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Oct. 05, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

SRU honors four 'Women of Distinction'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Four Slippery Rock University women will be recognized as "Women of Distinction" at the annual Women's Studies Leadership/Mentoring Dinner Oct. 9.

The 5 p.m. event, organized by Cindy LaCom, professor of English and director of the SRU Women's Studies Program, will be in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center.

Receiving the 2012 honor, by category, are:

Faculty: Joanne Leight, associate professor of physical education;

Staff: Becky Cratty, clerk typist 2 in the Office of Conference Services who retired in August after 27 years of service;

Administrator: Karen Perry, assistant director of campus recreation, in the administrator category; and

Student: Ciarra Karnes, a psychology major from Slippery Rock, who is active in the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance on campus.

Jace Condravy, SRU professor of English, will be the keynote speaker.

SRU's Women of Distinction Awards began in 1997 in order to honor student, staff, faculty and administrative women who have set themselves apart in their mentoring and support of women on the SRU campus.

Recipients are nominated through letters of support reviewed by a subcommittee of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, which selects the winners.

Each recipient receives a framed certificate signed by the SRU president and the chair of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, as well as a necklace and pendant designed by local artist Linda Forsty-Jacobs.

Leight was nominated for her service as assistant chair to the physical education department and for leading students across campus demonstrating focus, fortitude and leadership.

She created and oversees the coaching minor and serves as an academic adviser. She serves as a committee member of Gender Issues and Social Justice, Web Page Advisory Committee, Nominations and Elections Committee and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Technology. Her mentoring style is to lead by example, helping students across campus grow personally and professionally.

Perry's nomination cited her as "an irreplaceable asset to the Aeborsold Recreation Center, inspiring health and wellbeing of the students, staff, faculty and local community. She began as a participant of Weight Watchers and after reaching her goal started the At-Work Weight Watchers program in 2001.

"Her perseverance, patience and ability to motivate others make her a successful leader for the Weight Watchers program. She also organizes the Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, benefitting the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition," according to her nomination.

Perry is a member of Week of Welcome, Steel Wheelers, Race to Any Place and Special Olympics. In addition, she mentors in the academic curriculum, career pursuits, relationships and works establishing positive relationships assisting women across campus. She was co-director of the ROCK Pride Inauguration Fun Run/Walk celebrating Cheryl Norton investiture as SRU's 16th president.

Cratty was cited for her caring nature seen through "an open heart for women in the Slippery Rock community." Co-workers define her as the "glue" which held the department together, according to her nomination letter. "She leads by example; always selfless, rational and inspiring. She is the backbone to Dress for Success and constantly leads by example, but remains behind the scenes."

Karnes' nomination was supportive of her work in leading and serving women on campus and in the community as a peer leader for the FMLA where she educates fellow members about the intersection of poverty, homelessness and feminism. "She encourages women to reach their potential and demonstrates the passion to make a difference," according to her nomination. She is also a member of Americorps, Youth Ambassador for the Child Welfare Training Program, Pennsylvania Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Joy of Sox and Jumpstart.

Condravy joined the SRU faculty in 1981, having taught junior high school English for seven years in Gettysburg. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English at Gettysburg College and completed a masters degree in counseling: student personnel, at Shippensburg University.

She earned her doctorate in rhetoric and linguistics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and transferred to the English department where she taught college writing, introductory literature and linguistics as well as Introduction to Women's Studies and Feminist Perspectives in the Disciplines for the WMST Program.

After serving eight years as vice-president for SRU APSCUF, the faculty and coaches union, she was elected president.

Condravy became chair of the English department four years ago and relinquished her teaching and directorship of the WMST Program.

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.