CWU News

CWU Employee Honored for Supporting the Military

Central Washington University is widely known as a military friendly institution because of the variety of ways it supports active duty and reserve personnel, and military veterans.

Vicki Sannuto, CWU’s Career Services director, exemplifies university efforts. In recognition, she was awarded the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. It honors employer assistance, such as allowing for flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, and leaves of absence, if needed, for National Guard members and reservists.

“I feel privileged to have won this award,” Sannuto, says, rating it as the top individual award that she has received.

Bruce Simpson, Career Services employer outreach liaison, nominated Sannuto, his supervisor. She provided him with time off for his deployment to assist with rescue and recovery efforts at the site of the deadly landslide near Oso, in March 2014.

Sannuto notes, “It was a total surprise. When he told me he had nominated me, I was taken aback. I was just doing my job.”

Simpson is a lieutenant colonel in the Washington Air National Guard.

“It was so comforting to know that I didn’t have to worry about my job here or my family’s medical benefits while I was deployed,” he says.

During the past year, Simpson was also called up for a national security course in Washington, D.C., and a military exercise in South Korea. Each of those absences lasted several weeks.

“National Guard members and reservists contribute a lot to the workplace,” Sannuto points out. “They have a real understanding of duty and responsibility, which Bruce certainly has. Even though he’s doing two jobs, he does well at both by following up on things, being organized and making sure he communicates well.”

Sannuto has a significant amount of interaction with members of the military since Career Services is co-located with the CWU Veterans Center.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which is part of the federal Defense Department, has worked to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve military members and their employers for nearly 45 years.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, 509-963-1487,

June 24, 2015