3 Earn Spring Person of the Year Awards

May 09, 2019

The President’s Commission for the Status of Women honored three members of the Cal U community with its Person of the Year awards for the Spring 2019 semester.

person of year

Laura Miller and Carol Jones were honored at a reception by the President's Commission for the Status of Women. Alexandria Gariepy (not pictured) received a Student of the Year award.


Alexandria Gariepy was named Outstanding Student of the Year, Dr. Laura Miller was named Outstanding Faculty of the Year; and Carol Jones was named Outstanding Staff of the Year. 

Gariepy, a senior social work major, was honored for her work in the End Violence Center. 

“Alex was an essential part of our staff due to her work ethic, leadership abilities and commitment for programs on social justice issues,” said Nancy Skobel, associate dean for Student Affairs. 

She also served students as a community assistant and “many of her female residents have indicated how she has impacted them by connecting them to the resources they need,” Skobel said while presenting Gariepy for the award. 

Jones, who works in Manderino Library as a library information systems administrator, was recognized for her efforts to bring professional development opportunities for female staff to campus as a project for the PASSHE Women’s Leadership Institute. 

She also volunteered for Cal U RISE (Reflections in Student Employment), which connects students’ academic majors with their work-study jobs to increase skills that are desirable to employees. 

Otto also served as co-chair of the President’s Commission for the Status of Women and as chair of the nomination committee for the Person of the Year awards. 

“As a colleague, Carol has been supportive to me on the commission and with other initiatives,” said Bridgett Nobili, who now chairs that committee and is the assistant director of the Career and Professional Development Center. “She is wonderful to collaborate with and really cares about empowering those around her.” 

“I’ve always had a passion for helping people,” Jones said. “I’m glad Cal U has a supportive environment that seeks to help people every day.” 

Miller, an associate professor of sport management, holds a leadership position on the executive board for the WISE Pittsburgh. She started a Women in Sports and Events club on campus to provide female students with opportunities to build professional networks and to be mentored by other women in the field. 

She also is working on a collaboration with TeamWork online to increase job opportunities for females and minorities who want to work in sales and promotions. 

At the awards ceremony on May 1, Miller offered advice: “I see powerful, supportive people in this room. I always tell my students: Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Surround yourself with people who are better than you!”