|UW Tacoma Home | Calendar | Make a Gift | UW Alumni|
Spring 2009 | Return to issue home
Wonderful Women: Five UW Tacoma Women Honored
Five UW Tacoma faculty and staff members recently were honored as outstanding University of Washington women. The Celebrating University of Washington Women program recognizes the contributions of exceptional female students, staff and faculty members across all three university campuses. The UW Tacoma honorees, who were nominated by their colleagues, are Julie Draper, Cheryl Greengrove, Kelly Kledzik, Bobbe Miller-Murray and Alina Urbanec.
Draper, who previously served in a similar position at UW Seattle, said she enjoys UW Tacoma’s small size and close-knit community and looks forward to helping shape services for students.
“I love having the ability to get involved and connect with the rest of the community, really feeling like a part of the institution,” she says. “It’s great to work collaboratively with other departments to really assist students.”
Draper oversees housing, judicial affairs, recreation and fitness and the Childcare Assistance Program, and has made her mark in each area. Colleagues say she is a hard worker who frequently puts in extra hours and works hard to make sure Student Services’ functions are comparable to those at peer institutions across the country.
“As a young professional, what I most appreciate about UWT is the strong female leadership within the university,” Draper says. “From the top at the chancellor level, through the vice chancellor and associate vice chancellor levels, there are strong female role models for faculty, staff and students aspiring to make a difference wherever their career paths take them.”
“We started with nothing, bought a little field equipment and started using Tacoma, Commencement Bay and the South Sound as our outdoor laboratory,” she says. “Teaching in the field became a mainstay of our program. You don’t get to build a university every day.”
She took on a new role in 2006 as interim director of the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program. Even when she was directing the university’s largest program, Greengrove maintained her commitment to teaching and conducting research with students. In addition to teaching, she has continued work in Puget Sound that involves UW Tacoma students in important marine research. Staff of the program say they will be sorry to see her step down when a permanent director is hired this year.
Colleagues say Greengrove’s leadership, vision and integrity has helped faculty and staff of the IAS program face the challenges of being part of a youthful, growing campus.
“UW Tacoma is a place that provides opportunities for people, whether they’re men or women,” Greengrove says. “Anyone can be a role model, whether you’re male, female, 5 feet tall or 10 feet tall. It doesn’t matter. We are providing opportunities for people who haven’t had them before, serving the role we were put here for.”
“I love talking to students, and I love all of the people I work with,” Kledzik says. “UW Tacoma has a great atmosphere and a wonderful community.”
Kledzik, who has lived in Tacoma for most of her life, is studying for her second bachelor’s degree in the IAS program while working part-time at UW Tacoma. Nominators say she often comes to work for special events, stays late to help students and is one of the most dedicated members of the Milgard staff.
“UW Tacoma is a great place for women,” Kledzik says. “We are valued and accepted and highly regarded here.”
“I’ve been so fortunate to have supervisors and staff that I have worked well with,” she says. “I love doing my job because of our mission and the kinds of students we have at UWT.”
As director of admissions and registrar, Miller-Murray closely oversees the university’s admissions and registration processes. Colleagues say she is committed to the success of the university and continues to look for new challenges and new directions.
Miller-Murray is known as a friend and mentor to many, encouraging staff interaction and rarely closing her office door. She has earned the respect of colleagues with her dedication and ability to make a difference on campus.
“Opportunities for women are equal to opportunities for men here, and that’s not true at all places,” she says. “I don’t think decisions are made related to your gender at UW Tacoma. And there is a wonderful group of women here who are supportive, encouraging, competent and wonderful to work with.”
“I have always been fascinated by UW Tacoma, and once I arrived here the excitement and potential was palpable,” she says. “I am fortunate to be part of the beginnings and growth of this place.”
Colleagues say she fully embodies the university’s values with unwavering dedication to excellence, community, diversity and innovation. Said one nominator, “I strongly admire … Alina’s innovative techniques for working with all persons and meeting people where they are. Alina makes a difference that makes a difference.”
Urbanec says she enjoys the people she works with and the challenges she faces on a daily basis. “Each day I walk away learning not just one or two new things, but many,” she says. “It’s wonderful to see the community and the campus in a different way and from the perspective of different constituencies. I am glad to be here.“I feel honored to be working with amazing, wise women and have the joy and good fortune of calling them friends,” she adds. “When I came to campus, my circle of colleagues grew from the dedicated, committed, fun and patient group of program administrators who offered so much of their time and support to others on campus who work in all the areas of the university. I am privileged.”
Photos by Jill Carnell Danseco
Spring 2009 | Return to issue home