Women of Impact Honors USD Students, Faculty, Staff, Administrators and Community Leader

The 20th annual University of San Diego Women of Impact Awards luncheon, held on Nov. 30 in Hahn University Center Forum C, was a campus-wide celebration and recognition for female undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators and the work they do on campus and in the community.

20th Women of Impact 2017

“Today, we honor some of the many women across campus who work to create change and make USD a more inclusive and just community,” the event program noted. "The Women of Impact Award strives to honor those whose work, activities and relationships support others in finding voice and developing skills for trasnformation. Their community is not merely a place in which they exist; it is a place they actively improve."

Hosted by the USD Women’s Center, which is led by its director, Erin Lovette-Colyer, the program offered multiple expressions of thanks and praise for the many contributions of women on campus. Placed on each of the dining tables were short updates of past USD Women of Impact Award winners (1997-2016). Following lunch, the event featured a performance by the USD Dance Company, opening remarks by Lovette-Colyer who reflected on the theme, “A Seat at the Table,” and a keynote address by Maria Silva, director of neighborhood and community engaged partnerships for USD’s Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action.

Silva presented Tomasa Ruiz, a Linda Vista community member who participates in a community gardening project at Bayside Community Center, with flowers and a special Community Woman of Impact Award.

The remainder of the program consisted of recognizing each of the five award category nominees — undergraduate and graduate student, faculty, staff and administrator — and Lovette-Colyer introducing and awarding the individual winners.

Nominees for each category are listed, followed by the individual winner of the category:

Undergraduate Student Nominees:  Mallory Banner, Alessandra Cole, Shannan Conlon, Sophia Deyden, Lindsay Fitzpatrick, Pitrina Gilger, Katherine Hawkyard, Riley Henning, Michelle Lewis, Lennie Macias, Miranda Maher, Grace McDonald, Gianna Metz, Emma Moran, Maribel Orozco, Emeline Polis, Shermee Randolph, Miranda Rappoldt, Debby Romero, Samantha Smith, Caitlin Teno, and Kateri Theisen. Winner: Michelle Lewis.

Graduate Student Nominees: Andrea Calderon, Aubrie Cook, Kristina Darrough, Hannah Freeman, Maya Hood, Paulina King, Karen Kukta, Toni Martinez, Kalena Michalec, Rama Sabano, Lauren Wong and Amber Williams. Winner: Rama Sabano.

Faculty Nominees: Emilie Amrein, Michelle Camacho, Jennifer Freeman, Cecily Heisser, Aarti Ivanic, Imane Khalil, Evelyn Kirkley, Judith Liu, Marcelle Maese-Cohen, Amanda Moulder, Candice Price, Deborah Sundmacher and Jennifer Zwolinski. Winner: Judith Liu, Sociology.

Staff Nominees: Lanee’ Battle Johnson, Patricia De Saracho, Sandee Gutierrez, Tessa Opperman and Soroya Rowley. Winner: Lanee’ Battle Johnson, Center for Inclusion and Diversity.

Administrator Nominees: Michelle Camacho, Jessica Critchlow, Rachel Christensen, Kira Espiritu, Tess Nunn Eves, Pamela Gray Payton, Melissa Halter, Arlene Handy, Kacy Hayes, Tiana Kelly, Stephanie Kiesel, Karen Kukta, Persephone “Perse” Lewis, Pilar Malim, Aly Monteleone, Noelle Norton, Karolina Rzadkowolska, Kelly Sloan, Michelle Zygowicz. Winner: Michelle Camacho, Sociology.

— Compiled by USD News Center