Women's History Month Celebrations

An annual luncheon held in March, to support the National Women’s History Project (NWHP), which was founded in 1980, and is an educational nonprofit organization. The NWHP’s mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs.

Women's History Month Celebrations: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

2015 "Weaving the Stories of our Lives"

The theme for the 2015 National Women’s History Month is Weaving the Stories of our Lives. The National Women’s History Project has this to say about the chosen theme:

The theme presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories – individually and collectively – into the essential fabric of our nation’s history. (2014)

NOMINATE TODAY!  Deadline is January 6, 2014.  PDF Version

Submit your nominations by email, mail or fax to: Wanda Lipscomb-Vásquez, Director of WBC, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 W> University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901; wbc@fit.edu; Fax: 321-674-7008

Excellence in Leadership Award

Each year, the Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes a female community leader who advocates for positive social change to create a more equitable society. Nominations should reflect an individual who has demonstrated leadership in improving our community for women and who possesses leadership qualities (e.g. decision-making, team building, and character) with a focus on fostering relationships and promoting positive working environments. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Examples of support that explains how the nominee is making a difference in the community in their chosen field
  • Recognizing women’s accomplishments or general improvement of the status of women
  • Examples to demonstrate that high ethical standards in leadership were exercised: decision –making, team building, character, communication, etc.

 Emerging Leader Award

Each year, the Young Emerging Leader Award recognizes a female under 30 years-old who demonstrates high ethical standards, commitment, confidence, ability to inspire, intuition, and creativity as leadership skills and is a role model for members of their community. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Ability to express opinions with conviction and sound judgment on topics that the nominee is passionate about
  • Provide examples of how the nominee served as a role model for members of the community by demonstrating high ethical standards, commitment, confidence, ability to inspire, intuition, and creativity
  • Uses social media to promote a positive and inclusive environment while bringing attention to vital social issues for women and girls

 Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Each year, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a female who creates the products, services, and jobs that fuel our economy and helps our community grow. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Engages in shaping regional and industry agendas to improve the community they work in
  • Has built a product or provides a service that has brought value to the marketplace through technical or social change
  • Has contributed to the economic impact of our region: number of jobs created, revenues increased, etc.
  • Conducts business with a focus on inclusion and equality in the workplace and respective industry

Joan Bixby Awards

Each year, the Joan Bixby Award recognizes a Florida Tech staff and/or faculty member and a student (male or female) who enhances the climate for women’s participation and development on Florida Tech’s campus. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Has earned the respect of the community and/or colleagues by being a role model/mentor for other women and girls
  • Is a leader in their field of expertise and reinforces practices that emphasizes inclusion and equality
  • Someone who invests in their own professional development through networking, mentoring, education, etc.

 

Past Events

On March 24, 2014, the Women's Business Center, in collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association, Zonta Club of Melbourne, and Zonta International, hosted a celebration in honor of Women's History MOnth with the theme of Celebrating Women of Courage, Character and Committment. This year, we were honored to recognize these women with special awards. Judge Catharina Haynes was the recipient of the first Florida Tech Award of Distinction.  In addition to her judicial service, Judge Haynes spent thirteen years in private practice, including more than five years as a partner and six years as an associate in the trial section of Baker Botts, L.L.P.’s Dallas office. Judge Haynes is board certified in Consumer and Commercial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Also, we were honored to recognize Lola Mitchell who has been an instructor for the Career and Family Success Center at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College), teaching and training with their WENDI program (When Entering New Directions) since 1977. She was the Employment Counselor for 12 years at BCC’s Women in Transition Program for Displaced Homemakers, as well as providing a career guidance program with the Women’s Center for 3 years. Through her guidance and her business, Career Transitions Consulting, she encourages self-development, assertiveness skills, confidence-building, and conflict resolution.  In addition, we were honored to recognize the following three recipients of the Joan Bixby Award: Dr. Monica Baloga who is VP for Institutional Effectiveness and International Programs, Mary Dyer who is Business Manager in External Relations and Economic Development, and Tara Drumm who is an undergraduate student in Interdisciplinary Sciences with military option.

On March 18, 2013, the Women's Business Center, in collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association, Zonta Club of Melbourne, and Zonta International, hosted a celebration in honor of Women's History Month with the theme of Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination.  This year, we were honored to recognize these women with special awards.  General Ann E, Dunnwoody was the recipient of the first Florida Tech Award of Distinction.  Now retired, General Dunwoody was the military’s first female four-star general, with 37-plus years of service to her country. In her last four years of service she led the largest global logistics command in the Army comprising 69,000 military and civilians located in all 50 states and over 140 countries. She managed a budget of $60 billion and was responsible for the oversight of approximately $70 billion in service contracts.  Also, we were honored to recognize Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos who is a family practitioner, wife, mother, and a survivor of domestic violence. She now lends her support, voice and encouragement to others who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Dr. Haridopolos has been frequently recognized for devoting her time to charities and organizations. She recently served as the chairwoman and community organizer for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk. Additionally, she has mentored underprivileged children and lent support to homeless veterans by helping to secure a million- dollar state grant for the National Veterans Homeless support group to establish a transitional housing facility.  In addition, we were honored to recognize the following three recipients of the Joan Bixby Award: Dr. Niescja Turner who is an Associate Professor of Physics and Space Sciences, Jarin Eisenberg who is Program Coordinator at the Nathan M Bisk College of Business at FIT, and Carla Deras who is an undergraduate student in Aerospace Engineering.

On March 6, 2012, the Women’s Business Center, in collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association, Zonta Club of Melbourne, and Zonta International, hosted a celebration in honor of Women’s History Month. This year, we were honored to recognize the women below with special awards. Ms. Donna Skattum was the recipient of the 2012 Community Award. Donna has been an active advocate for education by supporting non-profit organizations throughout the county. Through her voice and beautiful photographic eye, she has empowered the community through awareness and promotion. Skattum has worked tirelessly to help local organizations. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Prevent!, and helped plan and organize Brevard’s Poshest Pet event which benefitted the Central Brevard Humane Society. She is the Managing Editor for Space Coast Living magazine and Events Editor for Space Coast Business magazine. The 2012 Joan Bixby Award Recipients were Lisa Steelman, Ph.D., and Ms. Beth Gitlin.

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On March 16, 2011, the Women’s Business Center, in collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association and Zonta Club of Melbourne, hosted a celebration in honor of Women’s History Month. This year, we were honored to recognize the women below with special awards. Ms. Marilyn J “Bunny” Finney was the recipient of the 2011 Community Award. She has been described as a critical thinker and visionary, she is an active community leader who has been involved in extensive civic work for more than 30 years. Her civic interests include strengthening and mobilizing the community, education and children. Finney has been recognized for her distinguished work by Florida Today, United Way of Brevard County, Children’s Home Society, Brevard Public Schools, Space Coast Business Marketing, the National Association for Community Leadership, LEAD Brevard, Junior League of Central & North Brevard and the March of Dimes. The 2011 Joan Bixby Award Recipients were Deborah Carstens, Ph.D., Mr. John Reynolds, and Ms. Trisha J. Ross.

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On March 23, 2010, the Women's Business Center - in collaboration with Florida Tech's Alumni Affairs, Barnes & Noble, the Business and Professional Women's Association, and Brevard County Woman newspaper - hosted a panel discussion in celebration of Women's History Month. Panelists included Katie Dobek, Field Engineer, Manson Construction Company; Priscilla Griffith, League of Women Voters; Rose Padrick, author of "The Art of Grand-parenting"; Sue Tompkins, President of Board of Directors for Brevard Women's Center; and Lynne Wright, author of "More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Florida Women". The keynote speaker was Monica Wofford, author of "Contagious Leadership" and 2008 Women of Distinction nominee in the category of Business. Also included with the celebration was an awards ceremony for the Space Coast Women's History Award that honors a local Brevard County woman who has broken new ground to help ensure women are written back into history, and the Joan Bixby Award that honors a Florida Tech faculty or staff member who has enhanced the climate for women's participation and development on campus.

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On March 24, 2009, the Women's Business Center - in collaboration with Florida Tech's Alumni Association, the Business and Professional Women's Association, Brevard County Woman newspaper and MGAA - hosted a luncheon and panel discussion in celebration of Women's History Month. The theme for this year's Women's History Month was Women Taking the Lead to Save the Planet. Panelists included Ros Lanthorne, The Zen of Clean; Pamela Shoemaker, Brevard County Recycling; Melissa Meeker, South Florida Water Management District and President of Sustainable Treasure Coast, Inc.; Donna Braunlich, Sea Turtle Preservation Society; Brigadier General Mary Ann Epps (ret.), former assistant adjutant general of the State of Connecticut Air National Guard and director of the Joint Staff Project for the Connecticut Military Department. The keynote speaker was Diana Dobin, Valley Forge Fabrics (2008 Sustainable Florida Best Practices Award Winner for Large Businesses). Also included with the celebration was an awards ceremony for the Green Ribbon Award for Women who have taken the lead to save our planet, and the Joan Bixby Award that honors a Florida Tech faculty or staff member who has enhanced the climate for women's participation and development on campus.

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On March 12, 2008, the Women's Business Center hosted a panel discussion in celebration of Women's History Month. The theme for this year's Women's History Month was Women's Art, Women's Vision. Panelists included Marjorie Beckett, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs, Florida Tech; Carolyn Fausnaugh, Ph.D., CPA, Assistant Professor for the College of Business, Florida Tech; Doris Larson, Zonta International; Amacita (Cita) Maloon-Gibson, President, MGAA; and Kathy Ogle, Project Coordinator, PEAK Contracting and President Space Coast Chapter, National Association of Women in Construction. In honor of the theme, Theresa Brown and Jessica Martin, two local artists, displayed a few of their pieces for attendees to enjoy.

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