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September 27, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Women's Studies hosts Sabrina Saunders

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Sabrina Saunders, director of education and youth development for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, will be the speaker for Slippery Rock University's 26th annual Women's Studies Mentoring Dinner Oct. 8.

The 5 p.m. event, which recognizes and honors mentoring relations and the ways in which such relationships can help women and others, will be in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center. The President's Commission on the Status of Women will present its Women of Distinction Awards, which recognize the "significant contribution to campus efforts to be more inclusive and respectful of women on campus." Awards will be presented in faculty, staff and student categories.

Saunders is a public administration leader with more than eight years of professional experience, including a broad background in both the government and non-profit sectors. Her expertise is in project management, program development and government relations.

At the Urban League, she oversees the department's daily operations, staff and coordination of nine education and youth programs. She is also the co-director of the Black Male Leadership Development Institute.

She previously worked as youth policy manager for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and is credited with establishing the city's Graduate Pittsburgh Summit, a communitywide effort to combat the high school dropout epidemic. She has served as special assistant to the mayor. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she worked as a Departments of State, Education and Homeland Security field representative for U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle.

Saunders is a member of the Urban League of Pittsburgh Charter School Board, the Mount Ararat Community Activity Center, YouthPlaces Inc. and A+ Schools boards of directors, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates Diversity advisory boards. She is the immediate past president of the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh.

She was a 2008 Pittsburgh Magazine "40 under 40" award recipient and a 2009 recipient of Ebony Magazine's Top 30 Young Leaders of the Future honor. The Pittsburgh Courier presented her with a 2010 "Fab 40" award, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Whirl Magazine named her one of Pittsburgh's "50 Finest."

An Edinboro University graduate, Saunders earned her bachelor of arts in philosophy before going on to Carlow University where she earned her masters of science degree.

The 2013 Women of Distinction Awards will be presented to:

Faculty: Heather Frederick, assistant professor of political science, who is the faculty adviser to the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and is credited with mentoring students in that organization with thoughtfulness and care. She is also in charge of the SRU Law Society, has participated as a pro-choice voice on an abortion discussion panel and is the campus liaison for the statewide Women's Consortium. Her teaching and scholarship focus on women's and gender issues.

Staff: Laura Hawkins, nurse supervisor in SRU's McLachlan Student Health Center, who was cited for making a positive difference in students' and especially women's lives. She has been involved in collaborative programming with the Women's Center and Bridge Project and has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the needs of female reproductive health issues. She also mentors nurses and staff in her office.

Student: Jamie Brant, a counseling and development graduate student from Grove City, who was nominated for work in organizing last spring's panel discussion titled "50 Shades of Gray" and for her involvement in the "Race to Anyplace" event that raised money to support cancer research.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.