Staff Senate will be doing a “Meet the Senator” series this academic year, letting all staff know who their Staff Senators are. In the spotlight this week is Kristi Westphal-Thomas. Kristi is an HR Specialist at WCU and this is her first year on Staff Senate. She is currently serving on the Staff Engagement Committee. When Kristi was asked “Why Western” she responded with “my husband and I moved here in January 2019 from another UNC System university. He was offered a position he couldn’t refuse, so after months of applying, I finally landed a job as an Executive Assistant. There was no turning back, then. WCU has become our home.” Her favorite part of her job is getting to perform all new hire (faculty and staff/temps) intakes and onboarding. This means that she gets to meet all new employees before their start date- the excitement they all have for their first day and the infinite possibilities working for WCU or a higher education institution can bring. She stated, “Their anticipation alone brings me joy.” A fun fact about Kristi is that she gardens. She has a mega huge pumpkin patch in her back yard! Twenty plants all cultivated from seed in May. She also has a large veggie garden. We are so glad that Kristi joined us on Staff Senate this year and look forward to spending more time with her in the future.