Emily Taylor Center announces annual women's awards

Wed, 04/11/2018


Kathy Rose-Mockry

LAWRENCE — Since 1970, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity has honored a select group of women to be inducted into the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame. It honors and celebrates KU’s rich legacy of women who, through their transformational leadership and contributions, have changed the world. 

“These women we are honoring this year are leaders and trailblazers in their respective fields who have made substantial contributions through their vision, innovation, creativity and willingness to challenge the status quo. They remind us of the importance of women’s voices, contributions and courage in advancing gender equity.  They have opened doors — holding them open for young women and people of all genders — to follow,” said Kathy Rose-Mockry, the Emily Taylor Center’s director.

This year’s inductees include Lydia Beebe, Jannette Berkley-Patton, Mary Klayder, Sandy Praeger, Julie Johnson Staples and Lynette Woodard.

In addition, the Emily Taylor Center recognizes as the Pioneer Woman an exemplary Kansas woman who has made historic contributions of local or statewide significance. This year’s Pioneer Woman is the first director of the KU Affirmative Action Office and also the first director of the KU Information Center, Shirley Gilham Domer.

Honorees will be recognized, along with the outstanding recipients of the 10 other awards, at the recognition program sponsored by the Emily Taylor Center, supported by the KU student organization Students United for Reproductive and Gender Equity (SURGE).  

Former Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will join the event to introduce the new award created in her honor: the Bernadette Gray-Little “Expanding the Reach” Award. 

The program will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in the new Burge Union, Forum, Rooms C & D.  The format for the program has changed this year and is free and open to all. The program is followed by a reception in the same location. Please RSVP online.  


Lydia Beebe
Beebe, a business leader and expert on corporate governance, serves as corporate director of Kansas City Southern and Aemetis boards. She was the first woman officer at Chevron and has been recognized for her work to create conditions to promote, support and advance women in her profession and promote civil rights.


Jannette Berkley-Patton
Berkley-Patton is associate professor and director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical Center Community Health Research Group. She focuses on community-based health promotion, particularly with communities experiencing health disparities. Her research focuses on intervention methods for addressing health disparities in African-American churches, particularly for women. 


Mary Klayder
Klayder, associate director of undergraduate studies, has taught many classes at KU through the Department of English and KU Honors Program, and she has hosted yearly study abroad programs to London and Costa Rica. She is best known for the profound effect she has on students’ KU and academic experience as a mentor, guide, adviser and role model. 


Sandy Praeger
Former Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has had a major role in state policies on many levels, including as state legislator and Lawrence mayor. She has advocated for the rights of underserved communities and government accountability, especially in the area of elder care. She is actively involved in numerous community agencies and has been recognized for her advocacy for accessible health care. 


Julie Johnson Staples
Johnson Staples, who has broken through barriers and promoted social justice in her varied careers of journalism, public relations and ministry, currently serves as executive director of Intersections International, a multicultural initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York that leads people to unite across lines of difference in mutual pursuit of social justice, globally and locally.


Lynette Woodard
Woodard is a basketball legend at KU and around the globe as a KU record setter, Olympic gold medalist, first female Harlem Globetrotter and coach. Currently the head women’s basketball coach at Winthrop University, she is the first KU woman to have her jersey hung in Allen Fieldhouse. She has been influential in the development and growth of women’s basketball.


Pioneer Woman: Shirley Gilham Domer
Domer created and served as director of two campus offices that had an important role in civil rights efforts in the 1970s: the Affirmative Action Office and KU Information Center. She challenged the hostile climate for women on campus during that time, advocating for and helping create improved policies, services and support. 



Sally Mason Woman Student in Science

Brittany Multer, senior in civil engineering, Overland Park

Gender Equity in Action Award
Elise Higgins, doctoral student in women, gender & sexuality studies, Topeka

Marlesa and Hannalesa Roney Student Success Mentor
Pegah Naemi, doctoral student in psychology, Santa Monica, California

Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Woman Mentoring Women
Cindy Ly, doctoral student in microbiology, Miami

Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership
Brittney Oleniacz, doctoral student in geology, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Alejandra Garcia Brenes, senior in molecular, cellular & developmental biology, Overland Park

Outstanding International Woman Student
Haifa Alhadyian, doctoral student in molecular, cellular & developmental biology, Dammam City, Saudi Arabia

Outstanding Nontraditional Woman Student
Lauren “Haley” Bajorek, junior in anthropology and minor in communications

Outstanding Woman Student Athlete
Laura Taylor, senior in exercise science, Tualatin, Oregon

Bernadette Gray-Little “Expanding the Reach” Award
Tamara Falicov, film & media studies professor and interim associate dean for research in the arts and humanities

Jen Brockman, director, Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center

Alma Poehler Brook Award
Nicole Seavall, freshman in communication studies, Centennial, Colorado
Abigail Mcliney, freshman, journalism, Kansas City, Missouri.

Wed, 04/11/2018


Kathy Rose-Mockry

Media Contacts

Kathy Rose-Mockry

Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity