Ed Lazowska, Outstanding Public Service Award

Like a proud parent, Ed Lazowska gets more excited when a student or faculty member in his department earns an award than when he wins recognition himself. Nevertheless, accolades keep pouring in for the energetic chair of the computer science and engineering department.

Lauded by community leaders such as Seattle Schools Superintendent John Stanford and State Rep. Tom Huff for his tireless volunteer work, Lazowska has been selected to receive the 1998 UW Outstanding Public Service Award.

"The range and impact of his public service is simply off the chart," said a group of top university administrators. "We are convinced he never sleeps."

Employing his signature style for problem solving--mastering the topic, devising new and sometimes unexpected solutions, recruiting key players to help carry them out and championing the cause with evangelical zeal--Lazowska has made his presence felt from the halls of local schools to the halls of Congress.

For example, he helped the Seattle Public Schools develop technology standards, raise funds and get more than one-third of schools connected to the Internet. He recruited nearly 100 UW faculty and staff to host an in-service day on teaching, learning and technology for Seattle teachers. And he has been a key player in the planning the K-20 network that will ultimately link all the state's public educational institutions.

"The consequences of Ed's substantial work is nothing less than helping to create an economic legacy for Washington," wrote Kathleen Wilcox, president and executive director of the Washington Software Alliance, where Lazowska is on the board.

Adds Huff, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, "The scope and quality of (Lazowska's) service in support of economic development, education programs and policy, telecommunications policy, land use policy and tax policy is unprecedented in my experience. His service to Washington will remain forever in the network and related educational programs that will serve the children of this state."

Simply put, Lazowska sees public service as an integral part of his job.

"It comes with the territory," he says. "Not every person or every department needs to be engaged in every form of service, but as an institution we need to be out there. Computer science departments have unique opportunities and responsibilities because so much of the action, now and for the foreseeable future, revolves around information technology."--Greg Orwig, UW News and Information

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