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West Liberty University distributed new awards at the start of the current academic year to honor its employees.

Sponsored by the Employee Engagement Committee, this inaugural presentation of the Staff Recognition Awards included monetary awards and a team award represented by a large Traveling Trophy.

“Last spring, the Employee Engagement Committee suggested this new Staff Recognition Award program in order to build morale, promote a positive working environment, and to foster team spirit among the staff at WLU. These new awards were based on achievements attained during the previous academic year of 2019-2020,” said Ron Witt, executive director of Alumni Relations and University Special Projects and chairman of the Engagement Committee.

“The winners of the True Topper and Customer Service Awards each received a check from the WLU Foundation for $225. The winner of the Top Team Award was presented with a Traveling Trophy that they can proudly display in their office for the entire 2020-2021 academic year.” 

Winners of the 2019-2020 Employee Engagement Committee Staff Recognition Awards are as follows:

  • True Topper Award – Brad Forshey, Hilltopper Athletics NCAA Compliance Coordinator
  • Customer Service Award – Becky McCullough, Network Administrator Information Technology Services
  • The Top Team Award – the Office of eLearning, Lucy Kefauver, Director

Nominations for the new awards took place last May and were based on names submitted by both faculty and staff. Criteria is as follows:

The True Topper Award is the highest staff award attainable and is given to the staff member who is or shows:

  • Consistently exceptional in performance of job duties
  • Consistently displays a positive attitude in the performance of his/her job
  • Goes above and beyond stated job description for the betterment of campus
  • Is the embodiment of the core values of WLU
  • Initiative and innovation in the performance of job duties
  • An overall exceptional contribution to the campus community.

While a step below the True Topper Award, the Customer Service Award winner displays:

  • Excellence in customer service, both internal and external
  • Positive interactions with all campus entities
  • Positive and productive communication in the performance of job duties
  • Attentiveness to the needs of coworkers, students, and campus guests
  • Patience in the performance of job duties
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Professionalism that pervades the winner’s interactions with campus

The Top Team Award winners display:

  • Exceptional teamwork in the completion of tasks/projects related to that team’s work
  • Consistent positive contribution to campus community
  • Outstanding results/success of a particular task/project (success can be defined as cost savings, time savings, innovative ideas, exceptional safety record, new campus initiatives, creative combining of campus units/resources, etc.)
  • An ability to work well not only within the unit but with other units on campus as well
  • Encourages teamwork throughout campus by example

Witt noted that, “For the purposes of the Top Team Award, a team can be defined however the nominator sees fit (entire department, unit within a department or two units from separate departments that collaborate). This team award went to a very busy department that has seen growth during the pandemic and has performed as a team very well.”

In addition to Kefauver, members of the Office of eLearning include Instructional Designers Sally Ayob, Gabriela Barbosa and Merilee Madera. To view the Awards Ceremony which was part of the Virtual Fall Convocation, please visit Topper Station

Nominations for this year’s Employee Engagement Awards will begin in Spring 2021. For more information, please contact Witt at

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