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Press Release for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

UNF Women's Center Honors Superior Service and Leadership

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida Women’s Center recently recognized five members of the campus community for their outstanding service and leadership. The Women’s Center honored the recipients at the 21st Annual Women’s History Month Luncheon March 9 on the UNF campus.

The award recipients include Dr. Christine Rasche, retired associate professor of Criminal Justice; Dr. Kristine Webb, director of the Disability Resource Center and associate professor of Education; Dr. Anita Vorreyer, adjunct faculty in the College of Education and Human Services; and UNF students Taisir El-Souessi and Jocilyn Goodwin-Thompson.

Rasche received a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a career of tireless and selfless advocacy on behalf of the women of UNF. She is one of the founding faculty members of UNF and also established the University’s Gender Studies minor and Criminal Justice program. In addition, she was a member of the founding boards of the UNF Women’s Center and Hubbard House.

Webb received the prestigious Susan B. Anthony Award, which is given annually to an individual who actively promotes women’s growth at UNF, works to improve the position of women on campus through advocacy and education as well as exhibits qualities of leadership on campus. She is the 2007 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Service Award at UNF, a past nominee for the EVE Award in Education, and the 2003 UNF nominee for the national CASE Professor of the Year Award.

Vorreyer was also recognized at the luncheon with an Appreciation of Service Award. In addition to her service as adjunct faculty in the College of Education and Human Services, she served as director of the UNF Women’s Center from 1995 to 2008, interim assistant vice president for Student Life and co-director of the Bette Soldwedel Gender Research Center. Most recently, she worked on special assignment to assist with UNF’s Southern Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation process.

El-Souessi and Goodwin-Thompson both received Student Leadership and Service Awards for their work with Peer Theater, a student organization that raises awareness of violence against women through performances and presentations. El-Souessi is a UNF graduate student in Mental Health Counseling and was the director of the V-Day UNF 2009 benefit performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Goodwin-Thompson is a UNF undergraduate student studying graphic design. She presents risk reduction information to incoming first-year students through orientation sessions.

Recipients of the spring 2009 Bette Soldwedel Research Grants were also announced at the Women’s History Month Luncheon. Dr. Elizabeth Furdell, professor of History, and UNF student Eleni Akapnitis, a sociology major, were each awarded stipends to fund research efforts.

For more than 20 years, the UNF Women’s Center has been a vital hub of learning and advocacy for the entire University community. The Center provides emergency loans, victim advocacy services, rape awareness education as well as information and referrals on a variety of women’s issues, in addition to hosting performances, lectures and events each year.

For more information about the UNF Women’s Center, call (904) 620-2528.