The annual celebration of the University of San Diego’s female difference makers — students, faculty, staff/administrators — takes place noon to 2 p.m. this Friday at the Women of Impact luncheon in the Hahn University Center Forum C.
Two things to understand about this event that’s hosted by USD’s Women’s Center, two things that never change: There’s no shortage of deserving nominees and, when the winner of the Woman of Impact award is announced in each of the three categories, the title truly fits. Each nominee, selected by their peers, represent and model USD’s mission and vision and more.
“We’re thrilled to honor women who work to better the USD community each year through this event,” Women’s Center Director Erin Lovette-Colyer said. “This year, the Women of Impact luncheon focuses on the Catholic Social Teaching principle of solidarity. Many of our nominees this year are women who both understand and live this principle in their daily lives.”
In all there were 27 students, eight faculty and 15 staff/administrators nominated this year.
The student list — comprised of undergraduate and graduate students — provides a sample of the caliber of strong female leadership displayed through education, community service awareness and action.
Student nominees, in alphabetical order, are: Megan Bradford, Caroline Brenes, Audrey Bullwinkel, Emily Cunningham, Justine Darling, Andrea Davis, Alexa Despotakis, Jill Ferguson, Angela Garbo, Clara Greaney, Ariel Hall, Briselda Hernandez, Katie Johnson, Kate Kaffun, Elizabeth Lee, Mackenzie Maurer, Alexa McAneney, Kathy Myers, Julia Norgaard, Ali Olson, Corina Lopez Ramos, Eirene Rocha, Romyn Sabatchi, Shantell Steve, Kerry Ann Sweeney, Ashley Torkelson and Natalie Zanzucchi.
The faculty nominees are Maria Pilar Aquino (College of Arts and Sciences, Theology and Religious Studies), Denise Dimon (School of Business Administration, Economics), Kristine Ehrich (SBA, Marketing), Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth (School of Law), Robin McCoy (SBA, Marketing), Perla Myers (CAS, Math and Computer Science), Lee Ann Otto (CAS, Political Science/International Relations, Kroc School of Peace Studies) and Julia Schafer (CAS, Chemistry and Biochemistry).
Staff and administrator nominees are Rachel Acosta (Student Support Services), Erin Adkins (Athletics Administration), Dee Aker (Kroc Institute of Peace & Justice) Cynthia Avery (Student Affairs), Kaitlin Barker (Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice), Erin Bishop (University Ministry), Paula Cordeiro (School of Leadership and Education Sciences), Maria Estrada (Office of the Registrar), Brenna Hughes (Center for Community Service-Learning), Terry Kalfayan (Office of Budget and Treasury), Daniella Knelman (Center for Student Success), Heather Lang (Pavilion Dining), Erin Lovette-Colyer (Women’s Center), Emily Scivoletto (Law School Administration) and Cynthia Villis (Institute for College Initiatives).
Winners receive an award at the luncheon and have their name inscribed on the Women of Impact plaque displayed in the Women’s Center.
Friday’s event is particularly impactful going forward for the Women’s Center staff members.
“The Women of Impact Luncheon is wonderful event that honors women who make a difference on our campus. I volunteered at this event my first year at USD and was inspired by the women, who were a mix of students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” said Josie Gomez, a sophomore student and current Women’s Center programmer, in the center’s most recent newsletter. “It was great to see women who I knew from the campus community and all that they do to make a difference. I am so excited to have the opportunity to coordinate this event this year.”
Here’s a list of all past USD Women of Impact winners:
1997 — Kathleen Dugan, PhD, Kim Ferris, Barbara Peterson; 1998 — Susan Jacobi, Evelyn Kirkley, PhD, Sr. Helen Lynch; 2000 — Sarah Payment, Kendra Shorten; 2001 — Katherine Dickson, Gail Perez, PhD, Barbara Snyder; 2002 — Carmen Barcena, PhD, Stephani Richards-Wilson, Aisha Taylor; 2003 — Yvette M. Fontaine; Erica Lovano; Mary Meshot; 2004 — Susan Lord, PhD, Adriana Molina, PhD, Karen Winters; 2005 — Vanessa Brice, Gail Perez, PhD, Sarah Wolf; 2006 — Eren Branch, PhD, Catherine Tran, Mandy Womack; 2007 — Noreen Aurora, Evangelina Gonzalez, Michelle Jacob, PhD, Laura Taylor; 2008 — Casey Dominguez, PhD, Valerie Lizaraga, Marie Minnick; 2009 — Dee Aker, Hannah Evans, Hilda Garcia, Jean Ramirez, JD; 2010 — Pamela Gray Payton, Jayzona Alberto, Rosibel Mancillas Lopez, Sandra Sgoutas-Emch, PhD.
— Ryan T. Blystone