The Franklin College Office of Diversity & Inclusion recently celebrated the recipients of its annual Women of Distinction Awards in celebration of National Women’s History Month. The announcement marks the eighth year the college has celebrated women who have achieved, overcome and blazed a trail for other women through their professional leadership, volunteer efforts and civic and campus involvement. Nominees and guests came together on March 15 for a brunch to celebrate one another and to listen to the inspiring words of guest speaker, Marlene Dotson, president and CEO of Indiana Latina Institute.
Each year, members of the Franklin College community are invited to submit nominations to honor women on campus for this distinction. In addition, they are encouraged to nominate someone from the local community. The nominees are then judged by a panel and a winner is selected in each category. All nominees received a certificate, while the winners were honored with a plaque.
Maegan Pollonais and Kalyn Johnson, director and assistant director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, respectively, presented the awards. Listed below are the winners in each category:
Student: Chyna Jackson, daughter of Laticha Gatewood of Indianapolis. Jackson is a member of the women’s lacrosse team, the Black Student Union and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Jackson is a senior, majoring in exercise science.
Faculty: Tiffany (Henderson) Franklin, Ed.D., of New Palestine, Ind., is the program director for the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) studies program. Franklin is a 2007 graduate of the Franklin College athletic training program. She earned her Doctor of Education in leadership from Spalding University and her master’s degree in exercise science and sport performance from Ball State University.
Staff: Jenny (Piland) Cataldi, of Indianapolis, is the director of global education. She is in charge of all off-campus and international studies for academic credit. Cataldi is a 2005 graduate of Franklin College. Cataldi also serves as the faculty adviser for Franklin College Dance Marathon.
Staff (two awards were presented): Kandra Sejas, of Greenwood, is the program manager for the Center for Student Involvement. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marian University and her master’s degree from Wright State University.
Community Member: Jane Roembke of Indianapolis, is a retired nurse. She received her nursing degree from Ivy Tech – Lafayette.
“In the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, we often educate our campus community about local, regional, and international news and trends. We celebrate different cultures and heritages. However, we also recognize the need to celebrate our very own. There are amazing women on our very campus that are doing great and important work and so we are honored to gather and thank them for everything they have done for our campus community,” said Maegan Pollonais, D.A., director of Diversity & Inclusion.
The public celebration of women’s history in the United States began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month and March was declared Women’s History Month.