UAB Commission on the Status of Women hosts 2023 Padma Awards

For the Commission on the Status of Women, Padma is a symbol of resilience and the ability to “rise above the surface and bloom daily.”

Padma StreamFrom left, UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D., with CSW 2023 Padma Award winners Kesha Thurston, Outstanding Staff Member award; Chinaza Esiaba, Outstanding Student Award; Lauren C. Mays, DNP, Becky Trigg Outstanding Faculty Member Award; and CSW Chairwoman Donna Williamson. Not pictured is Carin Mayo, who received the Susan D. Marchase Oustanding Administrator Award.
Photography: Kerry Bean
Four individuals at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been awarded a 2023 Padma Award. The Padma Awards — sponsored by the UAB Commission on the Status of Women — shine a light on those who go above and beyond to persevere in support of underrepresented populations and acknowledge the good work, extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of UAB faculty, staff and students.

The winners include:

  • Chinaza Esiaba, 2023 Outstanding Student Award. Esiaba is an international student from Nigeria majoring in public health with a minor in health information management.

  • Kesha Thurston, DNP, 2023 Outstanding Staff Award. Thurston is a certified registered nurse anesthetist, CRNA manager at UAB Hospital-Highlands and adjunct assistant professor in the UAB School of Nursing.

  • Lauren Mays, DNP, 2023 Becky Trigg Outstanding Faculty Member Award. Mays is an assistant professor in the UAB School of Nursing.

  • Carin Mayo, 2023 Susan D. Marchase Outstanding Administrator Award. Mayo is the graduate programs manager in the UAB Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Every year, this award acknowledges those who overcame significant adversity to achieve their goals and demonstrated a commitment to working with underrepresented populations. The award encourages advancing issues of underrepresented populations and taking action to make professional success easier. Awardees demonstrated a courageous stance in the face of adversity or against popular opinion, providing significant service to underrepresented or struggling communities.

Recipients for the award are nominated by UAB faculty, staff and students, Birmingham residents, mentors, and others from around the country and are selected by a committee of university and community women.

The UAB Commission on the Status of Women promotes gender inclusion and equity by supporting and improving options and opportunities for women at every stage of their education and career. CSW members support work-life balance initiatives, training and development of emerging leaders, and community outreach to improve the academic climate and work environment at UAB.