Staff award goes to Diane Westenberg

Diane Westenberg, maintenance assistant at Northwestern College, has been named the 2005 recipient of the college’s Staff Recognition for Inspirational Service Award. The award was announced at Northwestern’s Spring Recognition Banquet on April 26.

As the recipient, Westenberg receives a $500 honorarium funded by the Alumni Association, a plaque, and a luncheon for her and her coworkers. The honor is given to recognize staff who consistently provide outstanding contributions by going above and beyond what is expected, personify a strong Christian commitment and distinguish themselves as an inspiration to the campus community. Northwestern employees nominated candidates, and a selection committee—which included a faculty member and the two previous winners of the award—selected Westenberg.

Housekeeper of Van Peursem Hall, Northwestern’s main academic building, since she joined the staff in 1991, Westenberg was cited by nominators for her work ethic, cheerful attitude and servant’s heart. 

“Diane’s job involves cleaning the messes others make. Even on days where the weather contributes to large quantities of mud getting tracked throughout the building, Diane does not get upset; she just smiles and cleans it up,” wrote Dr. Scott Monsma, associate professor of sociology.

“Diane is an inspiration to our community because of her loving spirit and attitude,” said Jan Kircher, assistant professor of social work. “She is always willing to do for others. She goes above and beyond to serve Christ and others. She believes in others and always sees the good in them.”

Nominators noted Westenberg’s influence on the students she supervises.

“Her student workers appear to be enjoying their work,” wrote Dr. Dick Van Holland, professor of business/economics. “That’s due to her leadership. She doesn’t have her workers do things she herself doesn’t do.”

“It is clear that in many ways, Diane is as much a mentor and instructor of students as are members of the faculty,” said Monsma. “The lessons she imparts to students will have an impact that is felt long after they graduate.”

“Diane is the type of exemplar whose life and work call us all to live lives of excellence and service,” Monsma summarized.