Four local women will be honored by UAB as Outstanding Women for 2008 during a ceremony Thursday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Bartow Arena Green and Gold Room.


The UAB Women’s Center and the UAB Women’s Studies Program present the awards annually during Women’s History Month. The awards are designed to honor female members of the UAB and Birmingham communities who have mentored or served other women, taken a courageous stance or overcome adversity. Candidates for the award are nominated by Birmingham residents and selected by a committee of university women.

The 2008 winners are faculty member Belita Faki, student Valerie Gribben, staff member Beth Hosmer and Outstanding Woman in the Community Sandra Schrohenloher. Pam Bounelis, Ph.D., will receive the Susan D. Marchase Outstanding Woman Administrator Award.

Faki is a Ph.D. candidate and an instructor of Spanish and Italian in the UAB Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures. “Courageous, a great teacher, a caring and committed person, a mentor and a great role model” is just one of testimonials for Faki’s nomination. She helped create a study-abroad program to Florence, Italy, in conjunction with the Department of Art and the School of Business and has assisted a reciprocal program between UAB and G.  Annuzio University, Chieti-Pescara.

Gribben, a senior, created a volunteer organization called Healing Words that has trained about 150 volunteers to read to patients at area hospitals and nursing homes. Gribben also is a novelist, and her book, Fairytale, was published by Junebug Books in 2003. In addition, she was named to the USA Today 2007 All-USA College Academic First Team as one of the top 20 students in the United States. Gribben is an English major with a minor in chemistry. She plans to attend medical school after graduation.

Hosmer is a gyn/oncology nurse at UAB Highlands and one of the founders of the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group for women battling ovarian cancer. The group promotes awareness and provides patient support regarding ovarian and other gynecological cancers. Hosmer is credited for her tireless efforts to serve patients battling cancer, offering prayers and support, and visiting with patients and their family members.

Bounelis is assistant dean for biomedical research in the School of Medicine. She is cited for her work in research and facilities planning and obtaining extramural funding to support the initiatives. One nomination letter said, “She has been a creative contributor to each of her responsibilities, and these contributions have been essential to the success of the School of Medicine and Joint Health Sciences.”
Schrohenloher has been credited for mentoring other women and for her work with organizations such as Greater Birmingham Ministries, which she helped establish. She also has worked with the organization Mothers Against Violence, offering support to mothers who have lost their children to violence.