EDAD's Impact Award given to Dr. Amy Morrison
20 Apr 2020
Dr. Amy Morrison has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the University of Nebraska Lincoln Department of Educational Administration’s Impact Award.
The Impact Award is presented annually to recognize the impact a distinguished Department of Educational Administration alum has had in their field, discipline, community, or organization.
Morrison has served as the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology for nearly seven years. During that time, Morrison has served in multiple local and statewide leadership positions. LWTech is Washington State’s only institute of technology and a member of the state’s community and technical college system. Morrison has committed the past 20 years of her career to serving and advocating for college students at the community and technical colleges.
“We’re thrilled to shine light on the long-term and successful leadership that Dr. Morrison provides at Lake Washington Institute of Technology and proud to call her a Husker Scholar,” said Dr. Nick Pace, chair of the department.
But the award also highlights the impact of those EDAD alums who take risks, push boundaries and advocate to make their organizations, disciplines, and the world a better place for all.
In light of the recent events regarding COVID-19, the committee decided Morrison’s impact was clearly evident in her response to the pandemic at her institution.
“Dr. Morrison’s steady, thoughtful, and purposeful leadership during an unprecedented event set the stage for how the crisis would be dealt with at other institutions and in the State of Washington,” said Dr. Corey Rumann, an assistant professor of practice and a co-chair of the award selection committee.
On February 29, a man from Kirkland, Wash., the Seattle suburb where Morrison and her family lives, had died after being infected. Her community had suddenly become ground zero for the virus in the United States.
There were also a number of LWTech students and faculty members who may have been exposed to the virus while engaged with clinical learning. Acting quickly, Morrison closed the college for disinfecting until public health asked those students and faculty exposed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Knowing this was not going to be easy for the impacted students, Morrison and her team members checked in with them regularly, making sure they were okay and had everything they needed. Working with the LWTech Foundation, additional support was provided to the impacted students included $250 grocery gift cards and additional emergency grants to help students manage through self-quarantine, Morrison said.
Morrison also closed and deep-cleaned the campus and was ready to welcome students back to class, but then she got a call informing her another faculty member had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Eventually, she made the decision to close the campus and move school online and ultimately 47 students, staff and faculty were asked by public health to self-quarantine.
In her message to the LWTech community, she said, “Thank you all for hanging in there with us. It means so much. We will get through this, together.”
Dr. Morrison showed a genuine concern for others and was able to act quickly while under an immense amount of pressure to lead her community through an uncertain time.
“Her impact on the community went beyond her institution,” Rumann said. “It represented exactly what I believe the impact award is all about.”
Morrison noted in response to receiving this award, “I am so honored to be recognized by UNL EDAD. The faculty and administration were engaging, inspiring, and supportive during my program. They ensured that I progressed and ultimately completed this rigorous doctoral program all while working full-time in the community and technical college system and raising my young son. The education that I received at UNL ultimately prepared me to be a better administrator and president. For that preparation and this award, I am grateful.”