While every woman is powerful in her own right, women working together can be an even greater force for change—in their workplaces, in their communities, and in the world.
Founded in 2002, the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) was created to engage interest in philanthropy and channel it into initiatives that support women’s leadership. Our mission is to create a welcoming circle of women that combines its resources to support and develop women leaders and philanthropists through the College of Education and Human Development.
The WPLC Awards
The WPLC uses its financial resources to provide educational scholarships, research grants, and professional development opportunities to raise the visibility of women leaders in education and human development. As a group, the members decide annually where to direct the donated funds within the college.
One of the most important aspects of our funding and outreach efforts is the annual WPLC Awards. This year more than $25,000 will be given to some of the College of Education and Human Development’s most ambitious and inspiring students and faculty.
Here’s a list of this year’s distinguished winners:
Graduate Student Awards
Abigail Buuck, Educational Psychology
Abby is seeking a master’s degree in counseling and student personnel psychology. Her career goal is to be a high school counselor. She spent two years doing full-time volunteer work after
completing her undergrad degree, first as a community youth worker in the rural United Kingdom and then as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow with Minneapolis Public Schools. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, she states, “I saw the systemic problems that our students are facing in school, particularly surrounding race and equity. As a future counselor I want to be an agent of change—examining data, asking questions, and establishing a school culture where all students can succeed.”
Elisheva Cohen, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Elisheva co-founded, wrote successful grants for, and continues to lead Wonder Woman, a group for female students in OLPD. Wonder Woman brings students, faculty, and professionals together monthly to discuss professional and academic experiences as women. She hopes to pursue a career at the crossroads of academic research and humanitarian practice supporting refugee education in the Middle East. She will use this award to conduct ethnographic research on the education of Syrian refugee girls in Jordan next year and get language training in the Syrian dialect of Arabic.
Sarah Crabtree, Family Social Science
Sarah’s career goal is to obtain a faculty appointment in a couple and family therapy graduate program and to remain clinically active as a therapist. She chaired the Welcome Weekend committee for Family Social Science graduate students and volunteers with underserved youth at her church. She will use this award to present research related to divorce decision-making at the Annual Conference for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and for student fees.
Anne Crampton, Curriculum and Instruction
Anne would like to seek a research professorship at a university or a teacher education position at a smaller institution. Her program area is literacy education, and her research looks closely at literacy projects and classroom interactions in urban schools that are powerful and sustaining. She is interested in how connections across differences—race, gender, economic—are forged, and ways they make school more humane and inclusive. This award will support her attendance at two conferences and help support the work of teachers in her research studies.
Samantha Holquist, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Samantha’s dream is to become a change agent in an urban public school district where she can implement innovative reform practices and policies based on evidence-based research that enhance student social and academic growth. This award will support her research in Washington, D.C., and Detroit, MI, to understand the role and power of superintendents in designing and implementing policy in urban districts under mayoral takeover. With the debate about this practice growing and more mayors considering district takeover, Samantha’s research will provide key insights into how this decision impacts the superintendents and overall student success.
Emily Morris, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Emily’s career goal is to become a leading gender analysis and evaluation expert. She is studying how to support adolescent girls from economically and socially marginalized communities in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in achieving their educational aspirations. She has already worked there nine years and currently serves on the board of a Zanzibar school. Emily will use this award to travel to Tanzania for data collection.
Sarah Suárez, Institute of Child Development
Sarah is pursuing a tenure-track position at a research university in child development. She supervised a diverse team of 46 undergraduate researchers at Cornell’s Early Childhood Cognition Lab and developed a partnership with a children’s science museum including a “living lab” exhibit. She will use this award to attend and present at a Jean Piaget Society symposium that she organized (during their annual meeting) featuring research on children’s informal social learning. Her adviser states, “Her commitment to mentorship and community involvement are entirely unparalleled in my experience. Sarah’s investments and accomplishments reflect her professional promise as well as the drive and the talent she brings to whatever she does.”
Kelsey Will, Educational Psychology
Kelsey is seeking a master’s degree in educational psychology and psychological foundations. Although her career path is not clearly defined, she wants to improve children’s educational experiences and outcomes with specific interests in the areas of reading and comprehension, autism, or a combination. She is requesting funds to help pay for her tuition or possibly attend and present at an international conference. Receiving this award would allow Kelsey to reduce the hours she works in her jobs outside of school and put more time and energy into her academic commitments.
I-ling Yeh, Kinesiology
I-ling’s career goal is to refine the quality of the rehabilitation practice and improve the quality of life of individuals who receive services by establishing the evidence of neurological rehabilitation through her research and to teach occupational therapist students in higher education. Her thesis investigates the effectiveness of a novel wrist movement intervention in people with chronic stroke. She is the vice president of the Kinesiology Student Council and volunteers at the Minnesota International Center. I-ling will use this award to present her work at two national conferences—one focused on clinical practice, and one focused on the research forefront—and also for transportation expenses for stroke participants in her dissertation work to increase recruitment and diversify her population.
Faculty Rising Star Awards
LeAnne Johnson, Educational Psychology
Prof. Johnson’s research in special education focuses on how to speed the translational process for moving empirically validated practices from laboratory settings to broad scale implementation across early childhood environments. Her work brings effective practices to people and places (school readiness classrooms, Head Start, child care centers) that do not always have the capacity to be effective for all children. She is committed to being engaged with both practitioners and local and state leaders in the field (both in the “talking” and the “doing”). She is also focused on preparing future educators and helping them find their role in creating learning environments that are welcoming and of high quality.
Amy Krentzman, School of Social Work
Prof. Krentzman’s research agenda and teaching philosophy are guided by her service mission: she works to relieve the suffering of individuals who are addicted and their families and encourage the development of social work students, to equip them for the profession as best as she is able, and foster their desire to relieve the suffering of others. Her research focuses on the phenomenon of recovery from addiction and the factors that sustain and reinforce it.
Her Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) scores average 5.9 to 6.0 on a six-point scale. Krentzman is also a leader in linking positive psychology to treatment and recovery interventions, which you can read about in this blog.
The mission of the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle is to create a welcoming group of women that combines its resources to support and develop women leaders and philanthropists through the College of Education and Human Development. We invite you to be a part of the Circle as we inspire women, support achievement, and foster leadership. For more information on how to join, go here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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