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University Commission on Women salutes two CLASS staffers

Difference Maker Award bestowed on Ms. Juanita Terrell and Dr. Elizabeth Gregory

Juanita Terrell

Ms. Juanita Terrell

Elizabeth Gregory

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory

The Difference Maker Committee of the University Commission on Women has honored two members of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences with its Difference Maker Award – Ms. Juanita Terrell and Dr. Elizabeth Gregory.

The honor recognizes an individual’s personal efforts at the University of Houston to support gender equity, inclusiveness and policies that benefit women and families.

Ms. Terrell, the office coordinator in the CLASS Dean’s office, was nominated for the award by Dr. Sarah Fishman, history professor and associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College.

In support of her nomination of Ms. Terrell, Dr. Fishman wrote:

Juanita Terrell trains the work study students who assist her with a wide variety of duties as office coordinator. While one or two of these students have been young men, in my 10 years as Associate Dean, the vast majority of them are young women. I have watched and marveled for years at what Ms. Terrell accomplishes as she trains these young women. Not only does she teach them the specifics of the job, she encourages them in their schooling, pushes them to excel, and provides them with counsel and great wisdom as they struggle with combining school, work and family. The job becomes much more than answering phones. These young women learn about succeeding in the world, encouraged and supported by Ms. Terrell. They all graduate!”

Dr. Gregory, director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and a professor of English, was nominated by Dr. Beverly McPhail, director of the UH Women’s Resource Center.

About why she nominated Dr. Gregory, Dr. McPhail wrote:

“I nominated Elizabeth for the Difference Maker award because she does so much for the campus community and greater Houston community on issues of gender and equity. She has played a pivotal role in getting the ADVANCE grant submitted that would assist in the recruitment and retention of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) female faculty at UH. She is a member of the University Commission on Women. Also she works with the Friends of Women’s Studies to support and advance women across Houston, bringing together women for the wonderful Table Talk event each year. And she works with the refugee women service providers in Houston to teach refugee women how to transition to living successfully in the United States. Elizabeth amazes me because she does this in addition to her scholarly work, writing a book and blogging on the new later motherhood, and had a piece recently in the New York Times, all while raising two daughters. She is my role model!”

The University Commission on Women is the only presidentially-appointed commission on campus.  Its mission includes:

  • identify the concerns of women at the university
  • promote gender equity throughout all areas of the university community
  • recommend to the appropriate administrative offices ways to address the concerns of women at the university
  • communicate and collaborate with other committees and organizations to provide support, advocacy and information regarding women’s issues
  • raise awareness regarding behaviors, actions, issues, policies and procedures that affect the status of women.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences congratulates our Difference Maker Award winners and salutes your efforts to make our workplace better for everyone.