Each month, Student Affairs recognizes one of its outstanding staff members for their hard work, dedication, and passion for serving the UW Tacoma community.
Name: Heather Ruiter
Unit: Disability Resources for Students
Hobby: Historical food research, and interpretation. I am working my way through all 135 recipes in a late 13th, early 14th century northern Italian cookbook. I started a the West Coast Culinary Symposium with a friend and it’s now in its 13th year. I do volunteer disability advocacy work at the national level as the President of International People Working with Disabilities Caucus. I also have an 11 year who wants to start an online video game company, and a welsh corgi.
Favorite Place on UW Tacoma campus and Why: I love this whole campus, especially in the spring and fall when things change so spectacularly, but I’d have to say my favorite place on campus is now our new Community Center in MAT107. I can’t wait to see what our Student Advisory Board and our student outreach assistance
Nominated by: Victor Flores
I would like to nominate Heather Ruiter for the spotlight award. I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside Heather for 8 wonderful years. Heather is very knowledgeable about UW Tacoma and community resources, specifically on disability advocacy and accessibility issues. She is hardworking, dedicated and willing to go beyond the call of duty. She was instrumental in our move to our new space in MAT 107 and has continuously championed our new vision for developing community and support for our DRS students; helping to create that sticky campus. She has been a mentor to many and served as an advisor to the UWASL RSO. A recent graduate sent Heather a card thanking her and “extending their gratitude for her dedicated assistance and mentorship she provided them during their time at the UW Tacoma.” Heather is about students first, often selflessly gives her time to DRS students to make sure they get what they need in order to be successful and often bringing snacks, food and coffee to the office to make sure that students don’t go hungry, especially during finals week. Her professional goal is to serve as a manager or director of a disability services office and I’m confident that one day soon, she’ll reach her goal and ensure that students with disabilities are supported and are a part of and not a part from the university student experience.
Student Affairs champions holistic learning and success for UW Tacoma students. We remove barriers for students, engage them as partners to create an inclusive campus community and equip them for lives and careers that have meaning and impact.
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