CWU News

CWU Student Employee of the Year Now in the Running for National Award

Congratulations message to Cathy Mae Dutong

Cathy Mae Dutong of CWU-Lynnwood was named the CWU Student Employee of the Year and is in the running for a national student employee award.

A Central Washington University student employee has been receiving some well-deserved attention this spring for her work in the Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP).

Cathy Mae Dutong, a peer mentor at CWU-Lynnwood, was named Student Employee of the Year at an awards ceremony April 12, and then followed that up with a runner-up finish in the Washington State Student Employee of the Year contest. Now, she is one of 19 students being recognized nationally for their accomplishments—her third nod in the past two weeks for the work she has done at Central. The National Student Employee of the Year honorees will be announced soon by the National Student Employment Administration (NSEA).

“Throughout the past year, Cathy Mae’s work has engaged our campus community during a time when we needed it,” said Caitlin Lawson, her supervisor and nominator. “Through her work, she has shown skills in collaboration, problem solving, communication, digital technology, professionalism, leadership, and intercultural fluency.”

Lawson added that Dutong has been the primary reason that OISP has been able to put on events at the University Centers in the Puget Sound area since she came on board in early 2021. In her role as a peer mentor, the Business Administration major plans and leads informational events for current and prospective students on the west side, coordinating her efforts across multiple centers and university divisions.

One area where Dutong has really shined is with video production. She captures, edits, and presents high-quality video packages for OISP and their partners, which helps them interact with a growing number of international students at the centers. Lawson also has been impressed with Dutong’s ability to collaborate with others, organize and carry out detailed plans, handle multiple deadlines simultaneously, and relate to a wide range of people to advance the department’s goal of engaging with international students.

“Cathy Mae always shows professionalism in the workplace, and she represents OISP at our events and the quarterly orientations at CWU-Lynnwood,” Lawson said. “She balances many projects throughout the quarter … and she does all of this while being enrolled full time and earning high grades.”

Student relations is another area where Dutong excels. The native of the Philippines grew up in Bahrain, and she is always looking to learn about new cultures and ways of thinking. Lawson can’t say enough about her star student employee, who has become a valuable ambassador for CWU and an integral member of the OISP team.

“Cathy Mae’s initiative, positivity, and creativity make her a strong candidate for these awards, and we are very proud of what she has accomplished,” she said.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518.