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Voices of courage

Voices of courage

Michelle Tedford March 05, 2020

On a chilly March morning, the campus community gathered around Heritage Coffeehouse for a heart-warming event. They were there to celebrate 15 women — most sitting near the podium, each wearing a red rose — highlighted in the annual exhibit Women of UD for 2020. This year’s theme “Voices of Courage” recognizes women who have had a profound impact in their area or field and those who champion and model an inclusive and equitable campus and community.

The women honored are all collaborative leaders and fierce champions for diversity and inclusion for all, said University President Eric F. Spina during his remarks at the opening event. They give voices to the voiceless and are models of Marianist hospitality, Spina added. The exhibit recognizes women from both on campus and in the wider community.

“It illuminates great leadership which deserves to be recognized, to which we all can aspire,” he said.

Among the honorees is Emily Hicks, whose untimely death in October 2019 is mourned by her colleagues and the campus community. Hicks was an associate professor and long-time director of information acquisition and organization for University Libraries, and she was remembered by UD Provost Paul Benson, who offered these remarks:

“Emily advocated each day for some of the most cherished values of UD, including shared academic governance, thoughtful and deliberative conversation, and decision-making guided by compassion, empathy and a resilient and responsive spirit of justice,” he said. “Emily spoke up when many others would not, and she spoke up with both her mind and her heart.

“Because of her physical absence from us, we must listen more closely now to hear Emily’s voice. Yet her voice still resonates in the courageous efforts we make to advance the agency and influence of all women.”

This year, the exhibit received more than 200 nominations recognizing 126 women. Nominations were reviewed and recipients selected by those previously highlighted as Women of UD. This is the third year for the exhibit, founded by the Women’s Center. This year's honorees can be seen on displays in the windows of Heritage Coffeehouse and the lower level of Chaminade Hall. The honorees were photographed by students from professor Glenna Jennings’ photography class. The exhibit was designed by students Lucy Rauker and Emily Cordonnier from professor Kathy Kargl’s graphic design class.

Honorees are Merida Allen, Laura Bistrek, Corinne Daprano, Naomi de Anda, Emily Hicks, Beverly Jenkins, Suki Kwon, Melissa Longino, Chloé Massie-Costales, Novea McIntosh, Margaret Peters, Leslie Picca, Kathleen Rossman, Castel Sweet and Nan Whaley. Read their nominations on the Women's Center website. 

Photos by Kathryn Niekamp ’21

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