CWU News

CWU Student Ambassador Receives Washington State and CWU Student Employee of the Year Honors

Who says you can’t get good help anymore? In April, CWU’s Kyle Hanis, a junior in communication, received not only CWU’s student Employee of the Year Award, but the Washington State Student Employee of the Year honor as well.

Hanis is the Lead Student Ambassador for the Office of Visitation, where he oversees tour operations. According to his supervisor, Lauren Butler, Kyle is  responsible for recruiting and hiring, and created a 10-week training program. Butler notes that he “has a great reputation with staff and is often asked to lead VIP campus tours.”

“I enjoy talking to people, and I love interacting with students,” Hanis said.

Butler wrote in her nomination, “One of Kyle’s standout attributes is his ability to continuously find and implement new ways to improve our Visitation program. He is passionate about making our program amazing!

“Kyle has never shied from a challenge. He is dependable, a true self-starter, and 100% reliable. In addition, he is a hard-worker with a fantastic work ethic and he continues to be authentic and genuine making him well-liked among his peers.”

Hanis, who started in the student ambassador program as a freshman, saw a wealth of professional development opportunities in the visitation program. One of his first challenges was to increase the pool of applicants so he developed some new recruitment tools.

The new recruitment strategies worked a little too well: he and Butler had more than 100 students to interview. Hanis devised a series of challenges to see how well they worked in a group. Then he asked them to “sell” themselves for five minutes to get a one-on-one interview.

“It was great,” Hanis laughed. “We had people polka-dancing, acting like a game show host—even teaching us the Spanish alphabet to wow us.

“We wanted people who would not only learn and know the information, but also could share experiences, so that visiting students could picture themselves here.”

Hanis is also extremely involved and passionate about his leadership work with Resonate Church, an on-campus ministry. He co-leads a group of twenty students in life studies, and runs sound for the Sunday services.

“The church stuff is my second job,” Hanis enthused. “I love it!”

When he has free time, he likes  to hang with friends and play ultimate frisbee and disc golf.

“Central is an incredible place,” Hanis said. “Of course, you are terrified first three weeks you are here, but it is such a cool adventure! You can see your own personal growth and transformation. The amount of opportunity that is given to you, and to do that as a sophomore is just amazing!”

Hanis received his awards at the annual Student Employee Award Celebration earlier this year.

“It was quite a surprise,” Hanis noted. “I was notified of the state award at the CWU ceremony.”

The Washington State honor is bestowed by the Washington State Association of Student Employment Administrators. The award comes with a $100 cash prize. In addition to the WSASEA award, as CWU Student Employee of the Year, Hanis received a $75 cash award, and a commemorative plaque.

Hanis is a native of Renton, and graduated in 2015 from Hazen High School, where he was involved with the ASB executive board, and was later the ASB president.

Photo 1: Kyle Hanis with his Student Employee of the Year award.

Photo 2: While on tour, Kyle likes to share personal experiences of the university, so that prospective students can visualize themselves at CWU

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,