Eastern Michigan University announces 2024 distinguished staff awards

Staff Distinguished Achievement Recognition Awards winners at the ceremony

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University honored staff at the 2024 Staff Distinguished Achievement Recognition Awards Celebration on March 21. The awards recognize outstanding staff who promote student engagement, institutional effectiveness, and community service. Awards are given for leadership, innovation, and success.

"We celebrate the remarkable contributions of our staff who embody EMU's values and honor those whose dedication and commitment have left a permanent mark within and beyond our institution," said Rhonda Longworth, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs. 

Each year, university staff is encouraged to submit a nomination for review by a campus-wide committee. Forty-three nominations were received recognizing individuals from across campus. Of those, 14 people were selected for awards.

The 2024 awardees are as follows:

Community Engagement and Service
Colleen Kibin, Director of Transfer Partnerships
Cathy Steiner, Assistant Director of Event Services

Outstanding Leadership
Donna Holubik, Director of Financial Aid
Kathryn Wilhoff, Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Andre Bravo, HRIS Data Specialist, Human Resources
Matthew Gregory, Director of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response Office (Title IX) and Interim Director of the Disability Resource Center

Outstanding Innovation
Vanessa Gardner, Academic Advisor, Francine Parker Advising Center
Charles Krey, Assistant Director of the Student Center, McKenny Hall and the Lakehouse
Karen Peacock, Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost 
Paul Vuocolo, Assistant Director, Web Services & Digital Strategy, Division of Communications

Student Engagement and Success
Sara Bamrick, Activities and Entertainment Coordinator, Campus Life
Melina Tumpkin, Mental Health Therapist, Counseling & Psychological Services
Leighanne Denja, Senior Financial Aid Advisor

Special Recognition Award in Outstanding Leadership:
Dr. Wendy Burke, Department Head in Teacher Education


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

March 27, 2024

Written by:
Jordan Phelps

Media Contact:
Darcy Gifford