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Staff member receives national recognition for anti-violence work

  • Pictured from left, Women's and Gender Studies professor Julia Mason, Theresa Rowland, Women and Gender Studies Program Director Kathleen Underwood and Brittany Dernberger in Cincinnati.

Posted on November 11, 2013

Theresa Rowland, coordinator of the leadership program and the Violence Against Women Act grant for the Women’s Center, was selected to receive the Emerging Leader Award from the National Women’s Studies Association, an organization that supports women and gender through teaching, learning, research and service in academic and other settings.

Rowland was recognized at the NWSA Women’s Center Committee pre-conference awards ceremony November 6 in Cincinnati.

As VAWA grant coordinator, Rowland organizes events and programs on campus that address sexual assault and dating and domestic violence. She was nominated by Brittany Dernberger, assistant director of the Women’s Center, and Jo Ann Wassenaar, associate director of the Women’s Center.

“Theresa’s work has not only impacted our students on campus but across West Michigan and the state,” said Jo Ann Wassenaar, associate director of the Women’s Center. “Our communities are a better place to live because of her work.”

Rowland received a master’s of education degree in College Student Affairs in Leadership from Grand Valley in 2010. She was a graduate assistant for the Office of Student Life’s Laker Leadership Program before she joined the Women’s Center in 2011 as VAWA coordinator.

Jessica Jennrich, director of the Women’s Center, said Rowland’s innovation and enthusiasm has transformed the community. “She is a resource for all students and a mentor to faculty and staff alike. While I have been nothing but impressed by her exemplary work thus far I have reason the best is still yet to come,” said Jennrich.

Marlene Kowalski-Braun, assistant vice provost for Student Affairs, said Rowland’s anti-violence work on campus has influenced tremendous cultural change. “She is a talented educator and connector and the entire campus community has benefited from her leadership,” said Kowalski-Braun.

Last year, the Women’s Center received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Women’s Studies Association.

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