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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

30 female SCC students honored at Outstanding Women Student Awards

City College student Carmel Wright shakes hands with Vice President Debra Leff as Wright recieves an award at the 19th Annual Outstanding Woman Leadership Awards in the Student Center April 15, 2016. Hector Flores, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]

“This year we meet women who have struggled, had a death in the family,” Cultural Awareness Center Coordinator Victoria Henderson said from the stage. “We have grandmothers on campus, and we celebrate them all. We are all very happy.”

The event recognized female students nominated by staff and faculty members. Faculty nominated students who they believed have strived through several obstacles to maintain a good standing education and lifestyle. The categories that students could be placed in included outstanding academic achievement, community service, overcoming obstacles, women in nontraditional fields, and balancing grades with athletics.

One of the awarded students was Carmel Wright, a political science major and executive vice president of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa for two years running. She is an avid intercollegiate tennis player and earned her award for balancing grades with athletics.

Rob Gore, a theater arts and film professor who nominated Wright, stated that she was an obvious choice when it came to nominations, as she fulfilled all the requirements. Gore said she, and is not only an outstanding athletic student, but a great student who came from a tough background and overcame extreme odds to get where she is today.

“I worked with [Gore] on different scholarship applications and videos,” said Wright. “There were definitely some key points where I had to push through a lot of obstacles, especially supporting myself through school and not having a lot of [support], but that’s why I’m thankful for individuals like professor Gore who really stood by me.”

Henderson led the event, along with City College Vice President Debra Luff, counselor Maristella Bacod, and Student Equity and Success Dean Molly Springer.

City College Interim President Michael Poindexter recognized the women’s achievements by stating this is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate these students and everything that they have done.

“You are special,” Poindexter said. “You are queens of City College. Not everyone goes on this journey. Congratulations to you all.”

Another well-deserving student who earned her award for overcoming obstacles and outstanding women’s achievement was Sophia Sinclair, a psychology major. She was nominated by Dr. Elaine Ader, professor and dean of information technology.

Ader said that Sinclair worked with her, so she knew her better than most students on campus. Ader believes Sinclair is very deserving of her award.

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Bacod said she took part in the ceremony last year and was just as nervous this year when she read the names of the award-winning students. When the students’ names were called, they went on stage and received their certificates, a flash drive, a pink bracelet, and a pink bar of soap to take home with them.

Professor of kinesiology and computer science Trinidad Stassi said she has attended the women’s award ceremony for five years now. She also said she is very proud of the student she nominated: Bryana Alvarez, a communication major.

“This year Bryana was the choreography for our winning [dance] championship team at collegiate nationals. Out of 11 schools throughout the nation, Sac City came out No. 2,” said Stassi. “Her combination of leadership and organization, and time to balance out her work schedule and be a leader on our team this year, took a lot of time and effort on her behalf. I wanted to make sure that she got recognized.”

Alvarez said she was really surprised at first to learn of her nomination and very honored to receive it.

“Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused in school,” Alvarez says. “I had a lot of school work this semester and work, and then helping out with the dance team was really difficult.”

For the past 18 years, Henderson has organized and conducted the annual women’s awards event. She announced that male students on campus are honored in the fall.

Near the end, Henderson thanked the crowd for supporting their students and family for all that they have accomplished at City College. She finished by reading the poem “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

“I think it’s exciting to see the energy in the room, to see all the support that [students] have from their families,” Henderson says. “They’re a part of a group of women who have been recognized over the years, and it’s always upbeat and positive like this. They’re on their journey and it takes everybody to make that journey a real blessing.”

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