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ASU Women's Center honors Women of Influence

Article Published: Mar. 31, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
ASU Women's Center honors Women of Influence

From left, Lauren White, Tiffany Christian, Amy Michael and Elaine Hartley are the recipients of the 2011 Women of Influence Awards.

Photo by Jeff Eason

In many college communities, there is an invisible wall that separates life on campus to what goes on around it. That "town and gown" separation, as it is sometimes called, can cause friction, resentment or just plain old general apathy between the two communities.

The Appalachian State University Women's Center does a great job of bridging the town and gown gap through a variety of programs and events, including the center's annual Women of Influence of Awards, which honors women on campus and in the community who are making a difference in the lives of others.

On Friday, March 25, the ASU Women's Center honored Tiffany Christian, Elaine Hartley, Amy Michael and Lauren White as the 2011 recipients of the Women of Influence Awards. The award ceremony was held in the Solarium of the Plemmons Student Union on the ASU campus.

The four were recognized as "women who work quietly, diligently and with great compassion to improve the lives of their friends, their organizations and their co-workers."

A committee of volunteers, students, faculty and ASU staff reviewed nominations for the award before selecting the four 2011 recipients.

During last Friday's ceremony, four guest speakers with professional knowledge of the individual recipient's contribution to the community introduced the four honorees.

Tiffany Thebeau introduced Tiffany Christian, Dr. Ray Miller introduced Elaine Hartley, Dr. Wayne Eberle introduced Amy Michael, and Brittany Burton introduced Lauren White.

Mary Pearce, a student volunteer with the ASU Women's Center, organized and emceed the Women of Influence Awards.

Tiffany Christian
"Tiffany Christian is a professor in the Social Work Department and also teaches in a residential learning community. She is known for her compassion and friendliness towards her students. She also makes sure that her students are well taken care of. She always has the well-being in mind and will leave food for the students who don't go home over breaks. She goes out of her way to make sure her students achieve their full potential in the classroom and in life. On top of that she is very active in her church and is seen as a leader in that community. She does her best to welcome everyone with her open arms and open heart."

Elaine Hartley
"Elaine Hartley is the secretary for the ASU Theatre and Dance Department and has served in this capacity since the founding of the department in 1989. She is considered to be the glue that connects all of the various pieces that make up the theater and dance program. She even gets her own day. The students and faculty wait until the end of the business day when Elaine has
'left the building,' and they decorate her office with balloons, mobiles, cut-out figures, candy, food and signed cards so that when she returns the next day the entire department graciously, enthusiastically and loudly celebrates 'Elaine Day.' She also makes a point to be at every dance and theatre performance that is put on to show her support for students and staff."

Amy Michael
"Amy Michael is a master social worker at Watauga County Schools and works to ensure that children attend school and that they have the necessary basic resources to survive. She also works to ameliorate the suffering by helping students in emotional crises or intervening when they are involved with unsafe activities. At Watauga High School, she was instrumental in creating the 'Backpack Program' that is designed to provide donated food to high school students and allows them to transport the food home discretely, protecting the private nature of their difficult circumstances. Her kind heart and drive make her able to help those from all walks of life."

Lauren White
"Lauren White is the resident assistant for the third floor of East Hall, a third year senior, sociology major and an active member of the OASIS community. She affects all of those around her by being a good friend who goes beyond the call of duty to fulfill position as a resident assistant and OASIS volunteer. Her experience with OASIS has made it possible for Lauren to make a difference in the lives of other women. No person's needs are too small for her attention. She is beloved by both her residents and her friends."

"It is an honor for us to recognize these women in the community and at ASU who do the hard work to make our community a better place," Pearce said.

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