CWU News

State Honors CWU Human Resources Director With Extra Mile Award

One of CWU’s most recognizable employees was honored by the state of Washington with the Extra Mile Award for her work on the weekly Tuesday Talk webinars during the past year.

Executive Director of Human Resources Staci Sleigh-Layman, who has been hosting the weekly Zoom events since most university personnel began working remotely in March 2020, was one of only 15 Extra Mile Award winners out of 255 nominees statewide. She recently was presented a virtual award during a ceremony hosted by the Washington Secretary of State’s Office.

When asked to reflect on the award, Sleigh-Layman thanked the entire HR team for helping her produce the hour-long Tuesday Talks for the past 15 months, along with the many regular attendees from across campus.

“I am honored to receive this award for my entire team and all those who support Tuesday Talks,” she said. “We gather weekly with three goals: to share information, to build community and to offer support. We are truly honored to provide this service for our staff, who have done an incredible job supporting our mission during the pandemic.”

But those who work alongside Sleigh-Layman recognize the passion she brings to the department and Tuesday Talks. She has shown a unique commitment to sharing vital information with CWU employees during a tumultuous past year, and her staff knows the webinars would not have been as successful without her guidance.

“Staci’s calm and courageous leadership style has brought comfort to many and created a community that did not exist before,” the nomination reads. “Her humility, grace under pressure, and over 30 years of experience at CWU allow her to reach people in a way that others have not been able to achieve.”

The weekly virtual webinars, which run from 10-11 a.m. every Tuesday, often feature high-profile speakers from campus and the Ellensburg community, such as President James L. Gaudino, Provost Michelle DenBeste, and Dr. Mark Larson of the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

CWU Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking — another regular guest on Tuesday Talks — said Sleigh-Layman’s ability to bring CWU staff and faculty together during such a trying year deserves everyone’s admiration.

“Staci has been here a long time and she truly cares for the well-being of each of our employees,” Klucking said. “She has done a great job of creating a welcoming and honest environment where faculty and staff can go for answers and support. Staci’s work to bring us together has been incredibly valuable, and we are very proud she was selected for this Extra Mile Award.”

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