Cruz, others named to 'Western Way' wall

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 9:51am
Western Today staff

Tina Nelson, Rafael Cruz and Ann Reynolds are among the latest Western Washington University employees to be honored in the Western Way recognition program.

The program, begun in January, 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 additional comments about the latest group of nominees:

Rafael doesn't even know my name. However, every morning I see him, he beams a supportive, positive, welcoming smile, and I am uplifted. Aside from his warm and welcoming beaming smile, he is always working hard to clean the Rec Center, diligently putting his focus into his work. He is committed not only to keeping the place clean, which is his job, but has expanded his focus to lift the spirits of anyone who walks by him.

-Deena Rathkamp, Psychologist, Counseling Center

It is part of Tina's character to be helpful, positive, welcoming, and friendly. She not only gets the job done but makes it a pleasure to work with her. Tina is consistently prompt, responsive, and competent. Additionally, her kind and generous presence is such a strong addition to the community in the English Department and at Western.

-Laura Laffrado, professor, English

Ann really embodies all five of the characteristics of the Western Way, but if I have to pick two, it's "inviting" and "collaborative." Ann is fundamentally committed to the greater good in all that she does. As a faculty member, I can't imagine this department without her as she is such a positive, wonderful help to all of us. But the true value and beauty of her kind, generous spirit is most evident in her interactions with students. She is always student-focused, which is the spirit of Western. Students recognize this in the love and respect they give to her, as they value the positive impact she has on their lives. Ann deserves all the recognition we can give her!

-Karen Stout, professor, Communication Studies

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