ASU awards ceremony honors women, underrepresented groups
The Arizona State University Commission on the Status of Women recently held its 15th annual Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Awards Breakfast, April 23, at the University Club. Nearly 100 guests attended the breakfast, including faculty, staff, students and university leaders.
The awards program seeks to honor individuals and groups whose work benefits women and other underrepresented groups in the university community and beyond.
Established in 1991, the commission aims to monitor the advancement of women at ASU in three major areas: equity, career development and climate. Since its inception, the commission has coordinated a number of important programs and opportunities that have helped to increase the status of women at the university.
This year, the commission received a significant number of nominations for awards from members throughout the ASU community – all of which detailed the fantastic achievements and contributions being made across the university toward improving the status of women and other underrepresented groups. A total of nine awards were given out by the comission as part of the 2014 program.
According to senior coordinator of the commission, Karen Engler-Weber, “It is an incredible privilege for the commission to be able to recognize the outstanding work of all of the nominees and recipients. Their contributions speak volumes about the great work being done across ASU for women and other underrepresented groups.”
In recognition of the outstanding leadership of the nominees, Dean Marlene Tromp of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences delivered a moving keynote address on her own development as a woman leader and the importance of women's leadership overall.
Read on to learn about the recipients and their achievements:
Jennifer Kampp, assistant to the vice president – Office of Public Affairs
Like many working parents, after the birth of her first child, Jenny Kampp felt like a “fish out of water” when she returned to work. After reading an article about the importance of a support network for working parents, Kampp approached the ASU Employee Assistance Office about creating what has since become the Working Parents Network, and for several working parents at ASU, the impact of her work has been immeasurable.
Lauren Sandground, undergraduate student, justice studies – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
From a very young age, Lauren Sandground dedicated countless hours to volunteering for causes to benefit women and other underrepresented groups. Most recently, Sandground served as the outreach coordinator for the Take the Lead event, and as president of the Woman as Hero student organization.
Laura Mendoza, administrative assistant – University Libraries
Despite a full plate of duties as an employee at ASU and a graduate student in social work/non-profit management, Laura Mendoza dedicates countless hours helping victims of domestic violence earn their college degree. Mendoza is unwavering in her support, encouraging them and helping them fill out their applications, often paying the application fees herself – and when they graduate, she pays for their cap and gowns.
Cathy Kerrey, director of academic advising – New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
When people talk about what makes Cathy Kerrey special, they note her daily support, mentorship and encouragement. Kerrey dedicates countless hours to programs and initiatives that promote diversity, including extensive work on a collaborative program with a Native American tribe to provide an opportunity for Native American students to earn a college degree.
Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, associate professor – School of Social Work, College of Public Programs
The impact of Dominique Roe-Sepowitz can be felt through her outstanding work in the community on behalf of some of the most marginalized groups. Roe-Sepowitz pioneered a collaborative community project that involves over 14 local community agencies, and has helped to provide services to over 300 adults arrested for prostitution. She recently received grants to help women in poverty provide for their children, and to create a peer mentoring program to help survivors of sexual exploitation.
Jacquelyn Scott Lynch, principal lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow – Barrett, the Honors College
Over the past decade at Barrett, the Honors College, Jacquelyn Scott Lynch has worked to support women and other underrepresented groups in three profound ways: expanding the honors curriculum to include underrepresented voices; encouraging faculty to integrate a commitment to diversity in their syllabi and classroom; and providing direct support for Barrett faculty women, LGBT faculty and faculty of color. Perhaps one of her greatest contributions to Barrett and the university was her creation of the Barrett Faculty Mentoring Program for Teaching Excellence.
Carol Comito, academic success specialist – Hugh Downs School of Communication
Carol Comito is an individual dedicated to advocacy at ASU and beyond. For several years, she has volunteered her time as chair of the ASU Staff Council and director of Membership for University Career Women, working to increase the visibility of issues related to staff. Outside of the university, Comito founded the Arizona Women’s Conference, an annual event which provides a forum to discuss leadership, networking and professional career advancement for women.
Jordan Hibbs, undergraduate student, psychology – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Through her work with the Undergraduate Student Government, Jordan Hibbs helped to launch the Barrett Association of Transfer Students, which recognizes and supports the needs of a transfer or a non-traditional honors college student. In addition, Hibbs has also helped draft a USG Senate Bill to formally oppose SB1062 and served on the African American Heritage Month Planning Committee.
Graduate Women’s Association
For many years, the ASU Graduate Women’s Association remained dormant, until a group of graduate students from ASU’s English Department, including Alaya Swann, Kalissa Hendrickson, Meghan Nestel and Lakshami Mahajan, worked to re-establish the organization into a thriving resource for graduate students across ASU. The organization now provides a variety of workshops, co-sponsorship of university events impacting women and other underrepresented groups, and a website that provides information and resources to graduate students.