Annual Awards 2012
The Personal is Still Political - Theme for 2012 Award's Luncheon
In the 1970’s, we didn’t have a women’s history month to celebrate. A young woman who “got herself pregnant” would no longer be allowed to stay in National Honor Society, but her male partner would stay. In the 70’s, women’s colleges were called “girls’ colleges”, and there were very few female tenured professors.
On March 21, the UNH Women’s Commission celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Today, many women still seek equal pay, accessible childcare on the core campus, and equal chances at careers in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math).
Emcees for the event, Claire Treat and Emily Klein, graduate school commission members, told the story of how fair opportunity begins with letters of recommendation that do not stop at women being called “reliable” or “persistent”. The men, after all, are generally labeled as “brilliant” or “creative”. So who will have the fair chance? Unconscious gender bias is countered by mentoring and education at UNH through the work of the Commissions and through the Office of Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence. March 21 was a day to celebrate such advances that mentor and groom female faculty, staff and students for increased opportunity in education and employment.
The celebration marked the 40th year since the first appointment of the women’s commission at UNH. Both Senator Shaheen and Ayotte sent their thanks and congratulations to the Women’s Commission’s four decades of leading the way by establishing victories over the hard demands of career and motherhood, workplace harassment, the wage gap, and violence against women. Both called for continued support for NH women.
Speakers included Kate Hanson, professor of Community Leadership at the Thompson School, who reflected on her experience as chair and on watching the many initiatives unfold over the years. Hanson asked former and current commission members to recall significant initiatives such as testimonial hearings on the status of women, reports on the status of women, the building of a childcare center, networking breakfasts, family leave benefits, and the safe opportunity to dialogue with other women on campus.
President Huddleston delivered the Stephanie Thomas Staff Award to Maggie-Leigh Wells, the Joyce Gibbs award to the Women’s Studies Program and student awards to Kelly A. Whittier and Lynn Mooney.
Vanessa Druskat, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, led the panel discussion on women’s status in our community. Panelists were Marianne Jones, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, Linda Griebsch, Executive Director of the Joan G. Lovering Health Center, and Elizabeth Tentarelli, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire.
Jane Stapleton, co-director of Prevention Innovations on the topic of violence against women and instructor of courses in Women’s Studies and Family Studies, presented statistics on the number of women in our campus leadership positions. Her call to action was for an increase in the number of women in key positions, in tenure track STEM faculty, and in student enrollment in the STEM areas.
Using the 2012 Celebration Theme: "The Personal is Still Political" read comments from faculty, staff what it means to them (View the PowerPoint)
U.S. Senator, Kelly Ayotte, congratulates the commission (read letter)