Undergraduate Academic Affairs

LeAnne Wiles, associate director in First Year Programs, named a Distinguished Staff Awardee

Portrait of LeAnne Wiles

LeAnne Wiles, associate director of First Year Programs, is a 2014 Distinguished Staff Awardee!Jacob Christensen

LeAnne Wiles, associate director in First Year Programs, was recently named a Distinguished Staff Awardee for 2014! Four individuals, including Wiles, and one team were awarded the University of Washington’s top honor for its staff.

Nominees for this recognition demonstrate extraordinary service beyond their basic job description and exemplify university values of integrity, diversity, excellence, collaboration, innovation and respect.

The winners will be honored 3:30-4:30 p.m. June 12 at a ceremony in Meany Hall for the campus and general public.

Letters of support for Wiles came from students she supervises and mentors within First Year Programs, her supervisors, and colleagues across campus.

Students highlighted Wiles’ encouragement and respect for them saying, “She always pushes me to reach my full potential…which sometimes means doing things that aren’t entirely comfortable, but help me to stretch beyond my ‘comfort zone,’” and “Even though I’m only a student staff member, LeAnne always ensures my opinions are valued and heard.”

UAA Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor and Assistant Dean Michaelann Jundt shared Wiles’ collaborative work within and beyond UAA and the ways that Wiles “uses these experiences to educate colleagues and think about the future of our collective work.”

Among other attributes, Grant Kollet, director of First Year Programs and Wiles’ immediate supervisor, pointed out her ability to increase her responsibility, improve current operations, manage programs effectively and efficiently, and exemplify a commitment to diversity—noting in particular the scholarship opportunities Wiles established for parent and family orientation and students participating in the program’s outdoor adventure trips.

Faculty members supported Wiles nomination as well. Kollet quoted faculty member Scott Freeman who said that Wiles “combines this big-picture vision thing with good old competence, organization, and humor.” Business School lecturer Christina Fong wrote, “In all of my experiences working with her, LeAnne has been a dream: competent, pleasant, goal oriented and inspiring. LeAnne possess one of the most important gifts of any administrator: she is able to make all of her hard work look easy and invisible.”

“LeAnne truly leads by example,” said Taylor upon learning of Wiles’ award. “Our learning communities are tighter and the undergraduate academic experience is stronger because of her work and leadership and Undergraduate Academic Affairs is a better organization because of staff like LeAnne.”

Kim Durand, associate athletic director for student development, in Student-Athlete Academic Services, was also nominated for a Distinguished Staff Award this year. Undergraduate Academic Affairs colleagues who are previous recipients of the Distinguished Staff Award are: Mona Pitre-Collins, director of the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards in 2008 and Jason Boyd, former academic counselor in Undergraduate Advising in 2005. The Distinguished Staff Awards program was established in 1997.