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Recipients of UIS’ Lynn and Student Activism awards announced

April 27, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Two annual awards recognizing contributions to a positive campus environment for women have been presented at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Jan Droegkamp received the Ninth Annual Naomi B. Lynn Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women at UIS. Leslie Rossman received the Second Annual Student Award in Recognition for Positive Contributions in Gendered Issues to the UIS Campus Community through Activism. Both awards were presented at a ceremony held April 25 on campus.

(Left to right) Blair Brown, Leslie Rossman, Anica Malabanan, Naomi Lynn, Barbara Ferrara, Jan Droegkamp, and Loni Oehlwein at ceremonies presenting awards for service and activism at UIS.

The Lynn Award is made by the UIS Women's Center Council in recognition of significant contributions to women at UIS and honors Lynn, who served as president of Sangamon State University and chancellor of UIS from 1991 to 2001. Recipients are recognized with a gift made in their name to the Women's Peace and Friendship Garden, which is located on the west side of the campus pond.

The Student Activism Award is presented by the Women's Issues Caucus at UIS to honor those students who contribute to gender issues on campus through activism. The cash award is open to any student, regardless of gender, who has made significant contributions to the campus community.

Related site

UIS Women's Center

Droegkamp is professor of Liberal Studies and Individual Option. Materials nominating her for the Lynn award cited her as a "champion for women whose analysis incorporates human development counseling, international studies, liberal studies, counseling, and advising" and an "advocate of the living/learning environment" whose "commitment, generosity, and willingness to help women students realize their goals and dreams cannot be overestimated."

A member of the faculty since 1985, Droegkamp has also taught courses in a number of other programs at UIS, including Credit for Prior Learning, Applied Study, and Women's Studies. She has more than 30 years of experience in international education including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, and she has led UIS students in service learning courses to that country. In 2003 she was a visiting professor at the University of Botswana, where she worked with the counseling department, conducted staff development workshops, did research on older women, and worked to develop exchange programs. She has received two major faculty awards – the 2005 Robert Spencer Award for Service and the 1994 Distinguished University Service Award for Teaching. Her community engagement includes serving as a volunteer and member of the board of directors of Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery and as a volunteer with Heartland Peace Center and Habitat for Humanity.

Rossman, a graduate student in the Political Studies program, was hailed as "a jill-of-all-trades," "one of the most active students on campus," and "a core person in WIC's success this year." At UIS, she is active in a number of organizations and has been the recipient of several awards, ranging from inclusion in Who's Who to the Lee Frost-Kumpf Scholarship for Excellence in Academics and induction into Phi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society. Nominating materials noted in part that her "ability to stand up for what she believes in and fight for women's issues and social justice are why she represents the best of UIS."

Other nominees for the Lynn Award were Barbara Ferrara, interim executive director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, and Loni Oehlwein, resident director of west campus apartments.

Other nominees for the Student Activism Award were Blair Brown and Anica Malabanan.

Past recipients of the Lynn Award are academic program secretary Normajean Niebur (2005), associate professor Annette Van Dyke (2004), student Veronica Espina (2002), professor emerita Jacqueline Jackson (2001), multicultural student affairs coordinator Terri Jackson (2000), professor emerita Judith Everson (1999), counseling center director Judy Shipp (1998), and professor emerita Mattilou Catchpole (1997).

Last year's recipient of the Student Activism Award was Candi Clouse.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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