When you hear the words strong, inspirational, and visionary, Division of Information Technology (DoIT) employees often think of Lorie Edwards. Edwards was a trailblazer, a mentor, and a friend to all during her time with the DoIT. As we celebrate Women's History Month, we remind ourselves of women's accomplishments in technology and science, like Edwards, the first female Associate Vice President for the Division of Information Technology.
"Lorie was a natural pacemaker and peacemaker. She exemplified humility and compassion while providing strong, inspirational leadership to the entire community," Director of Distributed IT Mike Dollar said. "I'm a better person for having known her and still feel diminished by her absence. This honor is a testament to that absence, and I feel certain, if she were still with us, she would try her best to share this honor with every woman working in the division."
A graduate from the University of South Carolina, Edwards led the DoIT through significant projects such as the new financial aid system. In 2005, Edwards was named a Frye Fellow, the only person in South Carolina ever to be designated. Frye Fellows are selected through an intense national competition to identify bright and emerging leaders who show significant promise of making significant contributions to higher education and information technology.
"She was one of the few in higher education technology leaders who understood that the academic side of the house was every bit as important, if not more important, than the administrative side," Senior Instructional Technology Consultant Chris Brown said. "She had some great visions for academic technology that I wish we had been able to implement. Lorie saw people's talent and abilities and did not shy away from putting women in leadership positions. Her mentorship was very valuable, and she helped many women realize their potential."
In honor of Lorie's legacy, a scholarship endowment was set up in her name. This one-thousand-dollar scholarship is awarded to a dependent of a UofSC faculty or staff member who at least one parent is deceased, and the student has financial need. For more information on this endowment, please visit the Financial Aid website. We look forward to celebrating women like Lorie throughout March as we honor women everywhere during Women's History Month!