Seven Women Scholars Receive Notable Awards

Marilyn Flynn, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, received the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers Foundation. She was honored for efforts to advance the public image of professional social work.

Dr. Flynn is a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. She holds a master of social work degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Virginia Gonzalez, professor in the literacy and second language studies program at the University of Cincinnati, received the 2011-12 Lifetime Achievement Award from Bilingual Education Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Gonzalez holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Silvia Salinas Blemker, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, received the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award from the Hartwell Foundation. The awards are given to scientists pursuing biomedical research to help children. Dr. Blemker’s research focuses on improving the outcome of cleft palate repair surgery.

Dr. Blemker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

The Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University in Houston has established the Sherry Matusoff Merfish Award that will be given annually to a student who is committed to social justice or is engaged in research on an issue pertaining to women, gender, or sexuality. Merfish is a member of the advisory board of the center and the award, which includes a stipend of $1,000, was endowed by her children.

Keisha B. Walters, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Mississippi State University, has been chosen to receive the Raymond W. Fahien Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. She will be presented with the award at the society’s conference in San Antonio this June.

Dr. Walters has been on the faculty at Mississippi State since 2005. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological science and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering, all from Clemson University.

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, received the 2012 Winship/PEN New England Award from the Boston Globe. The award, which honors best works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by New England authors, is named after longtime Globe editor Laurence L. Winship.

Professor Willis was honored for her book of poetry entitled, Address (Wesleyan University Press). She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Laura Larsson, assistant professor of nursing at Montana State University received the Recognition Award from the Zeta Upsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, an honor society for nursing professionals. Dr. Larsson was honored for her scholarship, leadership, and commitment to the ideal and purpose of nursing.

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