The Wilma D. Stricklin 2003 Award:
Sue Warrick Doederlein
Sue Warrick Doederlein came to NIU as an assistant professor of English in 1969. She earned her BA from DePauw University and her MA and Ph.D. from Northwestern. Currently associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, she is seen as an indefatigable coach, mentor, teacher, counselor, and surrogate "Mom" for countless female students, staff, and faculty members. As the highest ranking woman administrator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, she is a superb leader and role model. Her most important and lasting contributions come through her role as advising dean in the college, where she has over 5000 contact hours with women students each year. Many college advising offices become impersonal places that merely enforce requirements, but Doederlein's office combines humane empathy with an understanding of the importance of academic standards. She sets the tone for the women who work for her, making the office a place where student achievements are celebrated, bureaucratic snags are untangled, and failures are seen as difficulties to be overcome rather than bitter ends to college careers. Women students have genuine personal affection for her because she helps them navigate the academic complications that may result from single parenthood, poverty, pregnancy, and racial prejudice.
When others come up with innovative program ideas, Dr. Doederlein is the one who makes them work. She is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, fundamental decency, and uncompromising integrity. At the same time, she is a woman of uncommon dedication to her work, unstinting loyalty to NIU, and a deep compassion for students. She is a professional of highest quality and raises the bar for all of us, both women and men alike. Her mere presence challenges us all to do our best, always and everywhere, and then to become even better still. She does not preach, she does not lecture, she does not tell us what we should do. She just goes about her business with style and grace. Ina a work-a-day world that is often bland and common, Sue brings passion and commitment for all that she does. In a world where vision is frequently clouded and judgement shaky, Sue brings quiet confidence and conviction. In short, Sue Warrick Doederlein makes all of us better than we would otherwise be or could ever hope to become on our own.
Patricia S. Vary presenting Sue W. Doederlien with her art piece "Synergy" created by Julia Sober. One of five designedespecially for the Wilma D. Stricklin Award for recipients during the five year period of 2000 - 2004.