Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award

The Women's Advocacy Forum is pleased to announce the creation of the Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award. The recipient of this new annual award will also be the Ferris nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Woman Leader in Higher Education Award, presented each year by the Michigan ACE Women's Network. The criteria for the statewide award will be used to select the recipient of the university-wide award, which will be presented during the Ferris employee recognition event in the spring. The statewide award is presented in Lansing during the annual June conference of the Michigan ACE Women's Network.

The Women's Advocacy Forum is now accepting nominations for the first Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award. Nominators should email the awards committee a brief narrative or a bulleted list explaining how the nominee embodies and meets the award criteria listed below at HGFAward@ferris.edu. The nomination deadline is January 2, 2017. Nominees must be current employees of Ferris State University and can be based in any university division or location within the state of Michigan.

Award Criteria

This award was created to recognize and honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership to women at their institutions, in their profession, and in society-at-large. The award is designed to recognize work on behalf of women in higher education that is beyond the scope of the nominee's formal staff or faculty job responsibilities. Among activities considered worthy of this recognition are the following:

  • mentoring women to enhance their leadership skills in higher education
  • promoting women into increasingly responsible roles in higher education
  • planning and implementing programs for women
  • conducting research on and writing about women's leadership in higher education
  • making presentations on women in leadership in higher education
  • providing advocacy for women's issues in higher education
  • serving as a catalyst for policy changes
  • attaining a higher education leadership position in which the nominee serves as an inspiration or role model for other women
  • being recognized state-wide, nationally or internationally for work on behalf of women in higher education

Among other criteria which may be considered:

  • an evident philosophy of helping women that goes beyond job duties
  • a reputation for fairness, equity, and justice based on actions on behalf of women
  • a positive impact on women in leadership that goes beyond the nominee's own campus
  • publications or presentations that provide new information of use to women
  • founding or originating events and programs to benefit women
  • evidence of advancement on behalf of women in general by breaking gender barriers (e.g., in non-traditional or ground breaking career roles)

Note: Members of the Michigan ACE Women's Network Executive Board, ACE Network Institutional Representatives, and their family members are not eligible to receive either the HGF or DWL Awards during their terms of service. Past Ferris nominees for the DWL Award are not eligible for the HGF Award.

Members of the Women's Advocacy Forum Awards and Recognition Committee are Connie Bookshaw, Amy Carmack, Beth Logan, Gayle Lopez, Leah Monger, and Karen Simmon. The Women's Advocacy Forum thanks Provost Paul Blake for his office's financial sponsorship of the Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award. For more information about the award, please contact committee chair Leah Monger at LeahMonger@ferris.edu or 591-2947. For more information about the Women's Advocacy Forum, contact Jody Gardei at JodyGardei@ferris.edu or 591-2112.