Recognizing contributions of women

Natalie Lussier

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Every year, individuals from the Grand Valley State University community who have made an impact on the lives of women are recognized and celebrated through an award ceremony called Celebrating Women.

This annual event was held on Tuesday and co-sponsored by the Women’s Commission, the Women’s Center, Positive Black Women and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Each organization presented its own awards and scholarships.

The Women’s Commission presented several awards, including the Maxine Swanson Award, Women’s Impact Award, Unsung Hero Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Women’s Commission is an organization on campus that advocates for all women and is committed to creating dialogue on campus, celebrating achievements and exploring advocacy issues. At the event, the Women’s Commission emphasized the importance of recognizing the change people are making in the community.

“It’s important to showcase faculty, staff and students making a true difference and promoting positive social change in their communities and across campus on behalf of women,” said Dauvan Mulally, co-chairwoman of the Women’s Commission. “It gives us the opportunity to provide real examples of how GVSU community members are improving the lives of women here on campus and beyond.”

Mary DeYoung, sociology professor at GVSU, was awarded the Maxine Swanson Award, which recognizes someone who excels in providing leadership in support of the rights of women.

Shorouq Almallah, associate director of GVSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, was awarded the Women’s Impact Award – an award given to recognize an individual that has made outstanding contributions for the advancement of women at GVSU and in the community.

JoAnn Wassenaar, associate director of the GVSU Women’s Center, and Kathleen Underwood, chair of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to individuals whose professional accomplishments include leadership and service for a significant period of time as an advocate of gender justice in their professional career at GVSU.

Linda Rettig, office coordinator for the Student Academic Services Center, was awarded the Unsung Hero Award. This award is given to honor someone that is not known well by the general public, but has made numerous contributions to improve the GVSU community.

Positive Black Women presented the Positive Black Women Scholarship. The scholarship is unique in that it does not involve a GPA requirement.

“We do not have a GPA requirement so that more students have the ability to apply for our scholarship,” said Takeelia Garrett, chair of the scholarship committee and assistant director of Housing and Residence Life. “We understand that some of the most involved students may not be the best students academically, but everyone deserves a chance.”

For more information on the event, contact the Women’s Commission at [email protected]

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