Washburn recognizes faculty and staff rock stars

Every year, Washburn holds a ceremony to recognize and honor faculty and staff for their dedication to their work and students on campus.

This year the ceremony was rebranded as a celebration titled “Washburn University Rock Stars.” The celebration was May 2, 2023 in the Memorial Union and was well attended by faculty and staff.

Former president, Jerry Farley, was also in attendance and was recognized for his 25 years of service.

Washburn’s faculty and staff were glad to be recognized for their efforts. Stephanie Lanning, the University registrar, spoke on her thoughts of the event.

“I thought it was fabulous and it is great that Washburn recognizes the faculty and staff, support staff, everybody that works here,” Lanning said. “As an employee here, it’s nice to be recognized for your hard work.”

According to several attendees, this year’s celebration was less formal compared to past years. Previously, these ceremonies were seen as more “serious,” yet attendees were happy with the new change.

“It was really great to have a culture of celebration today where it was encouraged to clap and cheer and celebrate the people who have done a lot for university,” said Christina Foreman, student success evaluation and retention specialist.

This year’s ceremony also featured performances from student singers, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

In addition, five students were recognized as the student employees of the year. Pateue Moore was awarded in the category of diversity; Bryce Liedtke in critical thinking; Rachel Henry in technical and innovation; Logan Ayers in leadership and Elizabeth Pendergrass in community service.

JuliAnn Mazachek, Washburn’s president, ended the celebration with a few words congratulating those with awards and thanking others for their dedication to Washburn.

Mazachek also made a few announcements regarding tuition for faculty dependents and summer work schedules.

She explained that faculty dependents could now continue their studies at Washburn with 100% of their tuition being covered. Before, faculty dependents could attend Washburn with half of their tuition being covered.

She also stated that there would be changes to the work schedules over the summer, so that faculty and staff would have more time off. Although, the details of this change are still undergoing.

Many of the attendees were ecstatic at these changes including Eric Grospitch, vice president of student life.

“We were looking at different ways to retain and keep faculty and staff, and this is one of those perks that was really within our area to make happen,” Grospitch said. “The hope is that not only will our kids come and be part of the campus, that they’re more likely to be engaged, they’re more likely to pull other students into events. So it really kind of gives us the best of both worlds to that process.”

Grospitch added that the change in summer schedules was “great.” He explained that faculty would still work their 40 hour weeks, but that by noon on Fridays they’d get the chance to go home early.

To view the winners of the faculty awards and the recognized Emeriti and Eminentes, the attached gallery below.


Edited by LeSha’ Davis and Glorianna Noland