Women and Gender Awards honor Unsung Heroines, others

By Stacey Jones | Emory Report | Feb. 22, 2012

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Each year the Center for Women at Emory celebrates women who have made an impact at Emory and in the community through its annual Unsung Heroine Awards.

Each year the Center for Women at Emory celebrates women who have made an impact at Emory and in the community through its annual Unsung Heroine Awards. The awards honor undergraduate and graduate students as well as women from the ranks of faculty, administration, staff and alumnae for their work affecting the lives of other women.

For the first time this year, the Center for Women will host its Unsung Heroines Awards in conjunction with the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PSCW), who will present their annual Award for Relational Mentoring and Student Writing Awards at the newly renamed Women and Gender Awards night on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Miller-Ward Alumni House. Beginning with a reception at 5:15 p.m., the awards presentation at 6 p.m. is free and open to the public, but guests do need to register.

The 15th annual Unsung Heroines Awards will honor:

Mariangela Jordan, undergraduate student honoree

For her work as an intern with Emory's Center for Ethics, Jordan was praised by her nominators as an undergraduate who "knows well the struggles of women... and uses this knowledge as she strives to serve others." A transfer student and native of Romania, Jordan interned at the International Rescue Committee and served as president of the annual Ethics Art Café and Free Speech Art Café, which she used as a platform to bring attention to issues such as domestic violence that disproportionately affect women.

Doris Mukangu, graduate student honoree

Mukangu also works to end domestic violence, focusing on Atlanta's African refugee and immigrant communities through her work as a community liaison officer for Tapestri. A master's of public health candidate, she began working with refugees from Burundi while volunteering at the DeKalb County Board of Health, where she assisted with translation services, health promotion and health education. Mukangu is the co-founder and president of the African Women Health, Education and Empowerment Center, which provides culturally sensitive programs and services that help African immigrants and refugees transition into American life.

Brenda Roberts, staff honoree    

Now manager of faculty development at Candler School of Theology, Roberts is being lauded for her work as a mentor for women in Campus Services, where she worked previously. After receiving her own bachelor's degree in 2008, Roberts encouraged other women in the division to seek undergraduate degrees and apply for management positions. She is fond of reminding people, says her nominator, Karen Salisbury, that "the next five years are going to come and go. Why not accomplish something really important for yourself?"   

Ursula Kelly, faculty honoree

Kelly, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, is among a handful of researchers and clinicians focusing on the treatment of female veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual trauma. Along with this work, Kelly has conducted extensive research on intimate partner violence, and she studies traumatic resilience in women, looking at the differences in patients who are able to overcome trauma more quickly than others. Her nominator, Jasmine Hoffman, wrote that Kelly "has undoubtedly advanced women by helping countless patients overcome the devastating effects of sexual trauma. Her extraordinary commitment to female veterans is awe-inspiring."

Lisa Flowers, administrative honoree

Flowers' clinical work as a gynecologist/obstetrician focuses on women with precancerous genital disease and HIV and she's director of the colposcopy and international OB/GYN clinics at Grady Memorial Hospital. Outside of the hospital, Lisa continues to help women, serving as a patient advocate and board member at many nonprofit health organizations for women and as medial director of Dia de La Mujer Latina, a national organization that focuses on improving health care access for Latina women. Said her nominator, Karen Luster, "Dr. Flowers has broken down many barriers that women face in the area of medicine and research through her leadership, knowledge and skills."

Janette Pratt, retiree honoree

The founding director of the School of Law's Child Advocacy Project, later the Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Janette Pratt has been "a tireless supporter of women at the law school," said Katherine Brokaw, her nominator. "Jan has mentored literally hundreds of women, both colleagues and students. The service projects and community organizations she has founded disproportionately serve women and children." Pratt's quiet but profound impact at the law school, and in the community has helped launch women into and nurture their careers in the law.

Mary Cahill, Pam Pomar, Ana Lynn Tesh and Susan Lomax, alumnae honorees   

Woodruff Nursing School graduates Mary Cahill '92N, Pam Pomar '04N, Ana Lynn Tesh '99N, and Susan Lomax '99N are the cornerstones of Nuestros Ninos/Our Kids Pediatrics, a thriving Cobb County health care practice founded by Cahill to serve the children of Latino immigrants, many of whom found it difficult to receive pediatric care without private or government-sponsored health insurance. The women all came to the field of nursing as non-traditional students and taught themselves Spanish in order to better serve their patients.