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WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

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Katrin Wesner-Harts Receives 2021 UNCW Staff Award for Excellence

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Katrin Wesner-Harts ’16 Ed.D., director of UNCW’s Student Health Center, is this year’s recipient of the UNCW Staff Award for Excellence. Michelle Hafey, CESTEM program associate, was also a Staff Award for Excellence nominee.

The awards recognize members of the campus community who have excelled in their service to UNCW in the categories of customer service, efficiency and innovation, human relations, public service and spirit of North Carolina.

In his nomination letter for Dr. Wesner-Harts, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Michael A. Walker wrote:

“Among a campus of exceptional faculty and staff, many of whom have stepped up their game during COVID to help keep UNCW functioning at a high level, Katrin has emerged as a star among a bright constellation. It took mental and moral strength to persist in the face of student angst, staff fear and personal sacrifice. She simply has been steadfast in her leadership and guidance for UNCW during one of the most challenging periods of this institution.”

“We often find out who exceptional leaders are when they are tested by exceptional times,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “Without a doubt, Katrin has proven that to be the case. Along with her incredible efforts helping to lead UNCW through the pandemic, she has been a bedrock supporter and expert in keeping the children, staff, faculty and families safer at DC Virgo. We are so proud to be able to highlight her leadership as a professional, and also as an alumna of the Watson College.” 

Amy Moody, professor of special education and director of WCE’s Center for Assistive Technology, nominated Michelle Hafey for the award. Hafey joined UNCW in June 2017 as a program associate in UNCW’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, where she coordinates CESTEM’s Technology Loan Program and student competitions, and is engaged in several STEM outreach programs.

“Michelle is a great example of a colleague who creatively and with skill represents how the University and the Watson College support learning in the blurred boundaries between the campus and the community,” said Dean Dempsey. “Her work with school-based educators is exceptional, and the challenges of COVID have brought out even more of her talents. We are quite proud of the work she does in collaborative spaces every day.”

Nominees were recognized at a virtual ceremony on September 22, and the awards were announced in a UNCW home page story on September 24: Katrin Wesner-Harts Honored with 2021 Staff Award for Excellence, Others Recognized for Exemplary Service.