Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes the best of the best with its Staff Excellence Awards. These awards recognize the great work done over the past year by recipients who have performed well beyond the call of duty to help our students and staff. The CAS recognizes recipients who clearly stand out with exceptional work, and many contributions made to departments, the college, and the university.
The following staff members were recognized at a reception on Wednesday, March 21:
Mary Lou Brooks is the administrative assistant for the department of Geography. She handles all budgets and personnel matters, while also compiling the course schedules and making sure everyone has what they need. Mary has a strong back ground in writing and monitoring grants that are funded by the private sector, federal and state. She has partnered with several WMU departments and many non-profits, such as the Michigan Blind Athlete Association, United Way, Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Michigan Braille Transcriber Fund. “I am extremely grateful to all the people that wrote on my behalf, and is filled with appreciation to the college for the award. It was truly a huge blessing. Just knowing that you do make a difference in the lives of others is amazing,” she said.
Patty DeLoach is the administrative assistant for Gender & Women’s Studies and Africana Studies at WMU. Three years after she became a part of WMU’s staff she was appointed administrative assistant of Gender & Women’s Studies, where she remains to this day. “Winning the award is a humbling and honoring experience, and it means so much to me that everyone would care enough to take time out of their busy schedule to support my nomination,” she said. According to one nominator, this award is more than deserved. “Patty’s competence is well known and taken for granted. She anticipates problems, takes initiative both on routine and spontaneous projects, is creative and proactive in finding solutions and embraces change, even when it will makes things harder for her.”
Kerrie Jo Harvey serves as an academic advisor for WMU’s College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Advising in a variety of subjects, including Pre-Med and Pre-Law. She is also a general adviser for all students and helps students meet general education requirements. Prior to serving CAS, Harvey was part of the Haenicke Institute’s staff. This experience provided her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in working with international students. A nominator lauded Harvey for having high personal and professional standards as well as a genuine concern for students. “Kerrie Jo relates warmly to persons she comes in contact with,” said the nominator. “She is perceptive and sensitive to the subtleties of relationships.”
Barbara Peacock has been a part of WMU’s staff since 1995. Between 1995 and 2006 she worked as the Department of Geography’s office coordinator. Since 2006, she has served as administrative assistant in the Department of Psychology. In this position she handles the budget, processes student and faculty appointment forms, and supervises staff (including student employees). She is also involved in several organizations, including, the Wood Hall Emergency Response Team and the Make a Difference Committee, and she serves as chair of the Membership Committee and a member of the Board for PSSO, or Professional Support Staff Organization, on campus. “It is abundantly clear that Barb makes a difference every day in the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the work environment in the psychology department and for the functioning of WMU as a whole,” said a nominator. “In my humble opinion, it is time to recognize her outstanding contributions to WMU staff and students.”
Colleen Sante has been a part of WMU’s Department of Spanish since 2006, serving as administrative assistant. She has been upheld by faculty, students and colleagues as an excellent addition to the Department of Spanish staff and the CAS as a whole. One of Sante’s nominators described her as clearly “standing out” among many members of the CAS staff. “Receiving the CAS Staff Excellence Award is tangible proof that the people in the Spanish Department think I am doing a good job. It doesn’t get better than that,” said Sante.