OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Pat Sullivan

Pat SullivanAlthough the initial reason to go back to work after retiring from law enforcement was “golf money,” Pat Sullivan found her job at OSU in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science so rewarding that she has let golf go the wayside.

“I love every aspect of my job — all the students and the faculty are awesome. This is the best place to work!” she says.

It’s not obvious how her previous work experience as a police dispatcher, manager of a 911 center, and a hostage negotiator relate to her job as the assistant and grants manager for the Intelligent Systems Design group, but she sees the connection.

“I'm a fixer and a problems solver, that's why I'm available 24/7. And I have had calls at two o'clock in the morning,” she says. When students or faculty are overseas and there is a mix up in their travel arrangements or they are missing something they need for a presentation, she is the one they call, regardless of the time zone difference.

Sullivan also loves doing puzzles — it’s what she looks forward to in the newspaper — and she views managing grants and working with spreadsheets the same way. “There are times I’m working on a spreadsheet and I’ll get a formula just right and it’s just like solving a puzzle,” she says.

But she not exactly a bookworm: a competitive martial artist in her youth, a skier until she blew out both her knees, and a one-time “gym rat,” she stills keeps active by running, sometimes accompanied by her granddaughter in a stroller.

“My twin brother and I both got our black belts in high school at the same time, our daughters (who are the same age) both got their black belts in high school, and I’m looking forward to seeing if my granddaughter will travel the same path,” she says.

Although her granddaughter is the apple of her eye, and her daughter the “single greatest thing that ever happened” to her, she is also crazy about her dogs. Everyone knows she loves dogs so she often has extras around that she is watching for friends.

It’s no wonder there is no time for golf. “I miss golf, but I only have so many hours a day, and work and my grandbaby take most of them up,” she says.
 


—By Rachel Robertson