College of Engineering
Professional Achievement Award
Lisa A. Cvengros, Eng '87
Engineering taught Lisa Cvengros that "there are constant tradeoffs to be managed," she says. "It's how we go about managing those tradeoffs that can make all the difference."
At Marquette, Lisa had to balance an intense academic schedule with the demands of her work-study job. "Carrying a heavy course load and working, I had to be much more proactive about planning my time," she says. "Those time management skills have served me well over the years."
Next came a career-focus switch. Working on the space shuttle as an intern convinced Lisa that her future was in aerospace. But the Challenger accident shut down the space industry for a few years.
"It reminded me that you always need to keep your options open and have 'Plan B' at your ready," she says.
She swapped space for telecommunications, starting at Wisconsin Bell, earning an M.B.A. and rapidly ascending to executive vice president-chief technology officer at TDS Telecom. Then came another well-managed tradeoff. Lisa swapped her high-pressure corporate career for a more bucolic existence on a 220-acre farm west of Dodgeville, Wis.
"We have 220 acres, some cash crops, some pasture land for the horses and Scottish Highland cows," she says. "We are surrounded by our many pets and the beauty of the great outdoors."
The tradeoff gained Lisa additional time for family and friends and for volunteer opportunities she put on hold during her career.
"At this point, my life is more about giving back than the next professional achievement," she says.
Fun facts about Lisa
Someone (past or present) she’d like to have dinner with: Eleanor Roosevelt