SRU to honor five Women of Distinction Oct. 10


Sept. 25, 2017



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Five women that are making a difference at Slippery Rock University and in the community will be honored as Women of Distinction at 5 p.m., Oct. 10 at the Russell Wright Alumni House. The President's Commission on Women sponsors the program. The annual Leadership and Mentoring Dinner is sponsored by SRU's Gender Studies program.

Christine Castro, a lawyer at the Women's Law Project's western Pennsylvania office, who works in the non-profit organization's Reproductive Justice program, will keynote the event.



"It's an opportunity to recognize women who are doing great things in their fields and who are helping other women find their paths through mentoring," said Kim Keeley, associate professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, who is secretary of the President's Commission on Women and chair of the Women of Distinction Award committee. "It'll be a great night. A lot of people will be there to honor women and to talk about the relationships that faculty, staff and alumni have with students as mentors."

The Women of Distinction Award committee received more than 32 nominations for this year's awards across five categories: faculty, staff, administrator, student and, new this year, alumni. Two students were recognized this year in lieu of the administrator category because of the quality of applicants.

This year's awardees are:

Deanna Brookens

Faculty: Deanna Brookens

Brookens is an instructor in the theatre department and director of the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. In her fifth year at SRU and third directing SRU's annual arts festival, Brookens engages with the community through the arts by leading theatre enrichment programming. Her full-length play, "December Things," premiered at SRU in October 2016 and Kaleidoscope is a thriving success with more than 3,000 patrons attending the two-week festival each year, offering a variety of programs for children and adults with renowned guest artists.

Deborah Baker

Staff: Deborah Baker

Baker is SRU's director of special events. After a five-year stint at SRU in the early 1980s, Baker returned to the University in 2005 to restart the SRU Performing Arts Series, working with students interested in arts administration and the implementation of the shows. She continues to work with special events such as scholarship galas and fundraising celebrations, in addition to advising the Green & White Society and serving on several boards and leadership programs, both on and off the SRU campus.

Victoria Davis

Student: Victoria Davis

A senior dual major in literary, film and cultural studies and gender and diversity studies from Pittsburgh, Davis is co-founder and chair of the Slippery Rock Student Government Association's social justice committee and president of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at SRU. In addition to serving as the copy/web editor of The Rocket, the independent, student newspaper serving SRU, and a student worker in the SRU's Women's Center, Davis has spoken at several conferences including the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention and Rutgers University Women's History Month Conference.

Jacquelyn Stubenraugh

Student: Jacquelyn Stubenraugh

A senior biochemistry major from South Park, Stubenraugh is the president of the Chemistry Club at SRU and is in her third year as a community assistant at her residence hall. SRU's residence life program recognized Stubenraugh with a Rising Star award last spring.

Midge Eidson

Alumna: Midge Eidson, '81

Eidson, a resident of Aurora, Colorado, spent eight years on active duty as an Army Medical Service Corps officer before becoming an elementary school teacher, vice principal and elementary school principal at Greenwood Elementary in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. She earned a master's degree in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation from Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix after earning her bachelor's degree from SRU in health education. After retiring from education, Eidson began a career in real estate with Keller Williams.

The award winners will receive a framed certificate as well as a necklace and pendant depicting a tree of life, the symbol for the President's Commission on Women.

For more information about the Women of Distinction Award, contact Kim Keeley at or 724.738.2621. For more information about the Leadership and Mentoring Dinner, contact Maevon Gumble, graduate assistant in the Gender Studies Department, at or 724.738.2715.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |