Wonder Woman

There’s something about Katie Burke, assistant to the vice president of External and International Affairs. Maybe it’s her indomitable work ethic, or her unbreakable spirit, or her inability to say no to anyone who needs help. 

Katie Burke | Photo by Paul Patton

Whatever it is, she’s known around campus as the ultimate Wilmington University ambassador.

Burke joined the WilmU family in August of 2016, and almost immediately, colleagues were talking about her energy and warmth.

Her supervisor, Dr. Peter Bailey, calls her “a pleasure to work with,” adding that “her exceptional organizational skills make my job so much easier.”

On Dr. Bailey’s recent trip to Vietnam, a woman whom Burke worked with to coordinate his trip greeted him. “Once she saw my University paperwork,” he says, “her whole demeanor changed. She couldn’t wait to tell me what a pleasure it was to work with Katie.”

As part of the External Affairs team, Burke nurtures meaningful connections at the University and in the community. She also coordinates the paperwork — and myriad other details — for about 150 University sponsorships a year. While it’s not required, she attends many of those sponsorship events.

“I get to work closely with most of the sponsorship coordinators so we inevitably build relationships,” says Burke. “I like to go out and support their events and represent the University.”

Calling Burke a hands-on person is an understatement. Whether it’s painting with clients at Easter Seals Delaware; serving food at the Ronald McDonald House; or networking at a Goodwill Inspiration Awards luncheon, she’s all in.

Her attention to detail is so revered that Burke is often asked to help with special projects outside External Affairs — and that includes working with the University’s Board of Trustees for commencement as well as serving on committees.

When Burke found WilmU, she knew she’d discovered a place she believed in, and that her new role would be meaningful and rewarding. She’s convinced, however, that her jokes during her interview clinched the deal.

“It’s true,” says Dr. Bailey. “Katie was very funny. But we also saw in her a person who really cared about others. That, combined with her winning personality, made the entire interview committee realize that she’d
be a fantastic member of the team.”

Dr. Dana Santoro, WilmU’s senior director of Institutional Research and Data Governance, says that “Katie immediately makes you feel comfortable when in her presence. Not only is she funny; she listens to every word you say and responds in such a thoughtful way.”

Burke doesn’t take herself too seriously. Perhaps that’s one of her most likable traits.

“I’m told I get a little crazy with details,” she says. “But good ol’ Jack (referring to her father) always told me to do my best every day and to make at least one person smile a day.”

She is, indeed, making people smile. WU

—Britney Gulledge