February 21, 2000
Volume 52, No. 22
Cox speaks to honorees
By Stephanie Sonnenfeld
Now is not the time for women to stop fighting for equality, urged Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox as she spoke to a group attending Emory's third annual Unsung Heroine's award banquet,held Feb.15 at the Houston Mill House and sponsored by the Women's Center.
"Now is not the time to be passive, genteel Southern belles. Now is the time for more action," Cox said. A crowd of about 100 gathered to hear Cox, the highest elected female official in the state, give remarks and to honor the five women named Unsung Heroine award recipients. Cox was sworn in as the first female secretary of state in 1999, making her a fitting keynote speaker for the banquet.
Honorees for the award are drawn from five categories, which include undergraduate student, graduate student, administrator, staff and faculty. This year's winners are: Tiffany Johnson, undergraduate student; Aubrey Joy Corcoran, graduate student; Claudia Adkison, administrator; Deborah Floyd, staff; Marianne Scharbo-DeHaan, faculty.
In her speech, Cox likened this year's Unsung Heroine's to historic counterparts such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
"We have come so very far over the past 150 years, past 100 years, past 20 to 30 years," Cox said. She said the strides have been made not simply because the times changed--rather, these strides were made because women like Anthony and Stanton "got out there and made things happen," Cox said. "The same things can be said about the women we're honoring tonight."
Johnson, an Emory College psychology major, was nominated by fellow student Fatima Cody. In addition to her studies, Johnson participates in a number of community service activities through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. Johnson dedicates more than 30 hours a week to activities such as tutoring at local schools on the weekend, coordinating visits to Wesley Woods, and organizing service activities including Habitat for Humanity and AIDS walk.
Brit Katz, director of Residence Life, nominated Corcoran, a graduate student in public health. Since coming to Emory from California, Corcoran has immersed herself in all aspects of health education. As an undergraduate, she worked closely with AIDS education programs, something that has carried over to her graduate studies. While continuing to work with AIDS awareness programs at the University, Corcoran has also worked as a facilitator for several HIV workshops.
Claudia Adkinson has lent her talents to Emory in many ways during her two careers at the University, wrote nominator Sylvia Wrobel of Health Science Communications. As a faculty member for 22 years in the School of Medicine, Adkinson was a two-term president of the University Senate, former chair of the affirmative action committee and an active leader in the Emory Medical Women's Association.
When Adkinson, a former dean of administration in the medical school, received a law degree from Georgia State University in 1991, she left Emory to work as an attorney specializing in health care law and intellectual property. After a few years, she returned to Emory and currently serves as executive associate dean in the School of Medicine.
As associate director of student affairs for the School of Law, Deborah Floyd has earned a reputation as someone who can get a project done and done well, said nominator and fellow law school administrator David Patton. Floyd's dedication to the role of women on campus has led her to work with the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), for which she serves as secretary and chair-elect for the group.
Scharbo-DeHaan has long dedicated herself to better the Emory community for women, wrote nominee Maureen Kelley, professor of nursing. Scharbo-DeHaan has been instrumental in creating accessible health education programs for Emory women by hosting lunch and learns, creating a column in the Women's Center newsletter, and serving on the PCSW and as chair of the Friends of the Women's Center.