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Saint Louis University Women's Commission

Established in 1973 as the President's Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, the Saint Louis University Women's Commission's initial primary focus was affirmative action and equal opportunity.

Get a historical perspective of women at SLU through the lens of pioneers and long-time employees.

The Women's Commission has sponsored special workshops and seminars and, since 1978, has recognized the contributions of women to the University by honoring the "Women of the Year" at an annual luncheon. To meet the changing needs of university women, the commission was restructured twice before its present bylaws were adopted in 1986. Programs are open to all members of the University community.

2022 Executive Board

An executive board, widely representative of the women at the University, sponsors programs, provides a forum for women's concerns, and serves as a vehicle for communication about issues and opportunities for women in higher education.

  • President: Eliza Angarano
  • Vice-president: Michelle Mitchell
  • Past presidents: Kellisa Fiala and Emily Boyd
  • Secretary: Jennifer Semsar
  • Treasurer: Stephanie Jones
  • Membership and development: Esmeralda Aharon
  • Programs chair: Diane Devine
  • Awards co-chair: Emily Boyd and Kellisa Fiala
  • Communications chair: Laura Schrubb
  • Endowment chair: Genise Lay
  • Diversity and affirmative action: Justin Lacy
  • Grants management: Alexis Bruce-Staudt
  • Student Representative: Lauren Morby
  • Women's and Gender Studies representative: Jennifer Semsar
  • Ex-officio: Mary Bruemmer
  • Honorary board member: Fran Pestello, Ph.D.

SLU Women of the Year Award

Since 1977, the Saint Louis University Women's Commission has selected five outstanding University women to be honored at an annual springtime luncheon. The five honorees, from administrators, faculty, staff and students are recognized for their contributions, commitment and lives of service to the University and their community. They are selected from nominations submitted by colleagues, friends, supervisors and others whose lives they have touched.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to nominate an outstanding woman from Saint Louis University to be recognized as one of the five Women of the Year, an honor to be cherished.

Criteria for selection include:

  • Given evidence of her commitment to Saint Louis University's philosophy, measured by the quality and diversity of her service, her work ethic and integrity.
  • Past recognition and honors for her personal and professional achievements.
  • Given evidence of sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity, at all levels.
  • Given evidence that she is a "person for others" in the Ignatian tradition, both on campus and in the community.
  • Given evidence of how she fosters the personal and professional development of women at SLU and within the community.
  • Five-plus years of service (for SLU faculty or staff)
Previous Honorees
  • 1977: Mary A. Bruemmer
  • 1978: Sister Mary Teresa Noth, S.S.M., Ph.D.
  • 1979: Joan M. Smith
  • 1980: Marjorie H. Richey, Ph.D.
  • 1981: Ellen F. Harshman, Ph.D.
  • 1982: Mary Donovan
  • 1983: Tenth anniversary celebration: Sister Ann Ida Gannon, B.V.M., Ph.D., Doris L. O’Donnell, Joan Hrubetz, Ph.D., Doris Edwards, Josephine Bouhasin and Karen Clifford.
  • 1984: Gloria O’Connor
  • 1985: Catherine Ripperger
  • 1986: Irene Schulze, Ph.D.
  • 1987: Eileen Searls, J.D.
  • 1988: Kathleen Kingston
  • 1989: Helen I. Mandeville, Ph.D.
  • 1990: Patricia T. Murphy
  • 1991: Mary E. Robinson
  • 1992: Celerstine B. Johnson, Ed.D.
  • 1993: Twentieth anniversary celebration: Virginia Herrmann, M.D., Elizabeth Kolmer, A.S.C., Ph.D., and Karen Whitton.
  • 1994: Irene I. Riddle, Ph.D.
  • 1995: Alice B. Hayes, Ph.D.
  • 1996: Sharon Homan, Ph.D.
  • 1997: Sandra Johnson, J.D., L.L.M.
  • 1998: Dorothy Feir, Ph.D.
  • 1999: Mary Lou Bennett, Ph.D.
  • 2000: Year 2000 celebration: Shirley Dowdy, Ph.D., Joan A. Range, A.S.C., Ph.D., Mary Flick, Mary Thomas and Kathy Lund Dean.
  • 2001: Susan C. Tebb, Ph.D., Mary E. Case, M.D., Teri R. McCarthy, R.N., MSW, Mary Beth Erickson and Erin Nealon.
  • 2002: Dana Underwood, J.D., Mary Fran Ernst, Lori A. Flanagan, Anita Suzanne “Suzie” Poole and April Weiss.
  • 2003: Thirtieth anniversary celebration: Kathy Humphrey, Margaret Herning, Ph.D., Mary “Chris” Regan, Iris Hampton and Vanessa Williams.
  • 2004: Patricia A. Hagen, Ph.D., Mary Domahidy, Ph.D., Carolyn E. Mulhall, Patricia Pisarkiewicz and Deanna Durrett
  • 2005: Kathy Hagedorn, Corinne Walentik, M.D., Mary Ann Bindbeutel, Teresa Carson and Kelley Krejnik.
  • 2006: Peggy Edwards, Rebecca Kuntz Willits, Ph.D., Kathleen “Kay” Barnes, Mary Boles and Debra Krueger.
  • 2007: Erin L. Bakanas, M.D., Eloise Buker, Ph.D., Mary Elizabeth Hogan, Ph.D., Randa Kuziez and Donna Valentine.
  • 2008: Debbie J. Barbeau, Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., Donna R. Bess, Caitlin E. Clegg and Jeanne L. Hunt.
  • 2009: Margie K. Edel, Ph.D., Charity Kaiser, Irma S. Ruebling and Catherine M. Zimmer.
  • 2010: Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman, Ph.D., Lauren McCray, Samantha Morr, Darcell Scharff, Ph.D., Karla Scott, Ph.D. and Kris Siebert.
  • 2011: Cheryl L. Cavallo, Ph.D., Kathleen (Kathy) A. Day, Miriam Hallazgo, Jacqueline A. Jackson and Samiksha Tarun.
  • 2012: Laura Geiser, Marilyn Maxwell, M.D., Carol Murphy, Darina Sargeant, Ph.D. and Kripa Sreepada.
  • 2013: Fortieth anniversary celebration: Judith Carlson, Meg Connolly, Susan Heaney, M.D., Hallie Kaiser, Cynthia Stolhans, Ph.D. and Virginia Westermeyer.
  • 2014: Louise Flick, DrPH, Jennifer Giancola, Ph.D., Kathy Merlo, Barbara Whitman, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Murphy.
  • 2015: Carol Beckel, PT, Ph.D., Nancy Culbert, Ann Knezetic, Joanne Schneider, Ph.D. and Cristina Stevens.
  • 2016: Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D., Lisa L. Dorsey, Ph.D., Colette McLemore, Hannah Vestal and Nina Westhus, Ph.D.
  • 2017: LaShone Gibson, Mona Hicks, Ed.D., Joanne Langan, Ph.D., Norma A. Metheny, Ph.D, and Angela Sharkey, M.D.
  • 2018: L. Michelle Lewis, Debra Rudder Lohe, Ph.D., Kate McCollum, Teri Murray, Ph.D., and Janet Oberle
  • 2019: Ghazala Hayat, M.D., Donna LaVoie, Ph.D., Karen Myers, Ph.D., Sadita Salihovic, Danielle Uy, Regina Walton

  • 2022: Ilene Berman, M.F.A., Sharen Frey, M.D., Lorri Glover, Ph.D., Jemma Kim, D.P.T., Victoria Villarreal 

Recorded Presentations

The Women's Commission records many of its presentations. If you've missed one, check it out!


Wellness Resources

Sarah Goble, a senior in health sciences at SLU, recorded a series of meditations to share with the community and which can be heard below. Goble has been teaching yoga and practicing meditation since 2016.