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University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Engineering
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  5. Donna M. Lewis

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Donna M. Lewis
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Donna M. Lewis has made outstanding contributions to the college, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), Teaching Improvement Program and has served on numerous committees throughout the university. As administrator for ECE, Lewis exemplifies excellence in leadership by consistently performing at a high level, setting superior standards of excellence for staff and teaching assistants, and interacting positively and effectively with faculty, staff and students.

Lewis joined ECE in 1989 after 17 years of service to the UW as an administrative assistant to the Department of Political Science and UW Band, and as support staff to the School of Social Work and UW Hospital. She brought to ECE a degree of stability, reliability, efficiency and quality that allows department chairs to be active teachers, researchers, fundraisers and academic leaders.

As the role of department chair passes between professors, Lewis provides continuity. Working with tight budgets and regulated spending, she plays a crucial role in managing the department's budget. Lewis is an outstanding manager and supervisor and a firm believer in continuous improvement. She has been instrumental in improving the department support and shop staff's work environment and the quality of services they provide. Her guidance and positive attitude has helped alleviate personnel problems and has improved the general work atmosphere.

Lewis earned her BS degree in education from UW-Madison in 1972. The department benefits from her experience in education every day. She selects, trains and assigns the department's 50-60 teaching assistants (TAs) each semester and is highly respected by them. She has developed and instituted policies and programs that improve the quality of instruction by improving the teaching performance of TAs.

Her work has transcended the boundaries of the department to the entire college and university. Many successful teaching improvement programs for new and continuing TAs and instructors resulted from her involvement in the college TA and staff development program since 1989. She addresses training issues and spreads knowledge about the college training programs at national TA and education conferences.

Lewis has contributed to numerous university committees as well. Her colleagues say Lewis not only has the ability to connect with all kinds of people but can also convince them to participate and accomplish things.