“I have to believe in what I’m doing for the good of humanity. People at AUTM have good hearts, they work hard with the belief they can help make the world better through their work bringing new technologies to the market.”
Meet Jude Wilkinson
Supporting Good Works with Hoosier Hospitality
When Judith (Jude) A. Wilkinson, J.D., helped launch the first technology transfer office at Indiana University, she found a new role and fulfilling career spanning more than 25 years. More importantly, she created a legacy for mentoring and lasting friendships, bestowing her native “Hoosier Hospitality” in everything she did.
This year, Jude reached out to the AUTM Foundation, seeking guidance to donate $60,000 of funding raised by the Indiana AUTM membership called Access Technology Across Indiana, or ATAIN. Through the foundation, the fund could continue to grow while also supporting sponsored research and technology transfer initiatives set forth by the foundation.
“Having known Jude for her entire career, her thoughtfulness and dedication to AUTM and her gratitude towards the Foundation was in keeping with her concern for others and her spirit of generosity,” said John Perchorowicz, secretary of the AUTM Foundation Board.
Working with colleagues from Purdue University, Jude helped to establish ATAIN and served as its treasurer. The fund was created to mentor and share knowledge among AUTM members in her state and to support travel to the Central meetings.
She embraced the idea of hosting smaller regional meetings as a more affordable means to extend training, networking and information-sharing offered at the annual AUTM meeting. “The field of tech-transfer was so new, there was a great need for training and professional development support,” Jude said.
Jude’s career journey began as a single mom, working full time as a secretary at IU while also putting herself through the university’s law school, taking classes part time. Upon receiving her law degree in 1989, Jude joined the IU Office of Sponsored Research, managing grant funding at the university's campuses.
The university’s first technology transfer office was established in the early ‘90s, with Jude serving as assistant director for more than five years. With new opportunities under the Bayh-Dole Act, the office helped researchers understand the benefits and complex process of bringing their discoveries to the public. It was around this time Jude became involved with AUTM and attended the first Central Region meeting, held in St. Louis.
Family and helping others were always a priority for Jude. Describing herself as a swim mom — Jude went to every swim meet. Accompanied by her children, she volunteered at their airport’s USO hospitality suite during the Christmas holidays, helping military families in need of lodging, transportation — even diapers.
“I have to believe in what I’m doing for the good of humanity,” said Jude. “People at AUTM have good hearts, they work hard with the belief they can help make the world better through their work bringing new technologies to the market.”
Jude received the AUTM President’s Award, which recognizes outstanding and lasting contributions to the organization. As the industry grew and universities began to establish their own technology transfer offices, funding and training become more readily available to Central Region AUTM professionals. Fulfilling its mission, Jude is grateful to know ATAIN will continue to fund good works.