The awards honor individuals who have mentored or supported women on campus, elevated the status of women or improved campus policies for them, promoted women’s recruitment and retention, or promoted professional development for women.
A reception for the award, which was created in 2006, was held this afternoon at The Carolina Inn in conjunction with the campus’ 11th annual Women’s Week, which began Saturday and runs through Friday.
The three winners – one faculty member, one staff member and one student, graduate student or postdoctoral scholar are eligible – each receive a monetary award. The faculty and staff winners receive a check for $5,000; the student scholar, a check for $2,500. The Carolina Women’s Center received 58 nominations for this year’s awards, more than double the number received last year.
This year’s honorees are student winner Emily Joy Rothchild, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a junior music major in the College of Arts and Sciences; staff winner Melva “Cookie” Newsom of Cary, director of diversity education and assessment in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; and faculty winner P. Kay Lund of Carrboro, Sarah Graham Kenan professor of cell and molecular physiology in the School of Medicine.
Rothchild is co-chair of the Women’s Affairs Committee of the Executive Branch of Student Government and serves as a student representative for both the Carolina Women’s Center program advisory council and the Provost’s Committee on Gender Equity. She was instrumental to the passage of the Safety and Security Fee increase and worked with Campus Health Services to revise its Web site to offer more pregnancy-related options for women. She has organized a professional women’s dinner to bring together undergraduate and professional women for networking and mentoring.
Newsom is chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, which includes a mentoring program for African American women, and was instrumental in the development of the University’s first diversity plan. She mentors other women as a member of the Board of Advisors for Leadership Institute and Leadership Academy and through her “Sister Lunch,” a networking and mentoring activity for women of color on the UNC campus that she established. She recently hosted “Conversations with Cookie,” a series of discussions about women’s issues. She serves on the Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s board of directors and is a co-planner of the annual Summer Public Health Research Institute and Videoconference on Minority Health.
Lund served as president of the UNC Association of Professional Women in Medical Sciences from 2004 to 2007 and is currently the chair of the Working on Women in Science Initiative steering committee. Her lobbying has resulted in future career recognition and benefits to professional women at the UNC School of Medicine. She established the seminar series “Celebrating Women in Science and Medicine,” which recognizes achievements of women in science. Lund also has trained and mentored many women junior faculty and students throughout her career, including 14 doctoral students and more than 30 post-doctoral students, clinical fellows and undergraduates.
The University Awards for the Advancement of Women were created following the retirement of the Cornelia Phillips Spencer Bell Award in 2004.
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