Miryam Award

2014 Miryam Award

The Miryam Award is presented each year to an individual (student, faculty, or staff) or a group (student organizations, committees, programs, etc.) on the UD campus whose actions portray the following:

1. Enhance the climate for and support the advancement of women on the UD campus;

2. Go beyond one’s normal UD duties in advancing the campus community for women;

3. Reflect the mission of the University.

We are now accepting nominations until January 24 for the 2014 award. 

To honor our recipients as well as the other nominees who have had a significant positive impact on our campus for women, please come to this year's prayer service and award presentation on Tuesday, March 25 at 4:30pm.  We'll begin in the Chapel with a prayer service, followed by a reception and presentation of the awards in Chaminade Hall immediately following. RSVP for the prayer service and reception:  Call Sue Terbay at 229-2524.

2013 Miryam Award

The Miryam Award Selection Committee is happy to have chosen Debra Monk and Corrine Witherspoon. These two individuals exemplify the spirit of the Miryam Award and are great role models for demonstrating how to transfer personal passion into effective, positive social change.   

Debra Monk is the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Community Standards and Civility. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She began her devotion to the University of Dayton in 1993 as a graduate student in theology, while having a graduate assistantship in Marycrest. Debra returned to UD in 1999 to work for Housing and Residence Life, and began her tenure in the office of Community Standards and Civility in 2004. Debra is also the coordinator for the C.A.R.E Team (Campus Awareness, Response and Evaluation). She has made huge strides in protecting the rights of victims involving sexual violence on campus. In addition to her work at the University of Dayton, Debra served as the Director of Housing and Residence Life at Centenary College of Louisiana and a Community Director at Wright State University. Further accomplishments include acting as co-chair for the Annie T. Thornton's Women's Leadership Conference for two years, serving the commission for Housing and Residence Life for American College Educators International, in which she was a founding member of their social justice education commission, and is currently serving as the awards committee chair for the Association of Student Conduct Administrators. Debra’s motivation comes from her close connections to family. Her “center” for her life is her ”Big Mama”, an important mother figure who grounds her, and is the woman she aspires to be. She also draws her strength from her husband, Shawn, of 16 years and her beautiful 5-year-old daughter named Sawyer.

Corrine “Cee Jay” Witherspoon is a Community Coordinator for the South Student Neighborhood. While receiving her undergraduate degree at Miami University, she was an active member and leader in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which she attributes her leadership capacity to. Corrine has enhanced the climate for women on campus by implementing the Sister Circle in the fall of 2011. The Sister Circle was started in response of the need to help women of color to connect with our community. The organization meets monthly and its purpose is to, “Encourage the promotion of sisterhood among African American/Black students, staff and faculty” (Sister Circle Review 2012). Corrine encourages these women to explore and consider leadership opportunities on campus and to become connected in their own ways. She also promotes sisterhood, and what it means to support each other and be a sister. From just these couple of years, Corrine has positively influenced the lives of approximately 20 women, translating into their personal and academic success. Corrine hopes to one day start a non-profit organization that helps and encourages students of color to get in, and stay in college. She would also like to be a director of a women’s center in the efforts to help young women. The Sister Circle Organization has helped her to realize that she can make a difference in the world, and strives to let other young women know that they can do the same.


The Miryam Award was initiated by Campus Ministry’s Center for Social Concern in 1996 as a way to recognize the efforts of people on our campus to change the atmosphere and the potential for women’s achievements here at the University of Dayton. Significant changes and support for women have been made through the courage, the determination, and the persistence of individual women and men as well as organizations in the campus community.

Selection Process

The Miryam Award Selection Committee will meet and review all submitted nominations in early February. The committee will consider each nominee based upon responses to the three criteria areas identified on the nomination form. Therefore, it is important that nominators submit clear and concise information regarding their nominees. The Selection Committee will identify the Miryam Award recipient(s) in mid February.

Award Criteria

This award will be given to an individual (student, faculty, or staff) or a group (student organizations, committees, programs, etc.) on the UD campus whose actions portray the following....
1.  Enhance the climate for and supported the advancement of women on the UD campus;
2.  Go beyond one's normal UD duties in advancing the campus community for women;

3.  Reflect the mission of the University.

Miryam Award Selection Committee (representatives from the following UD entities)

Finance and Administrative Services
Center for Social Concern
Panhellenic Council
Office for Mission and Rector
Student Development
Women’s Center
Women’s and Gender Studies
Exempt and non-exempt professional staff
Undergraduate students

Award Prayer Service and Reception- All Welcome

To honor the award winner/s, there will be a prayer service and reception on or near March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation. The prayer service is planned and organized by campus ministers to reflect the values, hopes, and dreams of the winner/s and to reflect the spirit of the Feast Day. After the prayer service, the person who nominated the winner will share reflections on the winner and the selection committee will officially present the award (plaque displayed in Barrett Dining Hall and $1,000.00 to be used towards a program to support women on campus).

Recent Recipients of the Miryam Award

2012: Elizabeth Reeves , Alisa Bartel and Alex Kreidenweis (students)
2011: Dr. Judith Martin, Claire Hampel (student), and Annie Buscemi (student)
2010: Grace Crivello (student) and Dr. Betty Youngkin
2009: Dr. Sheila Hassel Hughes and Caitlin Cronin (student)
2008: Advocating for Women;s Equality (student group)
2007: Sr. Mary Louise Foley, FMI

The Award consists of the name(s) of the recipient(s) engraved on a permanent plaque, which is displayed in the Barrett Dining Room, and a $1,000 gift to be designated by the recipient(s) to further enhance the climate for women on campus.