2023 Staff Members of the Year


Each year Staff Council is given the daunting task of anonymously selecting the Oral V. Hemry Non-Exempt Staff Member of the Year, and exempt staff member of the year. We read through dozens of nominations that tell a story of the phenomenal and hardworking staff at SPU who quite literally hold this place together as they live out their Christian faith; demonstrate competence, skill, and initiative in their work; model grace in their interactions with others, and exemplify service and leadership.

Oral V. Hemry Non-Exempt Staff Member of the Year

This individual has served the SPU community for three years now with a faith that shines in every interaction with students, faculty and staff across campus. They come from a long line of Seattle Pacific University Alumni and have a true passion for this institution, which I have got to experience personally through their excitement at supporting all things SPU athletics. They are a shining example for both other staff and students alike in the way they treat others. With grace and dignity, they model Christ-like behavior in all their interactions.  

From day one, this individuals work has been exemplary, leading to several promotions.  During this last year especially, when their immediate team was extremely short-staffed, this staff member was praised as a tremendous asset to their team, not only helping to carry the additional workload and a lot of extra hours, but also as a sounding board for those who needed it. In addition to their work in their department, this individual can often be seen volunteering their free time to help other offices with university events.

This staff person personifies the SPU values of "embracing the culture" and "changing the world" in their daily interactions, particularly with students. Selecting a college and figuring out how to pay for college are deeply personal and worrisome tasks for families.  This individual emulates the kind of leadership and initiative with students that leads to MORE enrollment, rather than letting the process frighten or intimidate prospective students.

They received multiple nominations celebrating them for how they treat all of their peers, managers, and colleagues with equal respect and grace.

Please join me in awarding this year’s Oral V. Hemry Non-Exempt Staff Member of the Year award to Chris Landerdahl from Student Financial Services!
Exempt Staff Member of the Year 

This individual is a constant source of encouragement and caring for staff, students, and faculty.  In spite of nearly overwhelming challenges, they never give up and are a model for how Christ taught us to treat others. They would gladly drop everything to help a colleague, and constantly sacrifice themselves for SPU through long, meticulous hours.   

They constantly think of ways to improve the visits and events experience for our prospective students and their families, and can be seen spending late nights and early mornings on campus preparing for the next event. Their thorough work is felt by our campus partners and visiting families alike, and they would never ask a staff member to do what they are not willing to do themselves.

According to their colleagues, everything this individual touches become better.  Not only does this individual help us continue to pull off wonderful visit opportunities for prospective students, but each event they oversees is better than the last, and better than anything we have offered in the past.

They are extremely talented in connecting will ALL people at SPU, and they bring people together. They have a true gift in professional hospitality, and can keep their team focused on what matters: the students. They are praised for navigate challenging spaces to stick up for the marginalized and voiceless.  They are an excellent ally for faculty, staff, and students at SPU (and prospective students). 

Please join me in celebrating this year’s exempt staff of the year, Pierce Salave'a from Undergraduate Admissions!

Congratulations to Chris Landerdahl and Pierce Salave'a!


Find out more about these awards.

Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2023