Marcia Haas, campus women honored at event

women standing in two rows surrounding a quilt
Back row, from left, are Sherrill Soman, Betty Schaner, Debbie Morrow, Monica Johnstone, Beth Courtade and Michelle Redmond; front row, from left, are Sally Langa, Marcia Haas, Jodee Hunt and Colleen Lindsay-Bailey.
Image credit - Valerie Wojciechowski
women surrounding quilt
Marcia Haas, left, is pictured with the quilt created for her by 16 faculty and staff members.
Image credit - Valerie Wojciechowski
group of women, seated and standing
Recipients of scholarships and awards are pictured with members of the Women's Commission.
Image credit - Valerie Wojciechowski

Sixteen faculty and staff members with varying levels of quilting experience worked in secret for months to create a gift for the woman they called, "a very special star in our Laker firmament," Marcia Haas.

In a pattern of stars, the Laker blue, black and white quilt was presented to Haas March 27 during the Celebrating Women Awards ceremony in the Kirkhof Center.

Monica Johnstone, director of communications and advancement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said expert and novice quilters gathered in secret over two lunch hours, then several people took quilt blocks and pieces home to finish. The blocks were taken to local machine quilter for finishing, then a small Grand Valley quilt group stitched the final binding together.

The quilt's design includes chemistry and mathematic formulas, artwork by students, anchors and other Grand Valley icons.

Before the quilt presentation, scholarships and awards were presented by Positive Black Women; Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Women's Commission. 

• Mary Karpen, professor of chemistry, received the Maxine Swanson Award. Nomination letters touted Karpen's two decades of advocating for women on campus, including sabbaticals for part-time faculty members.

• Susan Howard, assistant director of communications for Alumni Relations, earned the Women's Community Impact Award for her work with Moms Bloom and as a mentor to students.

• Amanda Syers, project assistant for the College of Education's Center for Educational Partnerships, received the Emerging Professional Award for her work on the Women's Commission leading the family friendly task force.

• Bonnie Peterson, office coordinator for TRIO Upward Bound, received the Unsung Hero Award. Peterson co-chairs the PSS development committee and helped establish the Pew Campus chapter of GVSU Moms Network.

• PBW presented scholarships to five students: Tova Jones, Lillian White, Deonquanic Hayes, Imani Gissendanner and Robert Webb. Juanita Davis, PBW president and assistant director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, said since 1995, PBW has given $54,000 in scholarship awards to 90 students.

• The Center for Women and Gender Equity presented Outstanding Student Awards to Maddie Rhoades, Edith Torres and El Boynton.

• WGS presented the Jean Enright Scholarship to Miranda Bryan.

Quilters were Johnstone, Debbie Morrow, Beth Courtade, Sally Langa, Janet Potgeter, Betty Schaner, Colleen Lindsay-Bailey, Sulari White, Carolyn Clayton, Allison Metz, Jodee Hunt, Michelle Redmond, Sherrill Soman, Heather Van Wormer and Lynn "Chick" Blue.


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