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2023 Women of the Year Awardees Honored at Luncheon

by Joe Barker on 04/25/2023


Five Saint Louis University women were saluted at the Women’s Commission’s annual luncheon. 

The Women’s Commission has recognized outstanding women with its Women of the Year honors since 1977. The awards, now named the Mary Bruemmer Women of the Year awards, were handed out Monday in the Wool Ballroom.

The 2023 class is: 

  • Lisa Fischer, Ph.D.: Academic Director, INTO SLU; Associate Professor, English as a Second Language

  • Luella Loseille: Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Atlas Program, Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship

  • Julie O’Heir: Director, Prison Education Program

  • Katie Shields: Head Coach, women’s soccer

  • Silviya Zustiak, Ph.D.: Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and, Pharmacology and Physiology; Co-Director, Institute for Drug and Biotherapeutic Innovation

Fran Pestello, Ph.D., gives a toast during the 2023 Women of the Year Luncheon on April 24, 2023. Photo by Sarah Conroy.
Launch SlideshowFran Pestello, Ph.D., gives a toast during the 2023 Women of the Year Luncheon on April 24, 2023. Photo by Sarah Conroy.

“It has been our privilege each year since 1977 to turn a spotlight on women who have shown integrity, passion, and dedication,” said Eliza Angarano, Women’s Commission president. “These women give us a legacy to be admired and emulated.”

The winners were nominated by members of the University community. Nominees were selected based on their commitment to Saint Louis University’s philosophy, measured by the quality and diversity of their service, their work ethic, and integrity.

“Each year at this time, we celebrate women who have made a significant contribution to SLU and its mission, such as the five inspiring women we celebrate today,” said Fran Pestello, Ph.D. “... They build on the work of Mary Bruemmer and Sister Shirley Kolmer, who look down on us from above — their tenacity and perseverance continue to inspire us today.”

Also recognized at the luncheon were the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial grant recipients. In 2016, the Saint Louis University Women’s Commission established the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant to support the mission of the Women’s Commission, which is to educate, enrich and empower the women of SLU by providing funding to connect SLU women with opportunities that foster their personal and professional development. 

The first awardee was Missi White-Luster, business manager and GME institutional coordinator at the Office of Graduate Medical Education. She received a Sister Shirley Kolmer Individual Leadership Development Award to attend the 2023 Group on Resident Affairs and Organization of Resident Representatives Professional Development conference sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

Lisieux M. Huelman, Ph.D., assistant professor of English as a second language; associate director of Pathway Programs in the ESL program at INTO SLU, TESOL program administration interest section, co-chair elect, also received a grant. Her leadership development award will be used to attend the 2024 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages International Annual Convention.