Campus Recreation and Well-Being employee Jill Lawson wins OU’s Wilhelm Award

Campus Recreation and Well-Being employee Jill Lawson wins OU’s Wilhelm Award
Jill Lawson
Jill Lawson is this year's recipient of the Wilhelm Award, which is presented annually to a university Clerical/Technical employee who exemplifies the positive, “can-do” spirit of longtime OU employee Sharon L. Wilhelm.

Throughout her time as an Oakland University employee, Jill Lawson has gained a reputation for going above and beyond in support of university initiatives and goals. Her dedication and commitment will be formally recognized on June 12 when she is presented with this year’s Sharon L. Wilhelm Award at the university’s Exemplary Employee Award Celebration. 


The Wilhelm award is given annually to a university Clerical/Technical employee who exemplifies the positive, “can-do” spirit of Sharon Wilhelm, whose 45-year career was spent delivering exceptional service and support to OU staff, faculty and students.


Lawson, who currently serves as an office assistant in OU’s Department of Campus Recreation and Well-Being, is responsible for the day-to-day administrative needs of her department, including office purchases and payments, purchasing-card transactions, cash handling and deposits, shirt ordering, resolution of club sport payments, patron refunds and more.


Her supervisor, Maura Selahowski, referred to Lawson as the “glue holding us all together and keeping everyone on the right path as it relates to university policy and procedures.”


Lawson’s colleagues also recognize her as a natural problem-solver who is eager to tackle challenges.


Colleague Becky Lewis said, “Jill is excellent at seeking solutions to the many situations that come up on a daily basis, and she willingly works with each person on our staff to fulfill their needs and get tasks accomplished.”


Along with her normal job duties, Lawson regularly attends university workshops in order to increase her knowledge and find new approaches to departmental processes and procedures.


“She is always helpful in suggesting more efficient ways of accomplishing a task or offering of her time to help the team come together,” added Selahowski. “She believes you should try to do better, so you know how good you can be.” 


Lawson’s accomplishments in her current role are a continuation of the success she has had since starting at Oakland. She was initially hired as a part-time administrative assistant in the School of Business Administration, where she assisted in the implementation of the school’s ACHIEVE program, which is designed to give students critical career support throughout all stages of their undergraduate education.


In 2009, Lawson transitioned to a full-time role as an office assistant in the Office of the Registrar. Her primary responsibility was to maintain the transfer articulation library in Banner.


“During any given month, Jill updated on average 1,200 records in banner,” said Tricia Westergaard, who worked with Lawson in the Registrar’s Office.

 “This directly impacted every single transfer student, as it was her careful record keeping that provided all subsequent transfer students with an improved incoming roadmap.”


According to Westergaard, Lawson also implemented the awarding of military transfer credit, based on the American Council on Education guidelines, in compliance with university policy.


“She facilitated the entire transfer process for our veteran population, and created those records in banner,” Westergaard said. “All of her hard work resulted in better services for our transfer population.”


Lawson will receive a plaque and honorarium for winning the Wilhelm Award.