UAB Commission on the Status of Women to present Outstanding Women awards March 19, author Betsy Myers to speak March 20

The commission will present awards for 2015’s Outstanding Women and present a free lecture by leadership expert Betsy Myers.

betsy myersBetsy MyersSeven women will be honored as outstanding for 2015 and a renowned author will speak on leadership as the University of Alabama at Birmingham Commission on the Status of Women celebrates Women’s History Month.

The UAB Commission on the Status of Women is dedicated to enhancing options for women at every stage of their educations and careers. Work-life balance initiatives, training and development of emerging leaders, along with community outreach, can improve the academic climate and benefit the entire campus community. These efforts build on UAB’s commitment to equity and diversity, as evidenced by the educational achievements of female students, innovative teaching, scholarship and research of female faculty, and the professional advancement of female staff and administrators, says commission Chair Alesia Jones. 

Join members of the commission Friday, March 20, for an afternoon with author and leadership expert Betsy Myers. Myers will guide the audience on a personal journey and offer tips on how to develop long-term vision while feeling valued. Her presentations show her audience an effective road map for leadership that unlocks human potential and maximizes productivity.

Myers will speak at 1 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Seating will be limited. Please direct questions to

Myers speaks and leads workshops around the world on the changing nature of leadership. She is on a nationwide tour speaking on her book, “Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You.” Founding director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, Myers was formerly executive director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She was deputy assistant to the president in the Clinton administration and founder and owner of Myers Insurance and Financial Services, specializing in small business and the women’s market.

The commission will present awards to seven who will be honored as Outstanding Women for 2015 at a reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in the UAB National Alumni Society House. The honorees and their categories are:

  • Becky Trigg Outstanding Woman UAB Faculty Member: Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology in the UAB School of Medicine and associate dean for postdoctoral education; director, MERIT Program
  • Susan D. Marchase Outstanding Woman UAB Administrator: Lisa Higginbotham, Benevolent Fund program manager, Office of the Vice President of Financial Affairs and Administration
  • Outstanding Woman UAB Staff Member: Rebecca O. Freeman, UAB Honors College’s University Honors Program coordinator
  • Outstanding Woman UAB Undergraduate Student: Yoonhee Ryder, fourth-year student in the University Honors Program; will graduate in May from the College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology, and minors in chemistry and Middle Eastern studies
  • Outstanding Woman in the Community: Nancy Goedecke, CEO of Mayer Electric Supply Co. She supports Collat School of Business, which is named in honor of her family’s significant philanthropy. Past president for the YWCA Junior Board and served on the board of Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama
  • Outstanding Woman in the Community: Sherri Van Pelt, retired vice president of development and communication at Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center. She previously was senior director of development at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and past executive director of VSA Arts Alabama and past president of the UAB National Alumni Society
  • Lifetime of Service to Women at UAB and in the Community: Caroline West, student counselor at Student Health Services; previous director of UAB Women’s Center