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Longtime OU staffer to be honored with Wilhelm Excellence Award

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Longtime OU staffer to be honored with Wilhelm Excellence Award


Academic Records Coordinator Ellen Keaton will be honored for her professionalism, strong work ethic and dedication.
At a luncheon on Monday, April 14, Oakland University will present the 2014 Sharon L. Wilhelm Excellence Award to an outstanding clerical employee with nearly 29 years of service to the university. Academic Records Coordinator Ellen Keaton will be honored for her professionalism, strong work ethic and dedication.

With a primary responsibility to assist students with maintaining records for their degree completion, Keaton has a widely recognized reputation for assisting people both within and outside the campus community – including faculty, staff, alumni, employers and others. She has worked in the Office of the Registrar since joining OU and enjoys the variety of her job.

“One day is never the same as the next,” Keaton said. “Every day is a learning experience.”

Keaton is highly regarded for her vast knowledge of university operations and the emerging technologies being adopted to manage them. Equally important, she is known for her consistently warm, engaging and selfless approach toward working with others.

Coworkers note that Keaton exceeds expectations with every project she manages, and that she is committed to helping maintain an efficient workflow in the Registrar's office and in its collaboration with other departments.

In a letter to the Wilhelm Award Selection Committee, Senior Associate Registrar Tricia Westergaard offered high praise for the exceptional value Keaton brings to her job.

“Every so often you meet someone who inspires others around her to be better,” Westergaard wrote. “Ellen is one of those extraordinary individuals.”

One example of Keaton's determined effort to help OU students is the work she did to optimize curriculum advising and program planning. Her expertise and problem-solving abilities allowed students access to a far more efficient system of evaluating progress toward their degrees. This also provided academic advisors more time to help students plan their futures.

Whatever the task or challenge put before her, Keaton wears a smile and frequently reveals her positive attitude by saying, "It's a great day to be a Grizzly."'

Having worked with Sharon Wilhelm during her career, Keaton accepts the award with a strong sense of the tradition it recognizes.

“Sharon was a sweet and gracious person,” she said. “That’s why it’s so humbling to receive this award. It certainly means a lot to me.”

The Sharon L. Wilhelm Excellence Award was established to honor Wilhelm's 45 years of service to the university in various capacities. She is remembered for her extraordinary work ethic and supportive, can-do attitude, which assisted faculty, staff and administrators in serving students.

This year's award luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 14 in Oakland Center Banquet Room A. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to aaevents@oakland.edu.