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Professor honored by women of Saint Mary’s

Mandi Stirone | Thursday, March 22, 2007

Susan Latham, professor of communicative disorders, received the “Women Honoring Women” award Wednesday night during Saint Mary’s fifth annual Women Honoring Women ceremony.

Latham was joined by fellow finalists women’s studies professor Astrid Henry and education professor Nancy Turner, who were selected from several nominees by the Student Academic Council (SAC), said event organizer Maggie Siefert, student body vice president and SAC coordinator.

Siefert said the ceremony was expanded this year to include the students who nominated the finalists. Originally only SAC members, a professor of her choice and two students chosen from every department were invited, as well as the nominees and their husbands, Siefert said.

“We are just excited that it is an ongoing event that has become a tradition to celebrate the great women of Saint Mary’s,” she said.

The event, a formal dinner, began with a “cocktail hour” and then a dinner, after which the students who nominated Latham, Turner and Henry each read their nomination presentations.

Senior Grace Guebert nominated Henry for being an outstanding educator as well as a mentor and friend, she said in her speech. She described Henry as having “great respect for the women of the college.” Guebert talked about Henry’s warm smile and “open, understanding nature,” going on to call her a “sister to all the women of Saint Mary’s.” She also shared a personal account of how welcome Henry made her feel during Guebert’s first year.

Next, senior Erin Turner read her nomination of Nancy Turner for “putting her whole heart into her work,” and being a role model for her students. Erin Turner spoke about how Nancy Turner is organized and efficient in everything she does and is someone who has good moral qualities. She also spoke about the new program in Special Education Nancy Turner is working on.

Senior Jessica Andrusiak then took the podium to speak about Latham. She said she was “blessed to be in her class,” and talked about Latham’s crucial research and development of a speech communicative disorders major at Saint Mary’s. Andrusiak also said how responsive and enthusiastic Latham is during classes, sometimes bringing her students bagels.

Siefert then took the podium along with last year’s award recipient, Mary Ann Merryman, to announce the winner.

After the announcement, a choked up Latham spoke of arriving at Saint Mary’s 20 years ago as a student and how the campus was filled with “so many amazing women.” Latham then went on to say how blessed she felt because she was still a part of the college.

“I just feel grateful everyday that I get to come and work here,” she said.