WMU News

Four named winners of Staff Service Excellence Awards

June 18, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Four WMU employees have been selected to receive the 1999 Staff Service Excellence awards, which come with a $1,000 prize.

Those selected by the Staff Service Excellence Committee for the award, along with the employee groups they represent are: Halbert E. Bates, Martin Luther King Jr. Program, professional/technical/administrative; Beverly Y. Crill, University dining services, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Patricia M. Martin, sociology, clerical/technical; and Ronald E. Ware, public safety, Police Officers Association.

In addition to the cash award, less taxes, each recipient will receive a framed certificate and have their photo displayed in the Seibert Administration Building. A luncheon to honor Bates, Crill, Martin and Ware will be held June 23.

The selection committee chose the four, the maximum number named each year, from a pool of 39 individuals nominated. The selection committee is composed of representatives from the APA, PSSO, AFSCME Local 1668, the Police Officers Association and the Michigan State Employees Association. The selections are made from nominations that have the names and positions of nominees and nominators omitted to ensure impartiality.

Halbert E. Bates is the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program, a position he has held since 1985. Bates' nominations stressed his positive, encouraging attitude; his commitment and loyalty to the University and the community; and his integrity and moral authority as displayed in his leadership and volunteer work.

As director of the MLK Program, Bates works with minority students whose academic performance may indicate the need for individualized educational programming, helping them achieve good academic standing, impressive graduation rates, and often, move them on to post-baccalaureate degrees. He helps students to become focused and define their purpose; in doing so, he has helped increase the retention of students-particularly minority students. His success, said a nominator, lies in his character as a man who "enacts his beliefs within his daily demeanor" and his service as a "father, brother, coach, mentor, compassionate listener, and disciplinarian model for the students in his yearly charge."

Prior to his current position, Bates was an instructor in health, physical education and recreation and an assistant track coach. He has also served as an Upward Bound instructor. Bates also coordinated a grant program that established an ongoing mentoring program between WMU students and Kalamazoo Public School students. His volunteer work includes teaching University 101 and serving on many University committees.

Beverly Y. Crill is cited in her nomination for her superior service and outstanding customer relations as a dining services employee at the Oliver Street Cafe in University Medical and Health Sciences Center. Employed at the University since 1993, Crill worked in several dining services locations before settling in at the Oliver Street Cafe in 1997. Her outstanding work there has been commended by many East Campus WMU employees as well as those employed by Michigan State University's Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies. She has received many letters from these employees thanking her for her service.

Crill is known for her "very pleasant and friendly approach to all customers" and she is noted for working tirelessly to provide an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for her customers. This includes extending many personal touches that make the cafe attractive and pleasant. Crill knows many of the cafe customers by name, and is an outstanding mentor to her student employees, whom she trains to provide the same level of superior customer service. Crill's work reflects very positively on University Dining Services as well as increased sales at the cafe.

Crill was lauded for "consistently going beyond the scope of (her) job to make the Oliver Street Cafe a pleasant and successful Dining Services operation."

Patricia M. Martin has worked as the administrative secretary in sociology for all of her 30 years as a WMU employee. Martin received 11 nominations, all of which spoke glowingly of her performance and contributions to the department, calling them "inordinately above and beyond all reasonable expectations." In fact, said one person, she is so "truly indispensable for the smooth operation" of sociology, that Lewis Walker, chairperson of sociology, often refers to Pat as the "associate chair" of the department.

Described as the cornerstone of the department, Martin has worked with three chairpersons, and is noted for her adept, efficacious handling of difficult issues involving faculty and subordinate staff as well as graduate and undergraduate students. She is highly regarded for influence in building community and morale in the department. Martin's humor, intelligence, problem-solving skills, charisma, tact, creativity, insight and leadership also were cited. Martin is described as having a keen ability to assess character, collegiality and aptitude. In fact, these skills have become evident in her interviewing and recommendations for hiring faculty and staff.

Martin also is noted for always working toward her goal of success for the department's mission and her genuine concern for the well-being of faculty, staff and students. One nominator says, "I find the joy she derives from the achievements of our students to be truly remarkable." Another example of Martin's commitment is hosting a reception for a faculty candidate at her home when none of the faculty were able to do so.

Ronald E. Ware is the community police officer for Public Safety. In this position, Ware is noted for consistently promoting a positive image of the WMU Department of Public Safety as well as for the University at large. He has done this, in part, by presenting more 98 programs to the University community since spring 1998, including presentations at freshman and transfer student orientations and University 101 lectures and training programs to prevent violence against women and alcohol abuse and to promote student safety.
Ware works closely with residence hall staff and building coordinators on crime prevention measures and security. Described as being "instrumental to the decline of malicious destruction complaints" in Valley dormitories, Ware secured an office in the Valley and is available to students throughout the school year to answer questions and solve problems. In this role, he has been able to develop a strong, respectful relationship with students.

Officer Ware's service also includes working with Upward Bound students interested in law enforcement. He is involved with the Statewide Campus Community Police Officers Association, is a regular instructor for community policing officers, and has presented programs at local schools dealing with "Kids Identification Kits" to promote a positive image of a police officer to grade school students.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400