This March, SRU will honor achievements and accomplishments for Women’s History Month with the President’s Commission on Women (PCW) hosting activities that hope to promote gender equality on campus.
The commission is co-chaired by Mary Hennessey, assistant to the provost, and Youngyol Yim Schanz, an associate professor of criminology and security studies. Schanz said she became involved with the PCW three years ago.
“I teach my students about the issues and discrimination that women face in the field of criminal justice,” Schanz said. “Topics like sexual harassment are common in my classroom, so I thought I had something to contribute to the Women’s Commission.”
The PCW organizes events that focus on recognizing women for their achievements and displays of leadership. The commission also gives out honors at its annual “Women of Distinction” awards, an event they share with the gender studies program. These awards are given to members of the faculty and staff, along with female students who stand out as role models and excel in their fields of choice. Winners will be determined at the Women’s Commission Mentoring Dinner.
“We look for women who best display why we deserve the same respect and admiration that men receive,” Schanz said. “This hopefully will give these women a sense of empowerment that they can pass on to others.”
One of the events planned by PCW will be on March 22 in the University Union at 7 p.m., where the commission will host Journey of Women at the Rock, a panel discussion that allows faculty and staff here at SRU to share uplifting stories to empower a next generation of women.
The Girls Rock @ STEM event is scheduled for March 27 and will incorporate hands-on science and math activities for groups of local high school-age girls. Issues and threats to women’s advancements socially will also be discussed.
On March 28, the Butler County Alliance on Children will be leading a discussion on the topic of human trafficking in Weisenfluh Dining Hall. Schnoz said that she hopes many attend in order to become more aware of what has become a growing issue.
“Most people think of human trafficking as something that occurs only overseas, far away form the United States,” Schanz said. “The reality is that it occurs close by in cities like Pittsburgh. Many people might not want to believe something like that, so informational sessions are an important asset to combating this practice.”