May's Local Hero: Doreen Walters-Edwards

May 17, 2023

Science & Engineering Hall

Every person in the GW Engineering community contributes to the fabric and culture of what makes us great and unique. As an institution of higher education, we often celebrate the achievements of our students and staff. However, without the tireless work of the GW Engineering administrative team, nothing would be possible. From our facilities, to our technology, to supporting our events, the administrative team at GW Engineering keeps our school moving forward. Each month we will highlight one of the members of the admin team in our Local Hero editorial feature. Take the time to meet the people who are at the foundation of our school.

Each department within GW Engineering has its own team to ensure its students are well supported. In the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, this person is Doreen Walters-Edwards, but she is also so much more! Read below to learn more about May’s Local Hero, Doreen Walters-Edwards! :

Q: How long have you been working at GW and what is your position?
A: I have been working at GW for the past 16 years. My current position is Operations Manager in the CEE department.

Q: What led you to this career?
A: From my early twenties, my career has mostly been geared towards administrative and executive leadership, primarily because I love people and I love to serve. This field has helped me to master my skills in planning, organization, and implementation, which are applicable and needed in every career field. My years of leadership both on and off the job have sharpened my skills and empowered me to take on any job large or small.

Q: Why did you choose GW?
A: I think it is more like GW chose me. When I applied for a position in the School of Education back in 2007, I was sending out scores of applications all across the DMV. So when I received the call for an interview I did not even remember that I had applied to GW. I had gotten positive responses from several companies and received a few job offers. However, my interview at GW was over the top and for that reason, GW got my attention.

Doreen Walters-Edwards

Q: What is one thing you wish you’d known when you started working at GW?
A: I wish I knew that they did not pay an end-of-year bonus. No, but seriously, I really did not come to GW with any great expectations. I learned along the way what a great university this is. I am a proud alumna, staff, and member of the GW community.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at GW Engineering?
A: The people, the people, the people. SEAS has a great cadre of professionals who are supportive and caring. SEAS is really serious about the GW values, but in my opinion, they really shine in the areas of Excellence and Collaboration. I never feel like I am ‘in this thing alone’ because there is always help and support. The students I believe are also a unique bunch. Maybe it’s because of the engineering discipline, but I find that our students are very humble and respectful whether they are rich or poor. I love our students!

Q: Why would someone want to work at GW Engineering?
A: Why wouldn’t someone want to work at GW Engineering? It’s a great school, very diverse in its operations, located in the seat of the government, involved in great research, and has a great set of people. There is much here that is gratifying.

Q: What is your biggest work pet peeve?
A: My biggest general work pet peeve is inequity and seeing people being treated unfairly. I also do not like to see when some individuals display an aloof behavior towards others whom they believe are not in their ‘league.’ I believe we are all equal people and everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. It doesn’t hurt to say hi to the people mopping the floor. We are all in this thing called life together. We share the same air and we all do the same basic things in order to survive. So, just say hi!

Q: What’s your ideal way to spend the weekend?
A: Well in the perfect world, my ideal weekend would be just enjoying food, fellowship, and fun no matter whatever and wherever that takes me.

Q: Tell us something people don't know about you.
A: Most people don’t know that I sing, or maybe used to, and love to sing. Singing is one of my passions. A fun fact is that I was part of a Folk Group that received the Gold Medal at the Choir Olympics in Bremen, Germany, in 2004.

Q: What's one of your favorite memories from the past year?
A: Every year it is always great to see and feel the excitement from the students as they get ready to graduate. To know I played a part in helping them get to that milestone and to be a part of the culmination is a very gratifying feeling and gives a great sense of accomplishment.