Awards & Achievements

Women's Commission Awards

Women's Commission Awards Winners

  • Student Award: to recognize those who promote community, equity, diversity and inclusion at UNH through their advocacy efforts and in building awareness of current issues.
  • Faculty Award: In recognition of outstanding contributions toward promoting equity and inclusion in women's voices through research, policy changes, curriculum development, advocacy and education.
  • Stephanie Thomas Staff Award: created in honor of former Registrar, Stephanie Thomas, who was a strong advocate for women's rights at UNH. This award in her memory, is given to a UNH staff member who has displayed a long-standing commitment to women's issues and the mission of the Women's Commission.
  • Joyce Gibbs Award for Teams and Organizations: created in 1996 to honor Joyce James Gibbs, who served as a senior administrative assistant to the Women's Commission from 1990 - 1997.  Throughout her life, Joyce was the support and anchor for a wide circle of students, activists, and others in the UNH and Seacoast communities. This award seeks to recognize teams and organizations for their collaborative initiatives, group activism and/or coalition-building in demonstration of commitment and inspiration in support of the mission of the Women's Commission.

2017 Annual Women's Commission Awards Celebration

Women receiving awards
Faina Bukher, Marla Brettschneider, Jaime Nolan

On March 29, 2017 the Women’s Commission hosted its annual celebration in the MUB Strafford Room.

Dr. Jaime Nolan, Assoc. VP of Community, Equity and Diversity, and Commission co-chairs Faina Bukher and Jill Varney joined in congratulating Commission awardees honored for their work to bring change to campus and beyond.

Student Award:  Abby Geremia

Stephanie Thomas Award: Fiona Wilson

Faculty Award: Marla Brettschneider

Women’s Studies affiliated faculty member Jane Stapleton and four students from the course “The Fruit of the Struggle”, Yami Bencosme, Shannon Bryant, and Brittany Sherman, commemorated progress and setbacks along the road to the full participation of women in campus life at the University of New Hampshire.

Participants heard about the first women to attend, in 1890. By 1916, women represented 22 % of the student body.

In 1921, a women’s athletic association was formed and women were then recognized for their athletic ability.

By the middle of the 20th Century, Clara Knight was the first female editor of the student newspaper.

In 1969, Stoke became the first co-ed dorm. Women were assigned to one wing, and the doors between it and the men’s section were kept locked except during designated visiting hours.

In 1971, The First Public Hearing on the Status of Women was held. For a full day, faculty women spoke of pay inequity, and the challenges for women to achieve promotion and tenure. Staff described the inability to move up the administrative ladder, and students described being silenced in the classroom.

In 1972, The UNH President’s Commission on the Status of Women was formed, and is still working to create equal educational and employment opportunities. The Commission promotes a learning community free of sexism and discrimination through its policy work, advocacy and education for a better UNH experience for all.

“We still have a long way to go despite all the progress that has been made,” said Stapleton, who encouraged women to speak out in the face of unfairness.


Achievements Supported by the Women's Commission

  • Development and promotion of Consensual Amorous Relationship Policy
  • Development and promotion of Flexible Work Arrangements Task Force to develop polices and guidelines to support flexible work arrangements
  • Coordinate an annual Women's Commission Awards Event celebrating the lives and contributions of women.
  • Promote the adoption of a university policy on Sexual Harassment. This clear policy statement also includes guidelines and procedures for implementation.
  • Development and promotion of Lactation Policy
  • Educate the university community on issues relating to recruitment, hiring, and retention of women faculty.
  • Promote the adoption of a Non-Sexist Language Policy and "Guidelines for the Use of Non-Sexist Language".
  • Creation of Violence Against Women Committee to educate the university community on issues relating to violence against women.
  • Develop programs for women students in career development, leadership skills, women in science and women's studies.
  • Review and rewrite the UNH maternity policy.
  • Promote development of the UNH Women's Studies Program and the inclusion of a scholarship of women into the curriculum.
  • Promote equity increases to correct salary inequalities.
  • Promote development of child care information, referral network and childcare center.
  • Increase the attention to employment issues for staff women, including pay, upward mobility, recruitment, grievance procedures, and in-service training needs.
  • Advocate the addition of gynecological health care through University Health Services.
  • Review and promote UNH's Affirmative Action Plan.