Best & Brightests  
 



UW AWARDS 2008 HOMEPAGE

UWEEK.ORG HOMEPAGE

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD
Ben Kerr, Biology
Gowri Shankar, Business Administration
Jaime Olavarria, Psychology
Jamie Walker, Ceramics
Julia Parrish, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences / Biology
Rebecca Aanerud, Women Studies
Richard Knuth, Education Administration

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
Fernanda Oyarzun & Chris Himes , Biology
Rachel Goldberg, English

DISTINGUISHED LIBRARIAN AWARD
Theresa Mudrock, UW Libraries

DISTINGUISHED STAFF AWARD
Hendrik Simons, Nuclear Physics Laboratory
Mona Pitre-Collins, Undergraduate Scholarship Office
Philip Mote, Climate Impacts Group
Robin Bennett, Medical Genetics
Sue Park, Facilities Services

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIFELONG LEARNING AWARD
John Schaufelberger, Construction Management

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Nancy Amidei, Social Work

JAMES D. CLOWES AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Lance Bennett, Political Science / Communication

S. STERLING MUNRO PUBLIC SERVICE TEACHING AWARD
Denise Wilson, Electrical Engineering

DAVID B. THORUD LEADERSHIP AWARD
Judy Mahoney, College of Engineering
Kathleen Woodward, Simpson Center for the Humanities

MARSHA L. LANDOLT DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE MENTOR AWARD
Tom Quinn, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

ALUMNUS SUMMA LAUDE DIGNATA
Beverly Cleary, Children's Author

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Robb Weller, Television Producer and Host

PRESIDENT'S MEDAL
June Shujun Peng and Royce Anderson

"I got to the point that I really wanted to do something with my life that would make the world a better place."


Judy Mahoney


Chocolate bars. Raffle tickets. Boxes of cookies. At some point, most people have raised money for a good cause. But few have set themselves a goal as ambitious as this one: a quarter of a billion dollars.

That's the goal Judy Mahoney, winner of the David B. Thorud Leadership Award, set when she started as the College of Engineering's assistant dean for development and external relations. This spring the college passed that ambitious target.

"There's no trophy. There's no bonus," Mahoney admits. "But already we can see the wonderful difference these gifts are making."

In the eight years she's been at the UW, she has built a team from scratch. The college had just four staff members devoted to outreach when she arrived. Today Mahoney supervises a staff of more than 20 in a wide range of programs that include alumni development, corporate relations, marketing and communications as well as stewardship and events. She's overseen two major building projects and pursued the $250 million overall goal with fierce tenacity -- all while keeping a sense of fun.

Mahoney, a mother of three, said she was raised to set ambitious goals for herself and she always saw herself taking a leadership role. She earned a degree in finance and then an MBA, and launched a career in Seattle's investment banking industry. But after nine years she was ready for a change.

"I got to the point that I really wanted to do something with my life that would make the world a better place," she recalls. "[In the corporate domain] it was a lot about making my boss a wealthier person, and I wasn't motivated by that."

So in 1991 she left the commercial sector to join Seattle University, accepting a more junior position and a substantial pay cut. Gradually she worked her way up into positions with more responsibility. She realized that the nonprofit salaries would never match the downtown pay scale.

"Every fundraiser [at the UW] could make more money in the corporate sector," she says. "It can't be about the money. We're here because we want to be here."

Mahoney says she's motivated by a desire to help students, and particularly to help women and underrepresented minorities succeed in science, engineering and mathematics. The Students First need-based scholarships help achieve that goal. Under Mahoney's direction Engineering has gained the largest number of Student First pledges of any school or college at the UW.

"A lot more students have access to the UW," Mahoney says with pride.

Those who work with Mahoney say she shoots straight from the hip. It's a leadership style that doesn't come from listening to experts.

"I have a lot of those books, but I don't read them," she says laughing. Instead she credits mentors at the UW and at Seattle U for showing her how to be an ethical and positive team leader. As she says, leading a good team is about "hiring the best people you can find and then getting out of their way."

Nominations letters from team members describe her as an "amazingly hard worker" who supports her staff and "eagerly wants others to be successful." And even in the midst of a tough campaign she maintains a sense of humor.

"I often walk by her office and hear a group laughing out of control during a meeting," wrote Dean Matthew O'Donnell. "She keeps everybody focused on the target, but at the same time keeps it simple and fun."

The role of a college fundraiser is to work behind the scenes helping the institution to expand its research and education programs. Campaign UW's close provides a rare spotlight on this aspect of university life. But even in the quieter times, dealing with donors brings its own rewards.

"I work with people who want to do something good in the world, and I help them figure that out," Mahoney said. "I think it's the best job in the world."