Annual SHERO awards honor women who empower women

By: Emily Larkin, Staff Writer

Though Women’s History Month is coming to a close, Newman is still finding ways to celebrate women, like through the presentation of the 2022 SHERO Awards on March 25.

Dean of Students Sara Mata said that the annual SHERO Awards are meant to celebrate women who empower women.

“Being a SHERO is a recognition of your service, of your contribution not just to Newman but also to the community, and of your visibility in representing women in positions contributing to bring awareness to the issues,” she said.

Those who nominated faculty winner Jennifer Jones, director of field education for the Master’s and Bachelor’s of Social Work programs, describe her as someone with “inspiring self-confidence, energy, selflessness, integrity, compassion and kindness.”

Jones was also nominated for “her work to help those who are vulnerable and in need to have what they need to be able to improve their quality of life.”

Upon receiving the award, Jones said she was grateful and hopes to use it to help other women.

“It was such an honor to receive the award,” she said, “and I am happy to inspire other SHEROs to do amazing things.”

The recipient of the staff SHERO Award was Karen Noel, administrative assistant for the School of Social Work.

Noel was nominated “for the kindness that she shows to everyone, her willingness to help others, her selflessness, and her flexibility.”

Senior nursing student Selia Avila was chosen as the student SHERO Award recipient.

Avila was nominated “because of how she is always seeking ways to help others to find scholarship opportunities.”

Avila said receiving the award helped her reflect on the struggles she has faced and how she will grow from them.

“It is an affirmation as much as it is a reminder that the barriers that have presented themselves or that I have come across were not only meant to be broken by me, but for others…,” she said. “To me...perspective is key... the key that unlocks the door to the life we want, regardless of any factor that may oftentimes prevent individuals from getting back up, and opening the doors with this skeleton key.”

Though the nominees for the awards were all different, Mata said she was able to draw connections between them.

“What I was able to take from those who were nominated was their passion for the work that they do and their contributions to promoting women and women’s issues,” she said.

The other SHERO nominees were:

Faculty: Jennifer Jones, Teresa Vetter and Lindsey Stillwell

Staff: Karen Noel, Dyana Bac, and Conni Mansaw

Students: Selia Avila and Hadassah Umbarger

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Unsplash