Four University employees and one UT graduate committed to her alma mater were honored last week for excellent service and dedication to the campus community at the 29th annual Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony.
Some 60 attended the University Women’s Commission program, which was held Thursday in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room. Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, dean of the UT Judith Herb College of Education, spoke at the event.There were five recipients of the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award:
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal and biological chemistry and director of international pharmaceutical sciences graduate student recruitment and retention in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She joined the faculty in 2007. Her research interests focus on modified nucleic acids, biomarkers, DNA and RNA damage, photochemistry, mass spectrometry and ionizing radiation. She is a strong advocate for women in science.
“For the past three years, I have assisted Dr. Bryant-Friedrich and many other fabulous women planning WISDOM — Women in STEMM Day of Meetings. This is an event with the mission of getting more young women to consider studying the STEMM fields,” one nominator wrote. “Every year the Association of Women in Science brings more than 100 students from area high schools to campus for a day of experiments, lessons and fun. Dr. Bryant-Friedrich served as president of the association last year and played a key role in the success of the event.”
• Lt. Tressa Johnson of the UT Police Department. She joined the staff in 1998 and received a master’s degree in counseling from the University in 2004. Two years later, she became a licensed professional counselor in Ohio. Johnson started the Healthy Boundaries Program that promotes strong relationships among students, and she implemented the UT Police Department’s first domestic violence training program, providing resource materials for all officers.
“Lt. Johnson is a powerful resource for everyone on campus, especially for students involved with domestic and intimate partner violence situations,” a nominator wrote. “We had a student who was in a violent relationship, and Lt. Johnson helped us help our student. She went above and beyond to keep this student safe and helped me to understand the dynamics of domestic violence. She has so much grace and knowledge dealing with this complex and difficult topic. I am so glad she is a resource for our students.”
• Dr. Patricia A. Relue, professor of bioengineering and director of the undergraduate program in bioengineering in the College of Engineering. She joined the faculty in 1993. She received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from UT in 1988. Her research applies engineering first principles to solve problems involving biological systems. These include producing ethanol and multispectral imaging of skin for diagnosis of cancer.
“Dr. Relue serves as a role model for young female engineers, one that is often challenging to find. Despite having graduated last year, I still seek advice from Dr. Relue and value her opinion. Her personal connection sets her aside from most other teachers. To me, Dr. Relue garners great respect due to her intelligence, skills and personality. This cannot be said for most people, let alone engineers who often face many stigmas,” one nominator wrote. “I know that Dr. Relue has impacted more lives than just my own.”
• Diana (Dee) H. Talmage, UT Women and Philanthropy member, UT Foundation Board of Directors member emeritus, UT Alumni Association past president and community volunteer. She received a master of education degree from UT in 1965. For years, she has been involved with the Judith Herb College of Education and the UT Alumni Association. For that dedication, she received the Blue T Award in 1996. Her community involvement includes serving on the Owens Community College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors, and she has been elected Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee Woman for Senate District 2 since 2002.
“Dee embraced the ‘stay-at-home mom’ and home manager roles, but did not allow that to define her. She also was passionate about giving back to the community and utilizing her abilities as a leader and organizer,” one nominator wrote. “She has opened doors for other women to follow her in many organizations and has been a mentor.”
• Dr. Celia Regimbal, associate professor of early childhood, physical and special education in the Judith Herb College of Education. She joined the UT faculty in 1986. She serves as chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Regulations and is the UT Faculty Athletic Representative for the NCAA.“Dr. Regimbal always gets her students involved in their learning processes inside and outside of classrooms. An outstanding example of her leadership, from 2006 to 2011, she organized an alternative spring break experience that took students to Bay St. Louis, Miss., for Hurricane Katrina recovery work,” one nominator wrote. “She has encouraged community attention to the importance of physical education at all ages. She co-authored Ohio’s Physical Activity Plan 2008-2013. For more than 20 years, she has been involved with the Ohio Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and currently is president-elect of the Midwest Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.”
The University Women’s Commission also presented $1,000 scholarships to three students. Receiving awards based on academic achievement, support of women’s and gender issues, and campus and community involvement were Grisoranyel Yoselyn Barrios Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in political science and social work; Tiffany Runion, a junior majoring in women’s and gender studies; and Rachel Wagner, a junior majoring in bioengineering.