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Archive for Friday, March 28, 2008

University women recognized for achievements

March 28, 2008

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Awards

¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics - Nicole Cauzillo

¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Community Service - Clarissa Unger

¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership - Liz Stuewe

¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership - Maya Israel, Megan Williams

¢ Outstanding International Woman Student - Nelly Catherine Wambui Gatotho

¢ Ethel Bohning Single Mother Award - Melissa McNair, Brandi Wiens

¢ Pioneer Woman - Cora M. Downs

¢ Outstanding Woman Educator - Mary Klayder

¢ Outstanding Woman Staff Member - Jennifer Jordan

¢ Woman's Hall of Fame - Elizabeth Broun, Ann Cudd, Audrey Langworthy, Maritza Machado-Williams, Marlesa Roney

As Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, who has served at the dean and senior vice provost levels at Kansas University for nearly 20 years, received a surprise award at an annual university women's recognition program Thursday, she was moved by the intergenerational nature of the ceremony.

In the audience at KU's Woodruff Auditorium, she saw young students she's taught and accomplished colleagues, many of whom were recognized for outstanding leadership in areas including academia, athletics and community service. "Women mentoring women" is important to McCluskey-Fawcett, she said, and that made receiving a surprise award and giving an award in her name Thursday all the better.

"It's the first time I've felt the emotions of leaving the job," she said. "That's when it hit me."

This week, KU Provost Richard Lariviere announced that McCluskey-Fawcett will leave her position as the senior vice provost of academic affairs and will become an honors faculty fellow at the University Honors Program in June.

"Women's contributions get so overlooked," McCluskey-Fawcett said. "It's changed some, but it's important and empowering for all these young women that they will become them," in 10 or 30 years.

A theme of the ceremony, recognizing the ordinary women who do extraordinary things, was further illustrated by Diana Carlin, the keynote speaker. Carlin is a professor of communication studies and is currently on academic leave from KU. Carlin discussed how women have been alongside men helping with benchmark accomplishments but have gone unnoticed, such as Rosalind Franklin, the woman whose X-ray photograph of a helix structure led James Watson and Francis Crick to the discovery of DNA.

One of the young students in the audience, Liz Stuewe, a senior in political science, organized the ceremony as president of the Commission on the Status of Women, which has sponsored the event since the 1960s and selected the honorees. She also received an award for Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership.

"Being a leader isn't about doing a handful of extraordinary things," she said.

Selecting two accomplished single mothers for the Ethel Bohning Single Mother Award, for example, showed the realm of possibilities for the "everyday" woman, she said.

The KU Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center, a program of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, also co-sponsored the event.

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