Women's Center receives national award

The Women's Center Marlene Kowalski-Braun and Jo Ann Wassenaar at the awards ceremony November 8.
The Women's Center Marlene Kowalski-Braun and Jo Ann Wassenaar at the awards ceremony November 8.
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The Women’s Center at Grand Valley received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Women’s Studies Association, an organization that supports women and gender through teaching, learning, research and service in academic and other settings.

Staff members from the center were recognized at the NWSA Women’s Center Committee pre-conference awards ceremony November 8 in Oakland, California.

Kathleen Underwood, director of Women and Gender Studies at Grand Valley and associate professor of history, nominated the Women’s Center for the annual award. She said since the center was formed more than 10 years ago, women staff members have embedded it into the heart of the university.

“If anyone were to ask the staff about why the Women’s Center has been so successful, they would agree that it has been the teamwork they bring to each undertaking and their commitment to the center’s mission,” she said.

The NWSA Awards Review Committee judged nominations and stated they were impressed by the Women’s Center’s commitment and outstanding achievements in the community.

Marlene Kowalski-Braun, assistant vice provost for Student Affairs and director of the Women’s Center, said WGS and the Women’s Center work together to create a seamless process of learning, moving students easily and purposefully from theory to practice. “As a result of this connection, our students are going out into the world well prepared and making a difference,” she said.

Jo Ann Wassenaar, associate director of the Women’s Center, said: “This award is a reflection of the hard work put forth by all staff members. It brings attention to the engaged assistance of numerous students, faculty, staff, advisory council and community members who have grown the center by calling it their own.”