NIU’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women honored three women from the faculty and staff ranks at Sunday’s annual Outstanding Women Student Award ceremony.
Barbara McCord of Building Services received the 2008 Women Who Make a Difference Award. Debra Bryant, assistant to the associate vice president of operations, finance and planning, and Sally Webber, professor of accountancy, received the 2008 Outstanding Mentor Awards.
Elizabeth Stoever, a sophomore journalism and communication media major, is the recipient of the 2008 Martha Cooper Journalism Award. Stoever will receive her award Friday, April 25, at the Journalism Awards Banquet.
Here is a closer look at the four.
McCord, who has 14 years of service to NIU, is described as a person who demonstrates incredible strength, courage, determination, respect and a winning attitude with integrity, a sense of balance, faith, hope and love both in her professional and personal life.
She does her job with such perfection that it reflects her excellence, always willing to step up to the plate and help others out in their areas.
Anyone who knows McCord loves her. She always has a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a joke to share and a smile that is contagious. She is described as a perfect reflection of what the human spirit is all about: a person with a kind and gentle spirit who always is willing to pitch in and go the extra mile.
McCord possesses the Huskie spirit: to not allow circumstances to overcome you, but to overcome those circumstances and persevere.
Honorable mentions: Mary Crocker, Rebekah Kholi, Margo Santiago
Bryant, who began her professional career with NIU in December 1984, knows the majority of the 850 to 900 Finance and Facilities divisional employees by name. She is a resource for anyone wanting to look for new job opportunities.
Bryant consistently demonstrates characteristics of a role model in her daily ethical conduct: Her standard of excellence promotes honesty, truthfulness, humility and loyalty in those she influences. She is always positive and treats others with compassion and empathy. She is described as a good listener and a person who can tell the truth gently and find strengths even in weaknesses.
As one of her nominators said, “I can count on Deb’s guidance to be prudent, sensible and reasonable.”
Webber, who has been with NIU for nine years, has been a valued mentor for many of the women associated with the Department of Accountancy. That includes those who work within the department as well as those who have worked their way through the academic program.
She graciously shares teaching aids and course management tools, encouraging changes that would benefit students. She is a skilled listener who has a gift for communicating constructive criticism in a balanced and productive way. She provides insights to other faculty members regarding committee activities and helps to think and act strategically with respect to scholarly activities.
Webber provides colleagues with useful advice about how best to manage their careers and has been an invaluable resource in finding a balance with work and home, having raised a family while working herself.
Her nominators describe her as a person who “keeps a positive attitude” and “focuses on the good things in your life.” She is dedicated to her students and active in their organizations and projects.
Honorable mentions: Gulsat Aygen, Beverly Henry, Aimee Prawitz, Julie Robertson, Margo Sutorius
Stoever is a reporter for the Northern Star who has written several stories for the newspaper of interest to women, including an examination of language abusive to women in music and the phenomenon of women receiving free drinks at bars.
Some of her other Northern Star articles searched underlying messages for women in television shows including “Ugly Betty,” explored possible gender discrimination in schools that could lead to achievement gaps on test scores and asked local police and counselors from Safe Passage whether there is any greater danger for women during Halloween.
During the fall 2007 semester, Stoever worked an unpaid internship as a reporter for the Sauk Valley Newspapers as she continued her job at the Northern Star and carried a full load of classes with a near-perfect grade point average.
She will take journalism classes at Georgetown University this summer while interning at a newspaper in the Washington, D.C., area.