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Posted on November 9, 2010

The President’s Commission for the Status of Women presented awards to three outstanding students during a luncheon Nov. 3 in Kara Alumni House.

Graduate student Jenna Chirichetti, undergraduate Jeanne DiNovis and non-traditional undergraduate student Monica Ankrom Wieder were honored at the Fall 2010 Woman of the Year event for their excellence in the support and advancement of women at California University.

  • Chirichetti, of Monaca, Pa., will graduate with a master’s degree in education. She has worked with younger girls, with a focus on women’s empowerment and issues of gender. She has facilitated discussions on topics such as communication among women, leadership and body image.
  • DiNovis, of Lititz, Pa., is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology. She is a member of the University Honors Program and is a Presidential Scholar. At Cal U, she is active with the Big Event and Relay for Life, and she gives campus tours during Discovery Days. She is a peer mentor and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honor society.
  • Wieder, of Pittsburgh, Pa., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics. She is president of the Women in Science Club and a member of the National Association of Women in Science Organization. She has organized outreach trips emphasizing science activities at regional schools and works part time at a private school to encourage young women who are interested in the sciences.

“It is a privilege to recognize the efforts of such outstanding young women,” said Dr. Lisa McBride, special assistant to the president for equal employment and education opportunity. McBride also is the University ombudsperson and interim president of the President’s Commission for the Status of Women in the Office of Social Equity.

Gena Sproul, assistant director in the Office of Social Equity, introduced the award-winners and also guest speaker Brandi Kennedy ’07, a former Woman of the Year winner. Kennedy is the legislative assistant for state Rep. Marc J. Gergely, who also attended the luncheon.

“I want to congratulate you on your efforts,” Kennedy told the women, “and encourage you to never give up or to forget where you came from. It’s your heart that will get you places. Behind every great woman is another great woman.”

First Lady Barbara Armenti also attended the luncheon.