By Anthony Navarrete, Staff Writer
Newman University is set to host its first SHEro Awards Reception on March 19 during Newman’s Women’s Appreciation Week.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to nominate a woman who they believe is deserving of the award. The categories include student, faculty, staff and alumni. Members of the community have until Friday to nominate someone.
Director of Multicultural Engagement and Campus Life Joseph Shepard said he felt it was important for Newman to recognize women for the contributions they make to the Newman and the Wichita community.
“I always think it’s appropriate for us to give people their flowers and their recognition while they’re still alive. This is going to be a platform for us to do that,” he said.
Shepard said a committee will look at all the nominations and decide who they feel deserves the award in each category.
“We don’t have to just honor one woman, we’re going to honor several,” he said.
Shepard also said there will be a keynote speaker, at the reception, who has not yet been announced.
Shepard said when he brought up the idea of SHEro Week and the SHEro awards reception to Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, she was on board.
The reception is just one of many events planned for Women’s Appreciation Week. Student Life will be collaborating with Newman’s Multicultural Leadership Organization (MCLO) for a women’s panel on Monday, March 18.
“It’s an opportunity for them to engage with some people who have lived those experiences and faced those same hardships as them. And an opportunity for them to get some advice on how to move forward,” Shepard said.
President of MCLO Jose Rojas said the panel will be made up of six professionals, including faculty and staff from Newman from different backgrounds to talk about important issues.
“We really wanted to bring a new light to what we thought was important, and one of the things that is fresh and in our minds right now is going into the workforce,” he said.
Newman’s Diversity Round Table will also write thank you cards to women in the Wichita Women’s Area Crisis Center on Wednesday, March 20. Students also are invited to do a community service project for a women’s organization in Wichita.
“Many times women who find themselves in vulnerable positions or vulnerable situations need to be told they still matter and need to be told their stories still hold a lot of weight and need to be told their stories are still valid,” he said.
Shepard said he hopes to keep SHEro week a tradition at Newman.
“If I have anything to say or do anything about it, I hope to keep this going,” he said.
PHOTO: THE SHERO AWARD will be presented during Women’s Appreciation Week and is meant to honor women who have made a difference in the Newman and Wichita community. Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement