Carolina has honored a student, a professor and a staff member with the University Awards for the Advancement of Women.
The award recognizes women who have mentored or supported their peers on campus, elevated the status of women or improved campus policies for them, promoted women’s recruitment and retention, or promoted professional development for women. It was created following the abolition of the Cornelia Phillips Spencer Bell Award in 2004.
This year’s honorees are Emily Joy Rothchild of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a junior music major; Melva “Cookie” Newsom of Cary, director of diversity education and assessment in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; and P. Kay Lund of Carrboro, Sarah Graham Kenan professor of cell and molecular physiology in the School of Medicine.
Rothchild is co-chair of the Women’s Affairs Committee of the executive branch of student government and serves as a student representative for both the Carolina Women’s Center program advisory council and the Provost’s Committee on Gender Equity. She was instrumental to the passage of the safety and security fee increase and worked with Campus Health Services to revise its Web site to offer more pregnancy-related options for women. She has organized a professional women’s dinner to bring together undergraduate and professional women for networking and mentoring.
Newsom is chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, which includes a mentoring program for African-American women, and was instrumental in the development of the University’s first diversity plan. She mentors other women as a member of the Board of Advisors for Leadership Institute and Leadership Academy and through her “Sister Lunch,” a networking and mentoring activity for women of color on the UNC campus that she established. She recently hosted “Conversations with Cookie,” a series of discussions about women’s issues. She serves on the Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s board of directors and is a co-planner of the annual Summer Public Health Research Institute and Videoconference on Minority Health.
Lund served as president of the UNC Association of Professional Women in Medical Sciences from 2004 to 2007 and currently is chair of the Working on Women in Science Initiative steering committee. Her lobbying has resulted in future career recognition and benefits to professional women in the medical school. She established the seminar series “Celebrating Women in Science and Medicine,” which recognizes achievements of women in science. Lund also has trained and mentored many female junior faculty and students, including 14 doctoral students and more than 30 post-doctoral students, clinical fellows and undergraduates.
The recipients each receive a monetary award. The Carolina Women’s Center received 58 nominations for this year’s awards, more than double the number received last year.