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Communications prof receives award

M.B. Gizinski | Friday, March 27, 2009

Susan Baxter, professor of Communication Studies at Saint Mary’s, was honored with the Saint Mary’s College 2009 Woman of the Year award at the annual “Women Honoring Women” dinner in Stapleton Lounge Thursday evening.

Baxter was nominated by sophomore Maria Chipman and junior Nichole Fundora.

Chipman said she was challenged by Baxter and learned more from her than from the material in the textbook.

“After class with her, I did not ask myself what I wanted to do, but what kind of woman do I want to become,” she said.

Baxter said she wanted to recognize the students who have created a symbiotic relationship with professors.

“You have this backwards,” she said. “It’s an honor for us to wake up in the morning and face a room of intellectuals.”

The event was hosted by the Student Academic Council (SAC), which is comprised of students from each academic department.

The nomination process consisted of students writing letters to SAC to nominate a woman staff or faculty member who had enriched the lives of Saint Mary’s students.

Student body vice president Sarah Falvey, who organized the event, noted the large amount of nominations.

“We had over 30 women nominated, which I believe is a record amount,” she said.

After two rounds of letters from students, six women on the faculty and staff were chosen as final nominees: Baxter, Ella Harmeyer, Jane Eleff, Isabel Larraza, Joanne Snow and Tina Flemming.

Those who nominated the women members of the faculty and staff said they felt it was important for a women’s college to recognize them.

“Thanks are the key to giving back,” Chipman said.

Senior Kelly Anderson, a member of SAC, said the award is an honor for the recipient.

“This is a nice way to foreground women in positions of success,” Anderson said. “There are not a lot of events to recognize women in academia.”

Anderson highlighted the relationships that are formed between women at Saint Mary’s College. “Since it is a women’s college, this recognizes that we are a community,” she said. “There is a special bond in being part of a women’s college.”