Women of Impact at USD Succeed By "Growing Through It"

The Women’s Commons’ 22nd annual 2019 Women of Impact luncheon on Thursday recognized 113 outstanding nominees among undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators across the University of San Diego campus and bestowed awards upon one individual in each of the five categories.


The awards luncheon in Hahn University Center Forum C carried the theme of “Growing Through It.” While reflecting deeply on national events and movements in the past year, the committee members indicated that the theme “highlights the strength women carry with them every day as they navigate their experiences.” Furthermore, “it also highlights the thorns women learn to embrace as they build themselves and continue to do work in cultivating a community of belonging for everyone.”

Being a Woman of Impact nominee “is an honor bestowed upon the women on our campus who incorporate the principles of social justice in their daily actions. Through her creativity, courage, solidarity, empowerment, equity ad collaboration, a Woman of Impact actively improves the communities to which she belongs and those surrounding her.”

Thursday’s program featured the acknowledgement of Kumeyaay Land, a musical performance by Danielle Kim ’20 of the song, “Grow as We Go,” and a powerful keynote address by Llewelyn Labio, a current doctoral student in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and a doctoral graduate assistant for SOLES’ Leadership Studies undergraduate minor.

Following the roll call of nominees by Women’s Commons student staff members, Erin Lovette-Colyer, director of Gender Identity Resources, announced the individual award winners.

Undergraduate Student Nominees: Ally Ramona, Anica Quizon, Anna Nguyen, Ashley Gonzalez, Ashley Raines, Avery Zink, Balbina de la Garza-Villarreal, Brooke Baldassare, Cam Abaya, Carolina Morena Armento, Caroline Grothues, Celeste Juarez, Cici Moreland, Darlene Ngo, Davis Luanava, Elisse Etcheverry, Elizabeth Kresock, Emily Bomberger, Eniya Pendletom, Fanisee Bias, Gaby Azcarate, Gina Marie Bufete, Giselle Balanza, Giselle Rohane, Grace Getchell, Grace Recka, Hannah Levine, Hannah Sonberg, Jenelle Seguin, Jenny Shedd, Josephine Schneider, Julia Mahroos, Juliana Russo, Katie Brown, Kira Ford, Lily Yates, Marion Chavarria Rivera, Maya de la Torre. Mayamiko Matabwa, McKenna Colachis, Mia Kiyota, Nikki Santos, Nikta Shahbaz, Olivia Hunt, Paulina Sierra, Sam Anciano, Sophia Austin, Taylor DeGuzman, and Zia Yurchuck.

Undergraduate Student Award winner: Leslie Martinez ’21, BA Sociology. 

Graduate/Law Student Nominees: Brittany Kirk, Callie Khoury, Claudia Nevarez, Dhanya Murali, Diana Hernandez, Donna Soukantouy, Drea Aduna, Giana Metz, Hannah Freeman, Hannah Gray-Chambers, Jennifer Castro Garcia, Khalia Li, Kim Guzman, Kristen Reynolds, Lexi Epley, Michelle Lewis, Monica Dixon, Natalie Castro, Nicole Demirbey, Sally Zheng and Stefanie Jordao.

Graduate/Law Student Award winner: Edith Mendez, ’20 MA Higher Education Leadership, SOLES.

Faculty Nominees: Cheryl Getz (SOLES), Debbie Finocchio (College of Arts and Sciences-Chemistry and Biochemistry), Deborah Sundmacher (CAS-English), Joi Spencer (SOLES), Karma Lekshe Tsomo (CAS-Theology and Religious Studies), Lorri Sulpizio (SOLES), Nydia Sanchez (SOLES), Persephone Lewis (CAS-Ethnic Studies, USD Tribal Liaison) and Susannah Stern (CAS-Communication Studies, Honors Program).

Faculty Award winner: Necla Tschirgi, Distinguished Professor, Human Security and Peacebuilding, The Kroc School. 

Staff Nominees: Brittany Salyers, Kimberly Smith, Marcela Martinez-Ledezma, Miranda Nuevo, Molly Patrick, Sarai Vasquez and Vicky Torres.

Staff Award winner: Jelitsa Fonseca, executive assistant to the AVP of Student Affairs and AVP of Strategic Planning and Initiatives. 

Administrator Nominees: Alysse Hogan, Cheance Adair, Daniela Saldana Gurgol, Diana Agostini, Emily Davis, Erin Lovette-Colyer, Helene Citeau, Jennifer Lee, Kate Mickle, Kelly Sloan, Krystn Shrieve, Laura Thackray, Liz McCarthy, Madeline Kreig, Manda Sayegh, Maria Silva, Mariann Sanchez, Melissa Sheil, Melissa Tuomi, Paty De Saracho, Rachel Christensen and Stacey Williams.

Adminstrator Award winner: Shannon Franklin, Staff Psychologist.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone


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