New bookstore director named

Beth Sewell

The nation-wide search for a new bookstore director is over, and Western found the winner in its own backyard.

Shawna Cawthorn, former operations manager at the bookstore, was named the new director after a committee interviewed 49 other candidates. Cawthorn was one of only two Western employees seeking the position.

“I knew I was going to stay with the bookstore either way, as the operations manager or the new director.” Cawthorn said. “I wanted the best person to run the store, whether it was me or not.”

Auxiliary Services Director Rob Chrisler said Cawthorn’s status as the operations manager of the bookstore didn’t affect the decision.

The committee was focused on finding someone who was a team-builder and could relate to students. To find that person, Western opened the position to candidates outside the university.

“We’re greedy. We want the best that we can get,” Chrisler said, adding that Cawthorn competed against candidates with 20 years of experience and still came out on top.

“The idea of working with a team had to come to the front, and she had that,” he said.

Cawthorn is already beginning to work on her strategic plan.

As a former student at Western, undergraduate and graduate both, she thinks she understands what students expect of the bookstore, and now she is in a position to make changes.

The first item on her agenda is teamwork.

“That’s the great thing about my team. They are very, very willing to pitch in and help,” Cawthorn said. “They actually enjoy being able to learn new things that are outside of their scope.”

Cawthorn’s former position is up for grabs. She said she may be pulling double duty while a committee is formed to review applicants for her old job.