Empowering Women

1By Jordan Jones

Women of Influence Awards luncheon hosted by the College of Southern Nevada recently honored six women whose work and passions have empowered others to succeed.

The WOIA is an event that brings together the CSN community to celebrate women. The event is held once a year during Women’s History Month in March.

The winners of the awards included faculty, staff and students who were honored for the impacts they have made in the community.

Stephanie Hill, assistant vice president of Student Engagement Services, was the first person to receive an award. Hill was also the keynote speaker for the event. Hill has been a role model for students by motivating and teaching the importance of perseverance when things get tough.

“Ms. Hill inspired me to keep going, graduate and to be the best I can be,” said Patricia Marshall, student affairs coordinator. “I am where I am today because of her. I called her several times ready to give up on school but after every conversation I was motivated to keep going.”

“We must empower each other,” Hill said. “Strong women don’t believe they can; they know they can.”

There were two recipients that received the Administrative Faculty Award.

Janet Latricia King, a senior analyst, was one of the instructional designers for Canvas, CSN’s online campus, and she serves on the bylaws and rules committee.

Shellie Keller, director of Tutorial Services, also received an award. Keller was recognized for her work in establishing the improved tutorial-service program at CSN. The changes made to better serve the students have resulted in a steady decrease in the amount of classes students drop.

“Standing up there made me emotional, I love this school,” Keller said. “It has changed my life.”

Keller graduated from CSN with a business degree. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Keller said. “It was as if my profession chose me, like I was meant to do this.”

“I work very closely with Keller,” said Robyn Rhode, writing-center program manager who was also in attendance. “There are hundreds of students that Keller currently works with and has in the past and she remembers everyone’s name. Shellie genuinely cares about their success and inspires them to not give up.”

Another winner of the 2015 WOIA included CSN Council Member Connie Jo Casey-Harris, who received the Classified Award.

CSN student Gabriela Mora won the Emerging Leader Award. Mora has a 4.0 GPA and tutors students to succeed.

The final award was given to Department of Communication Professor Dr. Jennifer Basquiat for her teaching. Basquiat has worked with the College for several years and continues to inspire students to work hard and be themselves.

The event was held at Russell’s Restaurant at the Cheyenne campus on March 25. A three-course meal was served by the students in the culinary department. Flowers were made by students in the floral program.

After the event attendees took part of one last conversation on the importance of love and empowerment for one another not just during Women’s History Month but every day.

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