The 2013 College of Engineering
Classified Staff Award for Distinguished Achievement
Lori Burrow joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2001 and shortly thereafter helped strategically transform the department’s administrative team into a seamless, top-notch group that Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor and Chair John Booske says is the envy of the College of Engineering.
Since then, Burrow has instituted bold changes in the department’s administration, with increased efficiency and productivity and the department’s changing needs in mind. She has organized newsletters, open houses, luncheons for high-achieving students, annual holiday receptions, and more.
But Burrow does not confine herself solely to ordinary department business. She also encourages and enables staff to undergo training, on campus and off, to further develop their skills. She also seeks opportunities for staff to participate in volunteer activities, such as the state, university and UW Hospital and Clinics employees annual Partners In Giving campaign. She is active in finding new opportunities for engaging alumni and has initiated and organized receptions in Madison and around the country.
She also is adept at addressing unexpected challenges. In 2011, when the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium lost its administrative director shortly before its 30th anniversary meeting, an event that draws 400 participants, Burrow stepped in. In addition to her own daily duties, Burrow helped bridge the gap and ensured the event ran smoothly. She has continued to work with the consortium to review and optimize its administrative structure, responsibilities and staffing needs. “Lori has been critical to our continuing success,” says Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Giri Venkataramanan, the consortium associate director.
Recently, she also helped ECE Associate Professor Irena Knezevic conduct an international computational electronics workshop with 160 attendees. Knezevic calls Burrow absolutely irreplaceable in handling the administrative facets of the event, including setting up and tracking registration, ordering conference giveaways, arranging entertainment, coordinating travel and lodging for speakers, handling catering, and ensuring materials were printed and delivered on time. And, Burrow ensured the conference stayed on budget. “Lori strives for excellence, cares for our department and goes the extra distance to make our department and the entire college a better place to be,” Booske says.