OSU Women’s Faculty Council names award winners
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
In 2019, the Oklahoma State University Women’s Faculty Council (WFC) developed the Outstanding Achievement and Mentorship of Women awards to emphasize diversity and encourage female representation in higher education and research initiatives. Three OSU women were recently named 2020 award winners for their achievements in their fields and dedication to addressing women’s issues and mentoring other women:
- Emily Graham, Associate Professor of History
- Tonya Hammer, Associate Professor of Counseling and Counseling Psychology
- LaRicka Wingate, Professor of Psychology.
Kay Bjornen, chair of the group’s Faculty Awards Committee, said she was impressed with the extraordinary talent and achievement of all the women nominated.
“I’m always amazed at the quality of the nominations we get,” Bjornen said. “It’s clear these women have had an impact on other women, that they’ve gone above and beyond the normal scope of their job.”
Yet, Bjornen said, the awardees’ emphasis on mentorship of other women — colleagues or students — set these three women apart. She stressed the importance of mentorship in cultivating success and a culture of belonging.
“Recognizing people who care for mentorship is the very best way to create more mentors and to make sure that more people outside of the mainstream are successful,” she said. “At OSU we want to make sure that every one of our students and faculty feels supported and knows that they can ask questions and get help to be successful.”
WFC Chair Tracy Quan said she believes diversity is crucial to maintaining a thriving university community.
“If we want to have a diverse workforce and give students aspirational mentors to look up to, then we want to make sure women have the chance to succeed,” she said.
The WFC aims for the awards to grow into an annual event that includes prizes for the winners and an opportunity for more awards and recognition in the future. The WFC offers research awards for undergraduate and graduate students to reward achievements in research and creative projects, and the Ann Ryder and Clara Smith Endowed Leadership Scholarship for undergraduate students engaged in supporting women’s issues.
For more information, visit the WFC website, womensfacultycouncil.okstate.edu.
STORY BY: Kylee Sutherland | Communications Intern
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