2023 WGSS Awards Ceremony and Reception
On April 26, 2023, the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies joined for their annual Awards Ceremony and Reception. The evening highlighted the Department’s inspiring work and celebrated graduating seniors, award winners, and inductees of Triota (WGSS’s Honor Society).
2023 AlumnX Award Winner
Sara Woods, the 2023 WGSS AlumnX Award Winner, accepted her award and shared her inspirational story of how Penn State’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies influenced her life and career. Sara directly continues her support of WGSS through her two graduate student awards each year.
Sara Woods graduated from Penn State in 1996 with bachelor’s degrees in women’s studies and psychology, followed by a juris doctorate from the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in 2005 and a master of public administration degree from Villanova University. Today, Sara is the co-president and chief executive officer of Heights Philadelphia, a nonprofit educational organization that transforms the pathways to college and career for low-income, first-generation-to-college, Black and Brown students. Heights Philadelphia is the merger of Steppingstone Scholars and Philadelphia Futures, where Sara served as president and CEO before the merger. Sara previously served as executive director of Philadelphia VIP, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports lawyers who volunteer to help low-income Philadelphians tackle critical legal problems. She began her legal career as a public interest lawyer representing survivors of domestic violence. An active Penn State alumni volunteer, Sara participates in the College of Liberal Arts’ mentor, law careers, and Women in Leadership programs, and as an admissions interviewer for the Schreyer Honors College.
The 2023 Award Winners
Carolyn Sachs Feminist Leadership Award
Sarabeth N. Bowmaster
Judith Hardes Fund in the College of the Liberal Arts
Judith Hardes Reproductive Justice Leadership Award
Laura Richardson Whitaker Memorial Undergraduate Award in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Mimi Barash Coppersmith Endowed Scholarship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Mimi Barash Coppersmith Endowed Scholarship: Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award
Wietlisbach Family Award in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Judith Hardes Graduate Student Research Award in Reproductive Justice
Judith Hardes Professional Development Award in Reproductive Justice
Laura Richardson Whitaker Memorial Graduate Award in Women’s Studies
Sara Woods Graduate Fund in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Judith Hardes Award for Course Development in Reproductive Justice
Judith Hardes Reproductive Justice Mentoring Award
Sara Woods Graduate Fund in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award
Mary Elizabeth Quaid