2016 Commission for Women award recipients and nominees lauded for achievements

Ann Taylor-Schmidt
April 21, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Each year, the Commission for Women honors Penn State women who have shown notable leadership and accomplishments in their fields, have supported the University’s diversity efforts, promoted equal opportunity, and/or have contributed to humanitarian and public service activities. For the 10th year, the 2016 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award and the Achieving Women Awards acknowledge and exemplify these achievements and contributions among Penn Staters, reflecting the University’s mission of mentorship, leadership, service and promotion of diversity.

Seven honorees received their awards at the 10th annual Commission for Women luncheon on Friday, April 8.

In President Eric Barron’s opening comments, he gave examples of the changing demographics and gender balance at Penn State and acknowledged the need for improvement in some areas. Barron thanked the Commission for Women for the work they do to help improve the status of women at Penn State. Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour delivered the keynote speech, encouraging attendees to uplift one another. “We should all be majoring in team, helping each of us focus on our best us. We are better together," Barbour said. “The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to be better, now.

Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award

The Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award was created in memory of Rosemary Schraer, a former associate provost for Penn State. It honors a current University employee who exemplifies Schraer's giving of herself as a mentor. The 2016 recipient of this award was Carol McQuiggan, director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Instructional Technology at Penn State Harrisburg. McQuiggan’s award was presented to her by Alison Smolinski, administrative support assistant at Penn State Harrisburg. McQuiggan echoed the thoughts spoken by Barbour when she reiterated the importance of our ability to lift each other up.

Achieving Women Award

The Achieving Women Award recognizes Penn State women who have shown notable leadership and accomplishments in their fields and have gone beyond the requirements of their employment duties and responsibilities in support of the University’s diversity efforts, promotion of equal opportunity, or contribution to human causes and public service activities. This year, the following six people were honored:

Estella Obi-Tabot, undergraduate student, Information Technology Services at Penn State Harrisburg

Toni Chainey, staff nonexempt, information technology operations specialist, Penn State Harrisburg

Niki Page, staff exempt director of grants and contracts, College of Health and Human Development

Kimberly Jo Neibert, technical service, residence hall utility worker, Penn State Mont Alto

Juan Qiu, Faculty, associate professor, College of Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Group

Elizabeth Wright, administrator, director of academic affairs, Penn State Hazleton. In her comments, Wright thanked the Commission for Women, on behalf of herself and her daughters, for CFW’s work to improve parental leave and flextime.

The Commission for Women serves as an advisory group to the president of the University on the status of women at Penn State, advocates for women's concerns, and recommends solutions. Learn more at equity.psu.edu/pec/cfw

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 25, 2016