon Anderson (posthumous award)
Kris Boreen
Galen Gorence
Don Holbrook
Sisouvanh Keopanapay
2013Joseph Beck
Barry Birdsell
Heather Burke
Heather Cochran
Norene Phillipson
2012Donna Clark
Jean Grammer
Nancy Lira
Eldon Loe
Becki Meehan
2011Kenny Bisagno
Bill Gardner
Kimiaki Hirosi
Pama Manoranjan
Sharon Taff

Complete list of award winners | Video of award winners