Two honored for advancing status of UW women

Nov. 5, 2013

Lynn Edlefson, campus child care coordinator and director of the Office of Child Care and Family Resources, and Steve Cramer, associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Engineering, are the recipients of this year’s Women's Philanthropy Council (WPC) Champion Awards at UW-Madison.

Photo: Lynn Edlefson

Lynn Edlefson

The Champion Awards honor a man and a woman, nominated by their peers, whose commitment and effort have advanced the status of women at the university. The recipients will be honored at the Women Faculty Mentoring Program's annual Reception for Newly Promoted and Tenured Women on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Union South. Each will have the opportunity to designate a $5,000 grant to a campus initiative benefitting women.

Director of the Office of Child Care and Family Resources since September 1997, Edlefson coordinated the development of four new infant care sites on campus and oversees seven campus child-care programs with 100 academic staff early education faculty. She serves as the treasurer and membership chair on the board of directors for the National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers.

Photo: Steve Cramer

Steve Cramer

“This award means there is an understanding of the human and relationship needs of children and families on this campus,” Edlefson says. “Great things can be accomplished on a daily basis by teachers, researchers, staff and our students — but not at a cost to their young children.”

“Lynn Edlefson has significantly shaped and expanded the availability and quality of child care programs and services on campus,” says Roseanne Clark, associate professor of psychiatry and a member of the University Child Care Committee.

“Lynn, who is remarkable at keeping women faculty, staff and students and their young children in mind, has worked tirelessly with campus administrators, offices, departments and student organizations to create productive relationships on behalf of the parents and their children who are served in campus early education and care programs.”

Cramer joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1984. He leads undergraduate and graduate programs and related activities. As a researcher, 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.

The Champion Awards honor a man and a woman, nominated by their peers, whose commitment and effort have advanced the status of women at the university. Each will have the opportunity to designate a $5,000 grant to a campus initiative benefitting women.

“In my role in the College of Engineering, I simply seek to maximize the potential of every faculty, staff and student," Cramer says. "We have an urgent national need to increase the participation of women in engineering education and engineering practice. I am pleased that I have been able to help that cause.”

“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.