February 8, 2010

Unsung Heroines' impact revealed

Mel Bringle (left) and (clockwise from top) Lisa Newbern, Angie Duprey, Tiffany Worboy, Alisha Lalani, Gretchen Schulz

For many years Gretchen Schulz has written the lyrical and laudatory citations for the honorees of the Center for Women at Emory’s annual Unsung Heroines Awards ceremony. This year she will sit among the honored. A popular teacher, Schulz was praised by her nominator, Oxford Dean Emerita Dana Greene, for her ability to “connect her intellectual life to teaching and service. She knows about collaboration among women and has worked to support women and educate men to the power of joint effort. . . . In this regard she is a model.”

This year too, Schulz will write the following stories of her fellow Unsung Heroines for the Feb. 18 awards ceremony.

Women’s studies major Alisha Lalani  serves as a residence adviser to a women-only floor in Dobbs Hall. Outside of Emory, Lalani works to prevent domestic violence, spending 10 hours a week researching current curricula on batterer intervention, some of which has been used by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. This undergraduate honoree “has shown the ability to step out of her comfort zone and put all of her effort into helping communities overcome social barriers of all kinds,” said her nominator and fellow student, Rachel George.

The amount of work doctoral student Tiffany Worboy has done on behalf of women inside and outside Emory is too numerous to list here. Yet with all she’s accomplished, wrote Kirsten Rambo ’03PhD, “Her efforts on behalf of women, from the large-scale and formal to the individual and informal, have been heartfelt and largely unrewarded, but they have resonated across the community.” Soon to graduate, Worboy has done all this and more while holding down a job in Emory College and raising two sons. “What truly sets her apart is her spirit and a way she has, which is difficult to capture in words, of making all those around her feel valued and important,” said Rambo.

If you’re thinking “pink” goes with basketball, then you’ve got Angie Duprey, assistant athletic director, to thank for it. This year’s staff honoree started an annual fundraiser for breast cancer research more than two years ago, held during the varsity women’s basketball season, where athletes don pink uniforms and attendees receive pink t-shirts. Off court, Duprey established the Think Pink Ball, where the purchase of pink ties and scarves are requisite for entry. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to Emory Winship Cancer Institute.

Lisa Newbern, this year’s administrator honoree, was instrumental in establishing Emory’s lactation support program across campus, where mothers can go to express milk or feed their babies during work hours. “She takes great care to provide others with not only a private space but also with research and articles on the values of breastfeeding,” wrote her nominators, who included Yerkes Director Stuart Zola. “Mothers at Yerkes know that Lisa is a valuable resource and often come to her for advice.”

Although religious denominations are considered to be, in appearance and in reality, male-dominated hierarchies, Mary Louise Bringle ’84G, stands out as a Christian feminist whose work has been to “reclaim the lost voices of women” in the church. A pastoral theologian and hymn writer, she is this year’s alumna honoree. Chair of the Humanities Division at Brevard College, Bringle challenges ”students to think about their religious traditions in different ways, . . . [and] invigorates church history for students, making the tradition relevant to their lives in ways they never imagined,” said her nominator, James Abbington, assistant professor at Candler.

The  2010 Unsung Heroines will be honored Feb. 18 at Miller-Ward Alumni House at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the community. To RSVP,
e-mail or call 404-727-2031.

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