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2005 Winners

Winners of the Women's Commission Awards 2005 are SHARPP Staff, Sarah Burton, Amy Culp, and Mary Mayhew for the Stephanie Thomas Award; Candace Corvey and Pat Gormley (absent from photo), Joyce Gibbs Award; Dawn Meredith, Faculty Award, and Jessica Fish, Student Award.

Honoring Our Women Leaders 2005

Sylvia Foster

Women were honored for their work on equity and inclusion at the 21st Annual Women's Commission Awards Ceremony and Celebration on April 27.

President Hart opened the ceremony with a reminder that countless women in the past have contributed to the efforts for equity for women. "This awards ceremony is a way to celebrate and thank women who continue to contribute to that process while we all recognize that there is much progress that remains, not only in our professional lives, but in our family lives and in our culture at large -- a topic of much discussion at the University of New Hampshire this year."

The president spoke of the commission's leadership role in advocating for and making plans for a pay equity study, another survey on unwanted sexual experiences on our campus, and a needs assessment on childcare. The women's commission has also partnered with the GLBT commission in advocating for gender-free restrooms. In addition, Dr. Wanda Mitchell and the Diversity Task Force are raising the issues of inclusion and diversity with a focus on women faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, in fields related to science, technology engineering and mathematics. Hart stated: "We must pay attention to the absence and under-representation of women in those fields, not only in the broader culture, but also at the University of New Hampshire. A lot of hard work has gone into each of these initiatives, and I am tremendously grateful to the women who continue to work behind the scenes and in the public eye to ensure that these critical issues remain visible."

The President thanked the male friends and allies attending the celebration saying, "Women's issues are community issues; they don't belong to women; they belong to our society."

Speaker Rebecca Rule, author of the books, Wood Heat, and The Best Revenge, and winner of the Whetstone Award for Fiction performed her works of Yankee humor.

The women's commission congratulated all nominees as follows: Olawumi D. Akinwumi, Slava Bruder, Sarah M. Burton, Gale B. Carey, Candace R. Corvey, Sienna E. Creasy, Lauren L. Daigle, Jessica A. Fish, Paula Garcia, Nina Glick Schiller, Pat Gormley, Elizabeth M. Kerigan, Myra N. Khan, Ginger H. Lever, Annie M. Medeiros, Dawn C. Meredith, Christopher Mulcahy, Carolynn O'Donnell, Judith Spiller, Ruth K. Varner, Terri S. Winters, SAGE (Students Advocating Gender Equality), SHARPP (Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program), Mary Mayhew, Director; Amy Culp, Slava Bruder, Sarah Kelsea, Sarah Burton, Tricia Bell, and Shauna Fallihee.

Recipients of the awards were judged on the extent to which they promoted equity, advanced the status of women, and served as role models for women on campus, including (1) depth and breadth of contributions; (2) impact on individuals, organizations, programs and policies; and (3) length of service.

The first award, in memory of Joyce Gibbs, senior administrative assistant to the Women's Commission from '91 - '97 and anchor for a wide circle of activists, was given to two community members who have made a difference in women's lives. These women worked to raise awareness of issues on equity and inclusion for women. The 2005 Awardees were: Candace Corvey and Pat Gormley. Candace Corvey, the UNH Vice President for Finance and Administration, was recognized as an excellent leader, listener, negotiator and facilitator. In a career role traditionally filled by males, she has been a key player in the development of programs such as Managing@UNH, Supervising@UNH and the Annual AOP (Administrative Office Professionals) Conference. She has enhanced the professional careers of many who have worked with her. She also contributed to the process of securing Domestic Partner benefits at UNH. Candace has earned the respect of the campus community.

Pat Gormley former Director of Affirmative Action and Equity, embraced the causes of women, the disabled, minorities and members of the GLBT community. Working for the equality of all groups in departments, offices, and organizations across campus, Pat was a change agent without disempowering those already marginalized. Because of her work, the campus climate for all of us has been improved.

The Faculty Award was presented to Dawn Meredith, Chair of the Department of Physics. She has been dedicated to making Physics (a field where women are chronically underrepresented) a comfortable place for women and for students in general. One of her goals is to insure that the Department of Physics is an attractive environment for women who are returning to studies after working or starting a family. In addition, Dawn is a role model for equity and inclusion as she carries out her teaching and research.

The Stephanie Thomas Staff Award, which honors the work of a former registrar who lived a life of strong advocacy for staff on the UNH campus, was presented to the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP). As advocates for women since the late 1980s, the program has worked with compassion and skill. SHARPP, a nationally recognized organization, works daily toward creating civility and respect among students.

The Student Award was given to Jessica Fish, Religious Studies (Honors) and Women's Studies major. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. The SHARPP advocate and President of SAGE (Students Advocating Gender Equality) was a member of the UNH President's Committee on Violence Against Women, a member of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women, a University Writing Fellow, writer for The New Hampshire, events coordinator for UNH Students for Kerry and organizer for the production of The Vagina Monologues on campus.

"We are grateful to all of you who have worked on the issues of equity for women," said Chris Shea, associate professor of decision sciences and member of the Women's Commission.

The mission of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women is to create equal educational and employment opportunities for all UNH women by promoting an environment free of sexism and discrimination through policy, advocacy and education.

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