Distinguished Staff Award
Department: Jackson School of International Studies, Middle East Center
On the job: Associate Director; 28 years at the UW
Achievements: Throughout her six years as associate director of the Middle East Center, Hecker has done more than her official duties of outreach and administrative support. She wrote a history of international studies at the UW for the school's 90th anniversary. She wrote a successful grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Education, making the UW's Middle East program one of only 14 in the nation to receive funding for 2000. After the September 11th attacks, Hecker masterminded the Open Classroom lecture series to help the public understand the horrific tragedy. She lined up speakers and was involved in every aspect of the free lectures that packed Kane Hall and Edmundson Pavilion. Through her efforts, the Open Classroom lectures were the most successful of any public series at the University.
Quote: "She independently conceived the Open Classroom project to ensure that the University responded appropriately to the public's desire for information about the causes and consequences of the attack. She arranged to continue her regular center responsibilities while coordinating the extensive project. Some 15,000 people attended the series of seven talks and hundreds of thousands...have seen them on television, downloaded them from the Jackson School Web site or read accounts in print media."Middle East Center Director Ellis Goldberg