Howard has directed University Resources for Women since
the unit's creation in 1979, renamed Women's Resource Center in Spring
2005. According to a 1979 news release, she accepted the URW position
"to take some of the scare out of going back to school" for returning
women. The office started as a referral service designed to cut red
tape, but grew in counseling and programming over the years to touch the
lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of NIU students, faculty and staff
under her guidance.
Ms. Howard was instrumental in creating SWAN (Students Who Are
Non-traditional) and serves as its faculty advisor. She has worked to
identify the special needs of women on this campus and to develop
programs and services to address them. With her background in mental
health, she is a sought after counselor for women on sexual harassment
issues and has published and presented on this topic to the benefit of
people on this campus.
She serves on numerous committees and has been a part of the
Presidential Commission on the Status of Women since its conception. She
now serves as liaison for the President with this Commission. She has
also served on the Social Justice Committee. She has been sought out by
the administration to hold acting positions such as Acting Dean of
International Programs and staff member of Affirmative Action. She has
also counseled with members of the university community from all
classifications, concerning their issues and needs.