EMU women staff and students were honored at the 2021 virtual Women of Excellence Ceremony on Monday, April 12, organized by the EMU Women’s Resource Center.
The theme for this year’s ceremony was Women Becoming Whole: Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Wellness.
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, the Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan and Chief Deputy Director for Health in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). During her speech, Dr. Khaldun discussed setbacks women have faced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including balancing the role many women have as caregivers with their careers.
She also discussed the importance of self-care and prioritizing equality between women and men when it comes to household duties.
“Self-care should not be considered self-indulgence,” Dr. Khaldun said. “We’re not robots; we’re human. We have to be intentional about taking care of ourselves.”
Dr. Khaldun was the first recipient of the newly created Community Impact Award for her work in the MDHHS and in the State of Michigan during the pandemic.
Next, three EMU staff members were awarded the 2021 Women of Excellence Awards for their outstanding work in the EMU community. The recipients were Rhonda Vanderzwaag, Director of Basketball Operations, Jenny Clark, Center for Adaptive Technology in Education (CATE) Lab Coordinator at the Disability Resource Center, and Allison Boone Green, Full-Time Lecturer in the College of Education.
The final award of the night was the Women of Excellence Scholarship, which is now in its third year. The scholarship awarded $10,000 to eight students who contributed greatly to women’s affairs on campus and demonstrated financial need.
Hailee Hull, one of the eight scholarship recipients, is a Secondary Education Language, Literature, and Writing Major and is also a member of the EMU Honors College and Astronomy Club. She works as a New Student Orientation Assistant (NSOA).
“I feel honored to be a Women of Excellence Scholarship recipient. Dedicating my time to education and having the opportunity to take on leadership roles at EMU will benefit me beyond college; I’m glad that my accomplishments and efforts are being recognized. I hope it encourages other women at EMU to continue striving for excellence,” Hull said.
The other scholarship winners were Mikaela Trowbridge, Tiffany Chen, Rachel Neil, Kari Klavon, Simone Brown, Katie Lane Waters, and Heather Bower.
The ceremony closed with a riveting performance of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie by local artist Dom Brooks.