"There are more women students at Witt; consequently, the need and importance of recognizing that the women who work here are role models to women and the rest of the Witt community," Wortham said.
Wortham, along with the reception's organizers, felt the event was a very positive experience for all involved.
"I believe the title of the program said it all, 'Wittenberg Women Making a Difference in Students' Lives.' That was a big part in the criteria for nominating women," Wortham said.
Stoermer felt the program achieved its goal of recognizing influential women on campus.
"The overall tone and mood of the program was appreciative," she said. "All of the women greatly appreciated being honored. It was clear that giving them their much-deserved recognition was very significant not only to the nominees themselves, but also to the Wittenberg community, which has been shaped by these amazing and intelligent women."
University President Mark H. Erickson and Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Sarah Kelly also spoke at the reception, sharing stories of women in their lives who have made a difference. Kelly made an important point, stating that she went from having male mentors to having female mentors, who had a different insight from their male counterparts.
The nominations, written by students, were read aloud and each of the 17 women who were nominated was recognized. Those nominated and honored were Beckett Broh, assistant professor of sociology; Kathy Rowell; Linda Arena, professor of health, fitness and sports; Jenny Capper, administrative assistant for community education; Heather Wright, assistant professor of political science; Angie Fairbanks, executive assistant for student development; Wendy Gradwohl, associate professor of management and department chair; Shelley Wing Chan, assistant professor of languages; D'Arcy Fallon, associate professor of English; Terumi Imai, assistant professor of languages; Lori Askeland, associate professor of English and director of women's studies; Alejandra Gimenez-Berger, assistant professor of art; Jo Wilson, professor of psychology; Cathy Smith, coordinator for athletics; Becky Hall, women's softball coach, interim assistant director of athletics; Carmiele Wilkerson, associate professor of English and director of Africana studies; and Elizabeth George, associate professor of physics and department chair.
Stoermer said that the reactions from the nominees were one of the high points of the reception.
"One of the nominated professors told me that she was so touched, it brought tears to her eyes," she said. "I also noticed that when we read off the excerpts written by students who had nominated them, each professor seemed to beam with happiness and pride for their accomplishments and for the recognition they were receiving."
Wortham pointed out the wide range of nominees.
"The diversity of the nominations was exemplified by the fact that they were professors, staff and even one adult student," he said.
Wortham said organizers plan to make the event an annual occurrence.
Written By: Rachel Morgan '08
Photos By: Robert Gantt
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