Three women were named Women of Distinction at Butler University on March 29 in the Diversity Center.
Katie Ceranski, a senior marketing and integrated communications major; Sarah Barnes Diaz, the health education and outreach programs coordinator; and College of Education Dean Ena Shelley were all named Women of Distinction.
The criteria for being nominated are that the woman is an outstanding leader, reaches out to others, creates a vision and pushes others to reach it, has a defined role for herself, faces challenges head on, carries herself with dignity and pride and is a serious woman who rules her life with energy, integrity and love.
Student: Katie Ceranski
Ceranski, who is president of Amnesty International on campus, said the award means a lot to her. Ceranski said she tries to stand up for women’s rights on campus.
“The best way I promote (women’s rights) is through making sure (women) are heard and are encouraged to run for leadership positions,” Ceranski said. “The award not only means supporting women’s rights but being a woman leader and speaking for women on campus.”
Staff: Sarah Barnes Diaz
Diaz said she helps women on campus through mentoring in Peers Advocating Wellness for Students. A couple students whom Diaz mentors in the program nominated her for the award.
“I feel so honored,” Diaz said. “I tend to work with a lot of female students, and I look for opportunities to promote women’s well-being. The best ways to promote women’s rights are through education and relationship building.”
Ultimately, Diaz said she believes the award can serve to encourage women to reach their fullest potential.
“I think that it is important to recognize women, because I think it encourages us to work a little bit harder to work to be (a woman of distinction),” Diaz said. “To me being a woman of distinction is about respecting others and having grace and poise.”
Faculty: Ena Shelley
Shelley said she hopes to encourage other women to reach their full potential.
“I promote feminism through trying to empower women around me to see how capable they are,” Shelley said. “I think it is important to take the time to reflect inside ourselves, because that is where the power is.”
Shelley said the award makes her reflect on how she lives her life.
“For me (the award) means trying to model how you balance your work, life and career,” Shelley said. “It is just about being thoughtful that you represent many women.”
Shelley said she tries to encourage women to do this by empowering them.
“I usually try to put women in situations where I think they can solve problems quickly and stay focused,” Shelley said. “Sometimes I jokingly wonder how much different the university would be if it were run by women.”