Women's History Month 

About Women’s History Month 

Before the 1970s, the topic of women’s history was largely missing from general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (Calif.) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978 and chose the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day.


The celebration was met with positive response, and schools began to host their own Women’s History Week programs. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at a Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only became determined to begin their own local Women’s History Week projects, they also agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women’s History Week.


In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a “Women’s History Week.”


In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, the National Women’s History Month Resolution has been approved every year with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

Susan B. Anthony Award Nominations 

UNF students, faculty and staff are eligible for the award, which is given each year to one member of the University community who has made significant contributions to the women of UNF.


Award nominees should be individuals who actively promote women’s growth at UNF, provide a positive role model for the women of UNF, work to improve the position of women on campus through advocacy and education, and exhibit qualities of leadership on campus. Nominees whose contributions may otherwise go unrecognized are particularly welcome, self-nominations are acceptable. Current UNF Women’s Center paid staff are not eligible for the award.


Eligible nominees will be asked to submit additional supporting materials. For more information, contact the Women’s Center at (904) 620-2528.

Susan B. Anthony Award

 2015 Susan B. Anthony Award

Shannon Italia (above left), the director of the Coggin College of Business Career Management Center, received the 2015 Susan B. Anthony award which was presented by Dr. Jennifer K. Wesely (right), associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, who was the 2014 recipient. 


Every spring, the University of North Florida Women's Center presents the Susan B. Anthony Award to an individual within the campus community who actively promotes women's growth at UNF, provides a positive role model for women on campus, works to improve the position of women at UNF through advocacy and education, and exhibits qualities of leadership on campus. Students, faculty and staff of UNF are eligible for the award.


The recipient of the award is announced at the annual Women's History Month Luncheon, hosted by the Women's Center in March.


Italia is the founding Director of the Career Management Center in the Coggin College of business, which opened in May 2007. She leads the total effort and outreaches to the Jacksonville business community to engage members with Coggin faculty and students in ways that ultimately lead to mutually beneficial relationships.


One of her colleagues, Anna Lopez Brosche of Ennis Pellum & Associates, said, “Shannon created its numerous successful programs that better prepare students for life after college, and has continuously improved the organization’s effectiveness. The programs are of the highest quality and a model for other UNF colleges and other universities.” Brosche’s firm has a long-standing practice of hiring UNF students and she can attest to the significant increase in the quality and preparedness of the Coggin Career Management Center students. Such efforts translate into higher workforce productivity and, ultimately, more value in the graduating UNF students for the business community.


Shannon is the founder of, and adviser to, the UNF Women in Business Society, a 70+ member student organization that develops female leaders and promotes women in their efforts to attain higher levels of achievement. She also guided the students to establish an organization mission as well as goals and objectives. Brosche said “Shannon clearly raises the bar of expectations for these students and is a driver of the initiatives and relationships that serves to further their careers."


She also leads the Student Business Advisory Council which is made up of senior leaders from Coggin student organizations.


Shannon is also very active in the community, as well. She is a member of the advisory board and serves as the stakeholder Engagement Taskforce chair for the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center. She also is the vice chair on the board of Rethreaded and serves on the board of CoPassion, and is a committee member of Junior Achievement Girl$ Smart Women Make Change event.


She has received recognition and awards from the University as well as the community. In 2013 she received The Jacksonville Business Journal Woman of Influence award which recognizes women in the city of Jacksonville for their positive impact on the region, mentoring and leadership efforts in business and industry and contributions to the community. That year she also received the National Society of Leadership & Success Excellence in Service to Students Award, which is given to a UNF staff member who exemplifies leadership and mentorship and has demonstrated commitment to bettering the lives of students.


She received the UNF Soaring to Excellence Award in 2009, which is the president’s award given for notable contributions to the University, and was a Gabor Award finalist in 2009.


Italia joins a prestigious group of past Susan B. Anthony Award recipients: 


  • 2014 - Dr. Jennifer Wesely
  • 2013 - Kathryn Bouziane 
  • 2012 - Idania (Ida) Rojas Gropper 
  • 2011 - Dr. Tes Tuason 
  • 2010 - Dr. Dale Clifford
  • 2009 - Dr. Kristine Webb  
  • 2008 - Dr. Annabel Brooks
  • 2007 - Lindsey Morrison
  • 2006 - Dr. Elizabeth Furdell  
  • 2005 - Dr. Joyce Jones
  • 2004 - Dr. Elinor Scheirer  
  • 2003 - Dr. Berrin Beasley  
  • 2002 - Dr. Sharon Wilburn  
  • 2001 - Dr. Terry DiNuzzo  
  • 2000 - Dr. Pamela Chally  
  • 1999 - Donna Marie Vigilante
  • 1998 - Dr. Betty Meers  
  • 1997 - Dr. Carolyn Williams
  • 1996 - Dr. Bette Soldwedel  
  • 1995 - Dr. Christine Rasche  
  • 1994 - Dr. Susan Wallace 


UNF Women’s History Month Luncheon 

A celebration of Women’s History Month, the luncheon provides a vehicle to celebrate women, their accomplishments and their contributions to society. The Women’s Center also uses the Women’s History Month luncheon to recognize students who have donated their time and talents to the Women’s Center. 


The Women’s History Month Luncheon is in March every year and is open to the public.


UNF Women's Center Women's History Month Scholarship

The $1,000 Women's History Month Scholarship is awarded to a UNF student for outstanding work on campus or the local community that enhances gender equality. The award is funded by the Office of the Vice President of Student and International Affairs.


The eligibility requirements include: current enrollment for at least nine hours for undergraduates or six hours for graduate students; enrolled for two consecutive terms at UNF; a minimum GPA of 2.5 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate; and work promoting and/or providing opportunities that create fairness in the way women and men are treated. Applicants are required to submit a signed application, two letters of recommendation, a one-page statement describing work enhancing gender equity and a resume.


The award is scheduled to be presented in March at the Women's History Month Luncheon.