CWU News

CWU Employees Shine During Annual Appreciation Ceremony

Each year, Central Washington University honors its employees by hosting the Employee Appreciation Awards Ceremony. At this year’s event, which took place on May 21 in the SURC Theatre, employees were recognized for their commitment, longevity, and service to CWU and its students.

Employees are recognized for service in 5-year increments. Yesterday, 153 exempt and classified staff were presented with certificates for working at CWU between 5 and 40 years.

Otto Bach, building and grounds supervisor for SUB Engineering, received a standing ovation for his 40-year career at CWU--the longest tenure of all those celebrated. Bach is credited for keeping the new and old SURC in pristine conditions over the last four decades.

Three 2018-19 awards were presented for Civil Service Employee of the Year, Exempt Employee of the Year, and Wildcat Way “Best of the Best.” Recipients of each award are listed below with details on why they were chosen for the honor.

Civil Service Employee of the Year
Monica Reece-Bruya, Senior Secretary in Geography

Monica ReeceReece-Bruya has been the secretary senior in geography since 2014, where she keeps the department running smoothly. She is a wonderful support to faculty, always willing to step in and help if asked. She even volunteers when need be.

Despite being incredibly busy, Reece-Bruya maintains an open door policy. Her breadth of knowledge about Central, its policies, procedures, and best practices is an asset. If she doesn't know the answer, she knows exactly who to call and will do it at a moment’s notice to get what is needed.

Reece-Bruya brings professionalism and dedication to her job. She is willing to stay late and come in on weekends for special departmental events. She works effectively within her department, across campus, and beyond.

Reece-Bruya is meticulous in managing the department and all the various aspects of its operation. Her ability to navigate constantly changing software to assist with travel authorizations, budgets, scheduling, room reservations--even the copy machine--keeps the department grateful for her attention to detail.

Reece-Bruya is generally the first person students meet when they visit the department. Her calming presence and smile help students feel welcome and comfortable, and she goes out of her way to answer their questions quickly and accurately.

Reece-Bruya also excels in helping students get the most out of their time at Central. Her outreach and assistance to students helps them feel as if they are part of a community and that contributes to retention and helps students have a positive experience while they are here.

And she does it all with a spirit of enthusiasm. That’s because Reece-Bruya genuinely cares about making Central a better place. She is an asset to her department, and to students and staff alike.

Exempt Employee of the Year
Angela "Angie" Engel, Career Counselor in the College of Business at CWU-Des Moines

Angela Engel

Angie Engel is incredibly passionate about our students and their career success. Her dedication is evident in her behind-the-scenes networking, curating resources, and meeting with students. Angie values collaboration and creating bridges between our institution and the education community.

Engel is compassionate. She always greets students with a smile, acknowledges where they are, listens to their goals, and fashions individual support for the students. In short, Engel is a fantastic colleague and resource for our students. Her efforts have positively impacted our students' lives.

Engel is extremely dedicated to student professional development and career placement for all students, especially those at her home campus at CWU-Des Moines. She successfully cultivates corporate relationships, and successfully connects those relationships and internship/job opportunities to faculty, programs and students.  And Engel tirelessly works to provide professional development opportunities and education for students.

Wildcat Way “Best of the Best”
Miriam Bocchetti, M.A., Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

The Wildcat Way “Best-of-the Best” award recognizes a CWU employee who exemplifies the Wildcat Way traits of being welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, responsive, and proud. The recipient of this award is selected by a committee from the list of employees who have been nominated for one or more Wildcat Way Spotlight awards during the past year.

Miriam Bocchetti

This year's winner, Miriam Bocchetti, has been the Director for CAMP for 11 years, serving students from migrant and seasonal farm working backgrounds at CWU and at Yakima Valley College. Bocchetti is a devoted advocate for students, and her programs are nationally recognized and ranked for their high retention rates and outstanding support for students.

In addition, Bocchetti is one of those people who will respond immediately to a phone call, message, or email. It is apparent that she deeply cares for her students and helping fellow CWU employees across departments as we serve all of our students here at CWU. She is quick to help on committees, attend functions, speak at engagements or any other need around campus. Miriam's dedication to CAMP, students and fellow staff and faculty makes her an excellent role model at CWU.

Bocchetti also sits on several national boards and committees, serving as the National HEP/CAMP Association Board Secretary, where she represents CWU in Washington, DC, and beyond. According to her nomination forms, she is one of the unsung heroes of CWU, working diligently with and for students from diverse backgrounds to provide wraparound support and opportunities for success. Miriam’s scholarly contributions are already putting CWU on the map. She helps to make CWU a stronger, safer, and more inclusive campus and truly embodies the Wildcat Way.

Download the awards program, for a complete list of Employee Appreciation Award honorees.

For more information on the CWU Annual Employee Appreciation Awards contact Traci Fjellstad, office manager in the Human Resources Office at, 509-963-1204.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,