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  5. Cramer recognized for efforts to advance women in engineering

Cramer recognized for efforts to advance women in engineering

Steve Cramer, associate dean for academic affairs, received honors November 5, 2013, for his efforts to make the UW-Madison College of Engineering a better place for female students. Cramer is one of two recipients of the 2013 Women's Philanthropy Council (WPC) Champion Awards at UW-Madison.

Each year, the awards recognize one woman and one man who have worked to advance the status of women at UW-Madison. Cramer and fellow recipient Lynn Edlefson, campus child care coordinator and director of the Office of Child Care and Family Resources, were honored at the Women Faculty Mentoring Program's annual reception for newly promoted and tenured women at Union South. Both Cramer and Edlefson will have the opportunity to designate a $5,000 grant to a campus initiative benefitting women.

Cramer joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1984. He leads undergraduate and graduate programs and related activities. As a professor of civil and environmental engineering, he studies structural engineering with primary expertise in the mechanical behavior of wood and wood-based materials, the design and analysis of wood structures, and the performance of concrete construction materials.

“Steve Cramer commissioned a study of student climate in the College of Engineering,” says Jennifer Sheridan, executive and research director of the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute. “One finding was a climate for women students that was, in some places, quite hostile. He took personal responsibility to investigate, and enforce change in those areas — not delegating it to a committee or another office, but himself looking into the issues and taking action.”

Founded in 1988, the WPC is a program of the UW Foundation. The council pioneered new national standards for women as philanthropists, and it is the first major-gift organization for women at a coeducational institution encouraging women's gifts to all areas of the university. Part of the council's mission is to advance women at UW-Madison.