Luncheon honors the hard-working women of Ramapo

To close out Women’s HERstory Month, Ramapo held its annual Honoring the Women Who Inspire Us Luncheon in the Alumni Lounges. Nominated by students, women-identified faculty and staff members received awards for their work in and out of the classroom. Attendees were welcome to enjoy a variety of complimentary sandwiches and utilize the photo booth to record the celebration on film.

Assistant Director of the Center for Student Involvement and Coordinator of the Office of Violence Prevention Marie-Danielle Attis gave opening remarks on the importance of recognizing how women at Ramapo positively impact students daily. “Most of the nominees I know personally, and I can personally attest that everything the students said was undeniably true.”

The nominations were announced by three student employees from the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Services: Student Queer Peer Services Coordinator Gen Zakosky, Student Women’s Outreach Coordinator Gen Siverio and Office Manager Sam Jones. Many students opted to publicly share the reasoning behind their nominations.

The majority of the women being honored were professors.

Assistant professor of nursing Dr. Cristina M. Perez was nominated by Emma Thompson. Thompson stated in her application, “[Perez] has inspired me greatly… She always took the time to make sure everyone understood the concepts she was teaching.”

Hangen first joined the Ramapo community in 2002. Photo by Danielle Bongiovanni

Nominations extended higher on the academic ladder. Naz Tiyaloglu nominated Susan Hangen, who serves as both a professor of anthropology & international studies and the interim dean of the School of Humanities & Global Studies. “[Hangen] is fully deserving of being recognized and inspiring women,” Tiyaloglu stated.

Women who are not employed as professors still received praise for the lessons they have imparted to students.

Associate Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Compliance Rachel Sawyer-Walker was nominated by two students. Student Government Association President Paolo Miyashiro-Bedoya stated, “Rachel is an advocate for students from underrepresented communities.”

Jones had the pleasure of reading her own words aloud and informing the audience of how Sawyer-Walker “has greatly impacted Ramapo’s campus for the better.”

Many award-winners were nominated by their own student employees.

Coordinator for Civic and Political Engagement for the Civic and Community Engagement Center Karen Booth was nominated by the student staff coordinator of the We Care Program, Moss Killion. “[Booth] is constantly striving to spread awareness about civic engagement,” Killion stated.

Assistant Director for Student Recruitment, Training and Education Anne Eke was nominated by resident assistant Rojja Kharel. Kharel stated, “She is exactly the kind of leader I want to be.”

After the nominations finished, Kharel discussed the importance of the luncheon with The Ramapo News. “At events such as this where we recognize people, they feel appreciated and they’re happy about what they’re doing.”

Director of Communications and Public Relations Lisa A. Ambrose, another award winner, agreed. “It’s really touching to be nominated by students because you never really know how you’re impacting them in the classroom,” she said. “For that to resonate beyond the semester is really heartwarming and makes me feel special and know that what I’m doing is really worthwhile.”

Featured photo by Danielle Bongiovanni