Published: Jan. 30, 2020

Women’s Advisory Committee for Support Staff to receive Excellence in Diversity Award

By: Ri'An Jackson University Communications jack1432@msu.eduContact(s): Christine Leese Office of the Executive Vice President for Administration

The Women’s Advisory Committee for Support Staff will be a recipient of MSU’s Excellence in Diversity Award, an award that honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership and creativity to enhance campus diversity.

Founded in 1976, WACSS is determined to empower MSU’s community by providing a platform for university employees, especially women support staff, to voice their unique issues.

“They’ve done a lot of great things over the years,” said Christine Leese, adviser to WACSS. “I’ve seen tremendous growth and organization to the whole committee in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re working together.”

Leese has worked as a mentor for the organization for five years. She guides members to expand initiatives they would like to pursue each year.

A team of 17 MSU staff members, the committee is fueled by four values — advocacy, connectivity, engagement and staff development. Urging for equality and inclusion, the committee strives to be a channel of communication between employees and the MSU president. It recommends policies, programs and solutions to solve problems that university employees face.

The organization focuses on ensuring an inclusive, safe and educational work environment for all university staff.

And it has been successful. WACSS has accomplished powerful milestones on MSU’s campus, like developing the MSU recruitment brochure, recommending ehancements to campus safety programs, establishing a private nursing space for mothers and hosting an annual spring forum that over 400 women support staff attend.

The annual forum is a themed appreciation event for support staff, which features motivational speeches from MSU’s president and special guests. Previous themes have included women’s health, employee engagement and professional development. This year’s theme is diversity, equity and inclusion.

Leese says being a recipient of the award is “such a great honor because I’ve seen them work so hard over the past five years, and I feel that they really have the best interests for support staff.”

WACSS will be honored at the award ceremony on Feb. 11 at the Kellogg Center.

Christine Leese, adviser for Women's Advisory Committee for Support Staff