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Three Honored with Awards for Womxn’s History Month

Each spring, Emporia State University celebrates Womxn’s History Month by honoring three award winners with a reception sponsored by the Ethnic and Gender Studies program and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

This year, the awards will be presented during a virtual event on Friday, March 26, 2021. The event is a combination of recorded and live. A recorded video with opening remarks, nominator comments and a closing will be available all day. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, a live “mingle and celebrate” event will take place via Zoom. All information and a link to register for the Zoom mingle is online at

The Ruth Schillinger Award, named after a Dean of Women and ESU’s first Affirmative Action officer, is given an individual who makes extraordinary contributions to the women of Emporia State over a sustained period.

The 2021 recipient is Dr. Bekah Selby, an assistant professor of economics in the Department of Mathematics and Economics at Emporia State University. As a young undergraduate and as a first-generation college student passionate about science and math, Selby became acutely aware of the issues and pressures young women face in STEM-related fields. She has developed a series of seminar courses exploring the role of gender in the economy at ESU. She has taken an active role in the Women in Economics Symposium in association with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and actively works to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for young women in the economics discipline as well as across campus.

Selby is involved in a variety of leadership activities extending well beyond the bounds of the ESU campus. On campus, she has been instrumental in the development and serves as lead faculty member for the MS Informatics – Quantitative Economics program and the graduate certificate program in Quantitative Economics. Moreover, she serves on a variety of other university-related councils and committees. Selby also serves on the steering committee for Healthier Lyon County and is a founding member of the Lyon County Food and Farm Council.

Regionally, Selby is repeatedly invited to present the findings of her research at the Economic Outlook Conference and in the Federal Reserve Banks. Nationally, she was selected to be on the steering committee of the American Democracy Project and was recently invited to present the findings of her research at the Women in Economics Symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve. She is an active scholar and averages 5-10 presentations per year. She also has a forthcoming book and several articles submitted to academic journals.

The most important thing in her life is being the best single mother possible for her wonderful daughter Emma. She is passionate about creating systemic changes that will open up pathways for young women like Emma in the future.

The Mary Headrick Award is named after a former counselor in the ESU Counseling Center, who was known for helping women reach their full potential. This award is designed for those who go the extra mile and make a long-term commitment to promote the growth of women in our schools and community.

The 2020 recipient of the Mary Headrick Award is Dr. Rochelle Rowley, an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences, Sociology, and Criminology at Emporia State University. She teaches Ethnic and Gender Studies designated courses on intimate violence, child abuse and maltreatment, LGBTQ+ studies, social stratification, and intersectionality and identities. Her research is on dating violence, LGBTQ+ issues, inequalities, and social justice.

Rowley is the vice president of the SOS, Inc., board of directors, a member of the Bloom House Youth Services board and former vice president of the Beacon for Hope board and Cornerhouse board. She serves in several capacities at ESU including co-advisor of People Respecting Individuality and Diversity in Education (P.R.I.D.E.) and member of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Steering Committee and the Adaptive Leadership Advancement Team.

Finally, the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship is awarded to an ESU student who has demonstrated the most beneficial input into the growth and education of women on the ESU campus in addition to excellence in scholarship.

Receiving the scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year is Lux Ailbhe Claridge. They are majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and have volunteered for various events and organizations, including the Girl Scouts, Enhancing Your Future conference and Avid Si Se Puede.

Claridge intends to be a chemistry and physics teacher, where they will continue to encourage more women and people of color to go into STEM fields. Claridge wrote in their essay for the award, “I have done great work to encourage the inclusion of women into science, and I plan to keep that work going and more so. I also plan on equipping my students, young men, women and nonbinary alike, with the knowledge of historical and current scientists increasing our collective knowledge.”