New names added to Western Way wall

Shevell Thibou, Hoa Pham, Denny Demorest, Leanna Bowman and Andrea Date are among the latest Western Washington University employees to be recognized via the Western Way recognition program, begun winter quarter.

The program aims to recognize Western employees for their hard work on campus and to give their co-workers an opportunity to praise their efforts.

Any time throughout the year, folks in the WWU community can visit the Western Way website to recognize a Western employee who demonstrates excellence in serving students, visitors or colleagues, based on the characteristics that make them uniquely Western: inviting, engaging, distinctive, collaborative and adventurous.

Western Way honorees are recognized online on the Western Way Wall of Acknowledgment, in the Western Today newsletter and in a slideshow at the Employee Recognition Ceremony in April.

A few comments about the recent nominees:

Shevell Thibou demonstrates all five of the descriptors for excellence in her role as Learning Commons Program Coordinator. Whether working with students, faculty, staff, or community members - she extends a welcoming, informed, and helping hand to all. Her very presence lights up the room and her playful invitation to take risks has influenced many timid people to participate in the TLA. While her position keeps her very busy with tedious tasks like scheduling all the Learning Commons Info Desk student staff, she also manages to come up with innovative ideas for new programming. What's a word for what you get when you cross conscientious with unassuming and creative? That's Shevell.

-Carmen Werder, director, Learning Commons/TLA & Writing Instruction Support, Western Libraries and Learning Commons

Hoa has been a Western custodian for twenty-eight years. During that time she has performed her duties with great consistency and without complaints or hitches. Although there is a language barrier between her and her coworkers, she greets them every morning with a smile and friendly jokes and laughter. Her willingness to continue cleaning the Fairhaven residence halls day after day is an inspiration to those working around her. She is an exemplary model of leading by example.

-Jesse Potts, Office Support, Facilities

Denny is the epitome of a professional. When challenged with a problem he never fails to rise to a task through innovation, collaboration and effective communication. His positive attitude and his “where there’s a will, there’s a way” mentality puts all at ease no matter what the issue. Denny is one of the most dedicated and loyal employees Western could ever hope for and one of the best team players and collaborators we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. We are very lucky to have this pillar of knowledge and experience on our Western team.

-Vic Kiel, Sarah Crawford, Lea Aunne and David Weiss, Human Resources

As the department chair, I interacted with her regarding registration or records issues. She has always been helpful, friendly, professional, and accommodating. I have learned so much from her and she is consistently patient and available. She continues to be a source of abundant information and an incredible assistance. Even in times of my own desperation, Leanna is helpful and compassionate. She deserves applause!

-LeaAnn Martin, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Andrea is always kind, helpful and patient. She will always listen to me and follow through with what needs to be done. She strives to make it better not just for her own area but for our area that services the entire university. Andrea truly is willing to try anything if it will improve her job and ours. My job depends upon getting information correctly from where help is needed thru several levels of management. Andrea is the one who makes that happen. She is one of those bright spots that makes it a pleasure to work here.

-Ethan Van Diest, locksmith lead, University Police; and Brent Nonhoff, locksmith, Lockshop/Public Safety

To view more information on the nominees to date, visit the Western Way website at

Date. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU