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College to announce Woman of the Year recipient

Ashley Charnley | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To recognize and honor the influence and work of a female faculty member, staff member or administrator, Student Academic Council (SAC) will hold a reception and dinner today, Laura Smith, student body president and president of SAC, said.

This is an annual event held by SAC.

“Women Honoring Women is a way for students to recognize any female faculty, staff, or administrator that has made a lasting impact on their experience at Saint Mary’s,” Smith said. “This year, Student Academic Council will be hosting a reception and dinner to honor all of the women who were nominated by students, as well announce this year’s Woman of the Year.”

The Council has been accepting nominations throughout the semester from students, and Smith said this year a very high number of faculty and staff were recommended.

“We received a number of terrific nominations which made it very difficult for the Women Honoring Women Committee to choose the recipient of this year’s award, but that is just another testament to the fact that we are blessed to have such a supportive and enriching learning community here at Saint Mary’s,” Smith said.

According to Smith, SAC sent out forms to all students in January that asked for nominations and details about the member of the College community the student was promoting.

“The questions included some back story on the nominee as well specifically how this nominee directly affected the experience of the student,” Smith said.

SAC then has a committee that reviews all of the nominations in order to choose a recipient for Women of the Year.

“After discussion, a private ballot was cast, and the Woman of the Year was selected,” Smith said. “This year, our committee chose to invite all of the individuals who were nominated to attend the dinner as honorees. Each application was so strong that we felt it was important to recognize each of the individuals.”

The dinner is held every March as part of Women’s History Month, Smith said.

Because Saint Mary’s is a women’s College, Smith said the award is especially important to this campus.

“One of the key proponents is to empower the minds of the students as individuals, and as women,” Smith said. “Therefore, it seems fit that we recognize the very women that we as Saint Mary’s students aspire to be. It is empowering and refreshing to see these women succeed on a daily basis, not only in academics, but in mind and spirit.”

Smith also said these women are not just recognized for what they provide for students, but also for their individual accomplishments as well.

“Most importantly, these women are being recognized because they have demonstrated a high degree of   dedication to their career at Saint Mary’s, and through their actions, have committed themselves to the advancement of women’s achievements,” Smith said.

The dinner and reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge.