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Penn State Brandywine names Women of the Year

image of Brittney Walker and Jackie Glace
Brittney Walker (left) and Jackie Glace
4/1/2011 —

Each year, the Penn State Brandywine Commission for Women searches from classroom to office and everywhere in between, to find the year’s most outstanding woman to name Woman of the Year. This year, the commission found not just one, but three.

As a member of the Office of Student Affairs, Diane Shorter is known for her dedication and calm demeanor when dealing with concerns of students and serves as a role model and mother figure to many of them.

“She is humble, kind, generous, and, out of the seven e-mails I received about her, my favorite quote is that she stands calm and collected amid chaos,” said Instructor in Communications Karrie Bowen, who served as this year’s Women’s Commission chair and announced the three winners at its annual luncheon.

Before a crowd of more than 100 staff, faculty and students in the Tomezsko Classroom Lounge on March 29, Bowen added, “She is a mother hen to our students. There is not one person that I have met in my time here at Penn State Brandywine that doesn’t just say ‘I love Diane Shorter’ when you mention her name.”

In the Female Student of the Year category there was a tie. Seniors Jackie Glace and Brittney Walker were nominated by their peers an equal number of times and both, the committee decided, deserved the honor.

“This young woman is an outstanding leader and a fantastic representative for Penn State Brandywine,” Bowen said of Glace, whose mouth dropped open at her seat as she realized she was the winner. “She is an exemplary student in every way possible. She is a Schreyer Honor student, she gives her time selflessly to help her community on both a local level, a regional level and a national level. She is honest, kind and loyal to all who know her--her teachers, her friends and the people she works with when she volunteers her summers with the Appalachia Service Project.”

Introducing Walker, Bowen said, “When going through the recommendations for Female Student of the Year, there was one statement that really struck a chord with me. ‘This young lady is an exceptional member of the Penn State Brandywine family who gives and gives and is selfless, sometimes to a fault.’ And trust me, that is true. She has a silent strength and wisdom that is not usually shown of someone her age. Truly, [she] embodies everything that is about celebrating Penn State University and the goals set forth by the Penn State Commission for Women.”

As is tradition, the campus welcomed a strong, successful woman to serve as keynote speaker for the luncheon. Philadelphia Daily News photojournalist Sarah J. Glover shared her journey from Sierra Leone, to the suburbs of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, to the Barack Obama campaign trail.

“What I have found in my life is purpose through my camera,” Glover said as she displayed photos of her travels. She shared her rules for success: find your own voice, use your talents, be who you are, never give up, be good to others, have fun always and follow your dreams. Through her photographs, Glover told stories of strength, sadness, the power to survive, change and hope.

After decades in a male-dominated industry, Glover advised, “If there are people who just want to trip you up, just go around them. Are you going to let people define you? Find your own voice.”

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