Ruth Schillinger Award
Named after a long-time Dean of Women and ESU's first Affirmative Action officer, the Ethnic/Gender Studies Program each year selects one person to receive the Ruth Schillinger Award. The award is given to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the women of Emporia State over a sustained period. Past winners of the Ruth Schillinger Award include:
- 1996 Ruth Schillinger, Dean of Women
In the 60's, women faculty, under the leadership and inspiration of the Women's Council and then Dean of Women, Ruth Schillinger, addressed such concerns as equity in pay, job satisfaction, questions of promotion, maternity leave, and sex discrimination. This council looked at the lack of women in administrative positions, and its concerns were in part responsible for the hiring of several female administrators in the 1970's. -- Elizabeth Yanik at the first Ruth Schillinger Award Reception.
- 1997 Helen McElree, Professor of Biology
Dr. Helen McElree was born in Waxahachie, Texas. She obtained her bachelors degree from the College of the Ozarks with a premedical major. After graduation, she went to work for the Public Health Laboratories in Dallas where she became interested in microbiology. Deciding against medical school, she chose graduate study in medically-orientated microbiology. She obtained her Master's Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1954. She attended Kansas University for her Ph.D. which she received in 1959. Helen McElree joined the ESU Biology Department in 1961. She was elected as the first President of the new Faculty Senate in 1968. She is the only ESU faculty member ever to be elected as Faculty President twice. Her research in Microbiology has led to her feature in several articles and the reception of a number of grants. She was honored as the 1982 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, and has written several commentaries for the Bulletin on Women's Rights. She retired from the University in 1991.
- 1998 Mary Bonner, Professor of Education, ACI
Mary Bonner began her career in Emporia in a sixth-grade classroom at Butcher Elementary School. She took leave to study and upon returning, was placed in the Department of Administrative Curriculum and Instruction.
"She was a fine professional, a very fine teacher of reading," said VJ Bowman, former chairwoman of the department of administrative curriculum and instruction. "She demanded a lot of her students and expected a lot from them. We were sorry to see her leave the institution."
In 1979, Mary's alma mater honored her with an honorary doctorate for her contributions to education and her humanitarian efforts. She was an ESU faculty senator for three years, a member of the Kansas Standardization Committee, president of Emporia's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, listed in the International Directory of Distinguished Leaders and Noteworthy Americans, and she helped establish the first chartered sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, to welcome African-American women at ESU. Mary and her husband oversee the Bonner and Bonner Lecture Series at ESU. -- 02/28/2001 Bulletin.
- 1999 Ginny Higgins, Assoc. Professor, Communication
Prof. Higgins has taught in the Department of Communication & Theatre since 1964. A "homegrown" product, she received her BSE in Speech and in English in 1962 and her MS in Speech in 1969 from Kansas State Teachers College and did post-master's work in Speech Communication at the University of Kansas. Ginny taught Speech and English and coached Debate and Forensics at Topeka High School in 1962-63. At ESU she has taught a variety of courses, including Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Group Discussion, Gender and Communication, Classroom Communication, and Contemporary Issues in Free Speech.
For many years Ginny advised all the students who studied to be Speech, Theatre, and Debate teachers and taught the Methods course for the department. She also is the current chair of the university's AIDS Committee. During her years at ESU she has accumulated a long record of service, and among the honors she recalls most fondly are serving as president of ESU's Faculty Senate and being the campus chair for a major endowment campaign. Ginny was the first person to receive the Outstanding College Teacher of Speech award from the Kansas Speech Communication Association twice. She is also active as a community volunteer and currently serves as Chairperson of the Lyon County Chapter of the American Red Cross. An admitted animal lover, Ginny lives in Emporia with her two cats, Newman and Woody, and her field spaniel, Qasey. When you can't find her at the office, check any farm pond in east central Kansas.
- 2000 Sally Torrey, Counselor & Director of Women's Resource Center
Sally Torrey retired from Emporia State in 1996 after 17 years of service. When she retired she was the director of the Women's Resource Center. Sally founded the Women's Programming Board, secured a grant to establish our Sexual Assault Prevention Program, was instrumental in establishing the Single Parent Program, and was active in other ways both on and off campus to better the condition of women, including work with SOS and the Girl Scouts of the Flint Hills.
"Sally was very dedicated to women's issues and helping women succeed in all aspects of their lives." - Karla Rodgers
"Sally has had a profound influence on women at this campus--she was both role model and mentor for so many of us." - Jaque Schmidt, Counselor/Coordinator 2001 Mary Headrick, Counselor & Director of Biofeedback Lab
- 2001 Mary Headrick
From the Emporia Gazette, Thursday, Mar 2, 2000; page 7; Mary Headrick served in various capacities at ESU before her retirement in 1992. During the 27 years she was at ESU, Headrick taught classes and supervised graduate students, was a counselor, and served as the University's Affirmative Action Officer.
Additionally, she began the Women's Resource Center, the Biofeedback Lab, and the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship, which is awarded to the ESU student who demonstrates a beneficial impact on the growth and education of women on the ESU campus, demonstrates a need for financial aid, and displays academic competence.
"As a counselor, she touched the lives of many students, faculty, and staff," wrote one nominator of Headrick. "She believed in equal rights for everyone and was especially concerned with the rights of women."
Mary Headrick was a counselor in Student Affairs from 1968 until 1992, and the affirmative action officer from 1986 until 1992. From 1975 until 1981, she lectured part-time in the counselor education department and founded the Biofeedback Lab and the Women's Resource Center in the early '70s.
- 2002 Betsey Yanik
Elizabeth (Betsy) Yanik received her Ph D in Mathematics at the University of Kentucky and is now a Professor in the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emporia State University. Dr. Yanik is the Assistant Director of the Women and Mathematics Network, a national organization for directors of outreach programs for young women. Dr. Yanik has recently been asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Women & Mathematics Education. She is a co-organizer of SMASH -Summer Mathematics and Sciences Holiday- a nonresidential summer program for 9th grade girls which is funded by Tensor grant. Dr. Yanik is also co-organizer of MASTER IT -Mathematics and Science To Explore caReers Investigating Together- which is a residential summer program for 24 rising 8th grade and 24 rising 9th grade young women. This is funded by a National Science Foundation grant. Her major contributions in the area of ethnic and gender studies include:
Sonia Kovalesky Day A day of recognition for women in mathematics;
Expanding Your Horizons A day-long conference for middle school girls which includes workshops and discussions aimed at helping young girls say interested in math.
Catching Your Dreams: An event for Girls Scout Brownies that centers around science and math activities.
- 2003 Tes Mehring
A native of Helena, Mont., Mehring earned bachelor’s degrees in applied music, music education, and psychology from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, Kan., a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Southwest Missouri State University, and a master’s degree in special education and a doctoral degree in special education/educational psychology, both from the University of Kansas.
Arriving at ESU in 1981, she advanced through the ranks from lecturer through professor. "When I was finishing my doctorate at KU and looking for employment, I knew Emporia State University was the place I wanted to be," said Mehring, speaking to a crowd of ESU staff members during the Friday morning announcement. "And in the nearly three decades since, I've never regretted that decision," she added.
In 1993, Mehring was appointed associate dean of The Teachers College, Emporia State’s nationally-recognized teacher education program. She became dean of The Teachers College in 1995, and also served as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs for five months in the latter part of 2006.
During her tenure as dean, The Teachers College was named one of four ‘model’ teacher preparation programs in the nation in the report, “Educating School Teachers,” written by Dr. Arthur Levine, president emeritus of Columbia University Teachers College. The Teachers College was identified in Edutopia magazine as one of ten schools of education that are blazing the trail to better teaching practices. Currently, one in every six classroom teachers in Kansas holds a degree or licensure endorsement from ESU.
- 2004 Karen Manners Smith, Professor of History
Hi, my name is Karen Manners Smith. I'm a Professor of History, specializing in the history of American women. I teach a variety of courses on women, including American Women's History, Introduction to Women's Studies, Advanced Women's Studies, and Readings in Women, Gender, and Ethnicity. I am the director of Emporia State’s Ethnic and Gender Studies Program. The program offers an interdisciplinary minor and is responsible for bringing many speakers, artists, and performers to campus each year.
In addition to my courses on gender, I offer courses in immigration and ethnicity, biography, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and modern England and Ireland . Several of my courses have additional film components, which are taught separately in evening classes. In the past few years I have taken students on a number of history field trips. Destinations have included New York City, Chicago, England, and Ireland. Descriptions of some of my courses are available here on the web.
Growing up, I lived briefly in Kenya, East Africa, Great Britain, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico, and I have traveled all over the United States, much of Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America (I love to travel!!). In September, 2007, I spent two weeks in Kenya as part of the Kenya Scholar Athlete Project, which annually prepares Kenya’s top dozen high school graduates for entrance exams and applications to U.S. universities. Those students usually win full scholarships.
Before coming to teach in Emporia in 1995, I lived in New England, receiving my BA from Brandeis University , and my MA and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst . Between 1992 and 1995, I taught history at Smith College and Western New England College, and wrote a book called New Paths to Power: American Women 1890-1920 (Oxford University Press 1994).
My dissertation was on the nineteenth century writer, Mary Virginia Terhune. I have presented a number of papers on Terhune and published several articles about her, one of which can be found in the anthology Beyond Image and Convention: Explorations in Southern Women's History (University of Missouri Press, 1998). I have two chapters on southern women writers in The History of Southern Women's Literature (LSU Press, 2002).
Recently my research interests have focused on the the Gilded Age and on the 1960s. My book, A Student Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, co-written with historian Elisabeth Israels Perry, was published by Oxford University Press in July, 2006. Another book, Time it Was: American Stories from the Sixties, co-edited with Tim Koster, was published by Prentice Hall in April, 2007. My new major project will be a biography of Nancy L. Caroline, M.D., an international leader in the field of emergency medical training.
- 2005 Connie Schrock
Dr. Schrock received her Ph.D. from Kansas State University with her research in Mathematics Education. She has been at ESU since 1989. Currently Dr. Schrock works with mathematics education majors by advising, teaching the middle/secondary mathematics methods, course, computer science methods, and supervising mathematics student teachers. During Fall semesters Dr. Schrock teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics. Another area Dr. Schrock works in is the use of technology in the teaching of undergraduate mathematics.
- 2006 Joella Mehrhof
Dr. Mehrhof has published numerous books and journal articles, and is the current creator of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s Teacher Toolbox. Dr. Joella Mehrhof received the 2008 Vicki J. Worrell Service Award from the Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD).
Mehrhof has been called “a role model of professionalism” by colleagues including Dr. Joan Brewer, associate professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, who was among peers submitting Mehrhof’s nomination. “You quickly realize that making a difference for her students is truly Dr. Mehrhof’s passion,” said Brewer ( http://www.emporia.edu/news/archives/2010/february/mehrhof_naspe.htm).
- 2007 Ellen Hansen, Chair of Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Geography
Ellen Hansen earned her Ph.D in Georgraphy from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She teaches world Regional Georgraphy as well as a variety of upper division courses, including Gender, Place and Culture, Geography in Latin America, Geography of the Great Plains and Kansas, Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, and Geography of International Development. She regularly offers upper division courses that are included in the Ethnic and Gender Studies curriculum, on the internet as well as in the classroom.
Dr. Hansen's current research concerns the impact of immigration on small towns in the Midwest, geography pedagogy, and place and construction of memory. She is also interested in gender issues in international development, especially in Latin America. She worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Andes of Ecuador and has participated in several study abroad trips with ESU students.
- 2008 Susan Kendrick, Associate Professor of English
Dr. Kendrick began teaching at ESU in 2001. She teaches courses in English Renaissance literature and British Women Writers before 1830. Dr. Kendrick represents the English division of the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism in the Student Advising Center. She is a member of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Steering Committee and is on the editorial board of the University of Kansas Press. Her book Elizabeth 1's Use of Virginity to Enhance Her Sovereignty: Managing the Image of a Sixteenth-Century Queen was published by the Edwin mellen Press in 2009.
- 2009 Elizabeth Locey
Elizabeth Locey, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, arrived at ESU in 1997. Since then, she has served as director of the French program, and since 2004, as Chair of Modern Languages. She is a member of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Steering Committee. Her research interests incldue French and Francophone women writers and cinema.
- 2010 Leslie Lewis, Dean of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College, New York.
In high school, I wanted to be a writer and so my goal in going to college was to find a place where I could learn as much as possible. St. John’s College, with its “great books” program, appealed to my need for a very serious, rigorous education. St. John’s offered (and offers) a four-year program of study, the same program of study for all 400 students. Its heart is the seminar, which meets twice weekly in the evening for at least two hours and focuses on works that have been the most influential in western thought. In addition, there are four years of math tutorials where reading ranges from Euclid’s Geometry to Newton’s Principia to Einstein’s papers on relativity; two years of Greek and two years of French language and literature; three years of lab science which carefully works through a history of science, reading primary texts and redoing crucial experiments; and one year of music theory. There are no majors at St. John’s; my B.A. is in liberal arts.
What I have taken from my undergraduate education, at least as significant as the works I’ve studied, is the importance of an inquiry based, student centered approach to learning where dialogue is at the heart of the learning experience. It was this experience that awakened life-long learning for me, in ways I didn’t anticipate.
While I was an undergraduate student my passion became philosophy—first Greek philosophy and language—and then political philosophy (Locke, Rousseau) and finally German philosophy, particularly Kant and Hegel. When I decided to go to graduate school, however, I’d had a revelation that led me to believe that narrative truth is all the truth there is, and so I went to the University of Virginia to study literary theory. This was at a time when both E.D. Hirsh and Richard Rorty were in the English department at U.Va. Then a funny thing happened: I ended up taking an African American literature class with Charles Rowell, the long-time editor of Callaloo. I fell in love with this literature—and I left Virginia for the Afro-American Studies department at Indiana University and have been an African Americanist ever since.
In terms of my teaching career, my focus has been literary study, American studies, and the teaching of writing. In English departments I've taught African American literature and American literature, as well as various kinds of writing courses, and through American Studies I've taught interdisciplinary American studies classes as well as African American studies. I’ve been a full-time faculty member at two institutions known for the education of K-12 teachers, and have been very involved along the way in bridging distances between K-12 and university/college education. I have enjoyed working with students from diverse educational backgrounds as they determine what they want from their own college or university educations.
As Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College, I aim to keep alive my academic specialization in African American literary scholarship. I also happily pursue interdisciplinary inquiry that begins with “lightbulb” moments and develops as way leads on to way. As an educator I believe in intellectual inquiry for its own sake, creative expression that brings joy and insight, and character development so that we learn how to do right by the world and in the world.