A Dozen Women in Academia Who Have Received Notable Honors or Awards

Amanda DeDiego, an assistant professor of counseling at the University of Wyoming, has received the Robert H. Rencken Emerging Professional Leader Award from the American Counseling Association (ACA). The award honors an ACA member who has demonstrated the potential to become a dedicated leader of the counseling profession in future years. Dr. DeDiego’s research focuses on counselor development and underserved populations.

Dr. DeDiego holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in community college both from the University of North Georgia, and a Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Tennessee.

Theresa Elliot-Chelsek, associate vice president and chief human resource officer at Washington State University, has been awarded the 2019 Western Region Distinguished Service Award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The award is given annually to a member of the association who exemplifies distinguished service to the human resources profession and to the organization.

Elliot-Chelsek is a graduate of Washington State University where she majored in public policy and sociology.

Narcisa Pricope, an associate professor of geography at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, is the first recipient of the Distinguished Emerging African Scholar Award from the American Associate of Geographers. The award honors distinguished scholarship on any aspect of African geography by a scholar within 10 years of receiving a doctorate. Dr. Pricope is recognized for her research on vegetation changes in the southern and eastern African dry lands.

Dr. Pricope is a graduate of Babes-Bolyai University in Romania where she double-majored in geography and English. She holds a master’s degree in geosciences from Western Kentucky University and a Ph.D. in geography and environmental engineering from the University of Florida.

Rebecca Newton, an assistant professor in the School of Professional Nursing Practice at the University of Southern Mississippi, has won the Mississippi Nursing Association Faculty Member of the Year Award. She was honored for her dedication to students, her continued education, and the profession of nursing.

Dr. Newton holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi and a doctorate in nursing practice and nursing administration from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Heather Wilcox, director for the Center for University-Based Development at Jackson State University in Mississippi, has received the award of merit from the Mississippi Historical Society for her outstanding work to restore and preserve the Mount Olive cemetery. This historic site is one of the oldest private cemeteries for African Americans in the state of Mississippi and was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2017.

Wilcox is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she majored in women’s studies. She holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning with a concentration in community development and housing from Jackson State University.

Viji Sitther, an associate professor of biology in Morgan State University’s School of Computer, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, received the prestigious 2019 STEM Innovation Award at the 33rd annual Black Engineer of the Year Award’s BEYA Global Competitiveness Conference held in Washington, D.C. She was honored for her innovative research, publications in peer-reviewed journals and outreach journal articles, conference presentation, and for mentoring students in entrepreneurship.

Dr. Sitther holds a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. from the University of Madras in India, as well as a bachelor of education degree from Annamalai University in India.

Cathy Hinson Franklin-Griffin, founding dean and professor of the Judge-McRae School of Nursing at Mars Hill University in North Carolina, has received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who, a publication of biographical profiles. The award is given to individuals with noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in their given field.

Dr. Franklin holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, a master’s degree in adult and contemporary education from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in higher education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Anita Hill, an equal rights advocate, lawyer, and professor at Brandeis University, is the recipient of the PEN Courage Award. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment and advancing equity in the workplace. At Brandeis, she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy, and legal history. She also advises administrators on strategic plans and workplace discrimination cases. Professor Hill is the author of Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011). She will receive her award at the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala.

Professor Hill is a graduate of Yale Law School.

Sonja Drimmer, an assistant professor of medieval art and architecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been awarded the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Medieval Academy of America. She is honored for her outstanding role teaching, mentoring, and inspiring undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, she has created successful partnerships with other Massachusetts colleges, coordinated events and seminars about medieval studies on the university’s campus, and assembled manuscripts for faculty and students to use in courses on early book history, medieval and late antique manuscripts, and textual transmission.

Dr. Drimmer is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University where she majored in history of art and medieval cultures. She holds a master’s degree in history of art from the University of York, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. both in history of art from Columbia University.

Xia Zhou, an associate professor of computer science at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, has been awarded the 2019 SIGMOBILE RockStar award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). She is recognized for her outstanding early-career contributions and impact on the field of computer science. Her research examines unconventional wireless spectrum frequencies to build next-generation wireless systems and spearheading the field of ‘visible light sensing,’ which turns the ubiquitous light around us into a powerful medium that integrates data communication and human behavioral sensing.

Dr. Zhou holds a Ph.D in computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Janice Hausauer, an assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing at Montana State University, has received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2019 Montana State Award for Excellence. The award has given annually to a dedicated nurse practitioner who demonstrates excellence in her of his area of practice. Dr. Hausauer has served as a faculty member on the College of Nursing’s Bozeman campus for 28 years, teaching both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. She is also the clinical coordinator for the family/individual doctor of nursing practice students at the university.

Dr. Hausauer is a graduate of the University of Utah where she majored in nursing. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Nevada and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Montana State University.

Megan Oakleaf, an associate professor and director of instructional quality at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University in New York, has received the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries Instruction Section. The award is presented to a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.

Dr. Oakleaf is a graduate of Miami University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish and a second bachelor’s degree in education. She holds a master of library science degree from Kent State University in Ohio and a Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

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