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Employees from the following employee groups are eligible for Make a Difference awards:

Questions regarding eligibility may be directed to For details about additional University awards please visit Faculty and Staff Awards.

Number of Awards

Up to 15 awards in each of two semiannual competitions with Fall nominations due October 31 and Spring nominations due February 28. From the pool of semiannual award winners, four annual award winners will be selected. Additional information supporting annual award candidates due May 31.

Nature of Awards

Semiannual, $300 (before taxes) and certificate. Annual, $1,200 (before taxes) and plaque.

Publicity of Award Program

Website, Western News, poster, email

Origin of Nominations

Entire University community including staff, faculty and students


Candidates shall meet all job expectations and demonstrate dedication to outstanding service. The following examples, while not all inclusive, can be used as a guide:

Nomination Form

Email, letters, or form with continuous year round availability on website which also lists prior award winners.


Human Resources to collect forms, organize to preserve anonymity, and disseminate to selection committee members.

Selection Committee

Two representatives each from Staff Compensation System (exempt), Staff Compensation System (nonexempt) and AFSCME; one representative each from MSEA and POA. Committee to elect a chair and secretary. Facilitated by HR.

Award Notification

Committee members call award winners and notify group presidents. HR prepares award payments, letters and certificates. Copies of award letters go to supervisors and employee files.

Public Recognition

Two semiannual university-wide receptions, annual award winners honored at WMU Academic Convocation and pictures displayed in Seibert Administration Building, Western News and WMU News.

Repeat Award Winners

Eligible for award more than once but limited to one award per academic year.