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Women's Commission Grants

Saint Louis University's Women's Commission offers multiple opportunities to fund leadership, professional development and community impact projects. 

Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant

Through a competitive grant funding process, the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant will help financially support individual leadership development opportunities and community impact projects that support the advancement of women.


In 2016, the Saint Louis University Women's Commission established the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant with initial endowed support from an anonymous Women's Commission member and Woman of the Year award winner in 1994.

The purpose of the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant is to support the mission of the Women's Commission, which is to educate, enrich, and empower the women of Saint Louis University by providing funding for opportunities that foster their personal and professional development.

Giving Criteria

The Women's Commission has an interest in funding projects, programs, and leadership opportunities that promote the interests, issues, and concerns of the women at Saint Louis University in two strategic areas:

  1. Individual Leadership Development
  2. Community Impact for the Advancement of Women

Awards are based on the following selection criteria:

  • Alignment with the mission and strategic direction of the Women's Commission
  • Impact of the project, program, or leadership opportunity for the individual or on the community
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Validity of proposed budget and budget narrative
  • Quality of written proposal
  • Women's Commission's budget

 The Women's Commission Grants Committee will review all applications for funding and make recommendations to the Women’s Commission president or executive board for final approval. 


All members of the Saint Louis University community, with the exception of students graduating in the current academic year, are welcome to apply. Members include any Saint Louis University student, faculty or staff member.

Award Amount

The Women's Commission intends to fund at least one project annually. Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and according to the amount of funds available. Applicants may submit an application for grant funding annually; however, Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial grants are single-year awards only. Multi-year funding commitments will not be awarded.

In the past, the Women's Commission funded individual requests in the range of $500 to $1,000. This range can be used as a general guideline for your funding request; however, the amount that you request is at your discretion and should reflect an amount suitable to make an impact on your project or program.

Grant Process and Timeline

Download the grant application and submit it electronically to Alexis Bruce-Staudt, grants committee chair, at An applicant may submit only one proposal per fiscal year. Email subject fields should read "First and Last Name: Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant." Include a copy of your resume or CV.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. CST on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Community Impact for the Advancement of Women Application (PDF)

Individual Development Application (PDF)

Grant Recipient's Obligations

Submit a written report at the conclusion of the grant period, June 30 of the year the work is completed, which provides a status of the project/program, measures success and impact based on details outlined in the grant application and gives an accounting of the project budget.

Present an overview of the funded project, program or leadership opportunity, along with its outcomes and impact to the executive board.

Attend the recognition luncheon to be celebrated for receiving the grant and attend, as requested in future years, to be recognized for completion of the grant requirements.

Willingness to promote the award, including, but not limited to, photos, interviews or social media posts.

Acknowledge funding support by the Women's Commission in written materials pertaining to the project/program and during presentations on the project/program.

Terms and Conditions

Grant recipients agree to allow the Women's Commission to publicize their name, award amount, and description of their funded project, initiative, or leadership opportunity.

In performing any activities reasonably related to a sponsored project, all parties shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal, state, and local laws; rules; and Saint Louis University policies and regulations in effect at the time of such activities.

The applicants must identify whether projects include the use of human subjects, animals, hazardous materials, etc. In the event an award is made, the applicant must have the appropriate committee approval(s), e.g., Institutional Review Board (IRB), Animal Care Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, etc., prior to the start of the project.

This grant application solicitation and any proposal submitted in response does not authorize applicants submitting proposals to proceed with any work nor make any financial commitments until awards have been formally announced in writing.

The Women's Commission reserves the right to:

  • Award funding to one or more applicants
  • Not grant an award
  • Cancel the proposal solicitation
  • Conduct discussions or negotiations with any or all candidates submitting proposals

The grants awarded are based on the availability of funds and the applicant's individual needs.


2023 Awardees

  • Lisieux Heulman, Assistant Professor, English as a Second Language Program and Associate Director for Pathway Programs, INTO SLU
    Project: Attend 2024 TESOL International Convention
  • Missi White-Lester, Staff/PhD Student, Graduate Medical Education Office
    Project: Attend AAMC 2023 Leadership Education & Development Certificate Program

2022 Awardees

  • Elizabeth Salley, Graduate Student, College of Arts and Sciences
    Project:  Resettlement and Integration: Afghan Refugee Women in St. Louis
  • Jingtong Tang, Ph.D., Mary Louise Murray Endowed Professor of Management, Chaifetz School of Business
    Project:  Welcoming female immigrants and refugees to St. Louis: One entrepreneur at a time
  • Luella Loseille, M.Ed., Assistant Director, Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship
    Project:  Audre Lorde Scholars Women Symposium
  • Farzan Hoque, M.D., MRCP, FACP, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine
    Program:  Attend the American Association of Medical College (AAMC) Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar and conduct a symposium for Saint Louis University Internal Medicine women residents and faculty

2021 Awardees

  • Shreya Nagendra, Doctoral Student, College for Public Health & Social Justice
    Project: Explore medical providers’ perceptions, barriers, facilitators, and acceptability of shared decision-making in contraceptive counseling in the St. Louis metropolitan region to inform clinical practice and policy.
  • Ellen Kim, Physician Resident, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
    Project: Advancing Minority Female Mental Health through a community-based high school pipeline program for women in psychiatry.

2020 Awardees

  • Jean Krampe, Associate Professor, Trudy Busch Valentine Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
    Program: Attend & present at the Japanese Society for Public Health conference in Japan.
  • Julie Gammack, Sr. Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education
    Program: Funds will be used in conjunction with the Graduate Medical Education Office to support a SLU female resident to attend a national leadership skills training program specific to chief residents.
  • Shannon Grabosch, Associate Division Director, OBGYN
    Project: Grabosch and the research team will evaluate meditation using the Headspace smartphone application in women with cervical or endometrial cancer.

2019 Awardees

  • Thembekile Shato, Ph.D. candidate, College for Public Health and Social Justice
    Project: Understanding the factors that influence cervical cancer screening among women and health care providers in Zimbabwe
  • Emily Boyd, Retention Specialist, Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
    Cristina McGroarty, Assistant Professor, Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
    Margaret Bultas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
    Project: Impacts of Mindfulness Practice on Nursing Students, a project that will evaluate the effects of participating in a mindfulness intervention prior to testing on perceived stress, anxiety, self-efficacy, and resilience in nursing students. Exam performance (real and perceived) will be evaluated as well.
  • Jennifer Popiel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History
    Project: Women in the Humanities Monthly Lunch, program that advances educational and career opportunities for SLU women faculty by discussing teaching, current research, and barriers to advancement

2018 Awardees

  • Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, Pediatric Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery
    Project: Cohort of Homeward Bound Program, traveled with 80 women from 26 countries to Antarctica to tackle a leadership initiative led by women as it relates to heightening the influence and impact of women in decisions that shape our planet.

  • Jintong Tang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Management
    Program: Promoting Women Entrepreneurship on Campus, organized a workshop and a field trip to a co-working space (CIC) with 14 students interested in entrepreneurship.

2017 Awardees

  • Chris Sebelski, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
    Lisa Dorsey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
    Vicki Moran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
    Project: Pathways of Leader Self-Efficacy for Women in Higher Education, a mixed methods research study that looked at females in multiple stakeholder groups to assess their level of leadership self-efficacy and through semi-structured interviews seek to understand the subject’s perceptions of leadership, their advancement trajectory, and perceived barriers. This preliminary data will serve as a basis for a future multi-site study of higher education institutions.

  • Olivia Smithhisler, Student, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
    Program: The Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, it is the world’s largest conference and career fair for women engineers that focuses on professional development and creating networks for female engineers who are active in their field, returning to engineering, or just getting started.

  • Lisa Fischer, Ph.D., Academic English Coordinator and Assistant Professor, INTO Program Program: Completion of the TESOL ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program

Leadership Development

The Individual Leadership Development Grant offers funding in support of Saint Louis University women in pursuit of leadership development and career advancement opportunities. 

Community Impact

The Community Impact for the Advancement of Women Grant focuses on projects that exhibit a strong commitment to serve groups of women within the community, particularly projects that demonstrate a high level of stakeholder impact. Examples of benefits of such projects include: 

  • Advancing educational or career opportunities for women
  • Helping women overcome challenges, barriers, or inequity
  • Providing resources that will improve the quality of life