During an April 3 luncheon, President Jim Clements and members of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women honored three faculty and staff for their exemplary service to Clemson University. The awards were created to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to improving the status of women. The festive event was held overlooking a sunny Lake Hartwell from the Pavillon at the Madren Center.
Outstanding Academic Faculty Award Winner—Heidi Zinzow, Ph.D.
As an associate professor and clinical psychologist in Clemson’s Department of Psychology, Zinzow’s research focuses on the development and evaluation of clinical interventions and prevention programs for trauma, violence and suicide. She has conducted extensive research on sexual violence prevention programs for college students, and recently served on the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies working group to develop an international briefing on sexual assault and harassment.
Zinzow’s service to Clemson University is extensive and includes serving on the University’s Title IX Hearing Board and the Sexual Violence Task Force—all while playing a leadership role in Clemson’s NSF ADVANCE grant to transform Clemson through gender equity, retention and support. Beyond campus, Zinzow provides consulting to the Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center and the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center while serving as a member of the Administrator-Research Campus Climate Collaborative, a national committee that facilitates implementation of standardized campus climate surveys on sexual violence.
Outstanding Staff Award Winner—Marian Robinson
At 48 years of age, Marian Robinson’s mother learned that she had a benign tumor. Her father passed away from colorectal cancer and Robinson, herself, had a cancer scare at age 34. Those experiences shaped her perceptions of cancer and fueled her desire to help others learn about health risks, solutions and resources.
Today, the winner of the 2019 Outstanding Staff Award, is a community health specialist at Clemson where she serves as a liaison to the local community for faculty in the University’s Public Health Services, Youth Development Leadership and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management departments. Robinson is a community builder of bridges—connecting people and resources to strengthen the youth, families and communities of the Upstate.
A certified cancer educator, Robinson educates communities on awareness and prevention on an array of health risks, and her service and positive community impacts have been highlighted in Good Housekeeping, Essence and Ebony magazines. Marion was previously honored by Clemson’s as the recipient of the MLK, Jr. Award for Excellence in Service and by South Carolina as a Cancer Alliance Award winner.
Distinguished Contributor Award Winner—Margaret Eldridge
Margaret Eldridge has shared her insights with students as a lecturer in Clemson’s Women’s Leadership I course for the past two years. She has much to share, having enjoyed a successful 30-year career in the banking industry in Arkansas. She served as the president and CEO of consumer banking for Twin Cities Bank and corporate executive vice-president of its parent company TCBankshares. Eldridge chaired the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and the Governor’s Economic Development Advisory Board in Arkansas under then-governor Bill Clinton.
Her students call her “energetic,” “knowledgeable” and “selfless.” Eldridge mentors many students in the program and has been instrumental in the development in the development of the program’s Women’s Leadership II course.
Civil engineering student Raghed Al Dahabi was recognized with the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award. Al Dahabi leads the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), mentors students as part of the CE-MENT program, hosted by the Civil Engineering department and served as president of the Muslim Student Association, which flourished under her leadership.
As MCG’s current president, Al Dahabi created the Council’s MCG Talks program, aimed at education and dialogue on topics such as feminism, mental health, domestic violence and more.
Shannon Stefl, winner of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, wants to illuminate issues faced by women and underrepresented communities in the STEM discipline. Bringing issues to light is the first step in finding solutions. Through her research, teaching, presentations, workshops and leadership activities, Stefl hopes to highlight the barriers faced by these underrepresented communities and empower students, faculty and staff to cultivate inclusive cultures within STEM programs and in the higher education space.
Also honored during the luncheon with the Thea McCrary Student Award for Outstanding Service was women’s leadership student Francesca Shaw, who advocates for an inclusive atmosphere for African-American women and girls. Shaw serves on the board of Sister2Sister, leads the A.Bevy Collegiate Group Sector 7, which produces creative and introspective experiences that help African-American students find their purpose and passion, and co-taught the Lead2Succeed summer camp that helped women develop their leadership skills.
Named after the late Captain Thea McCrary, former chair of the Women’s Commission and winner of the Outstanding Woman Award for Staff, this award encourages and promotes a female student who has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, and community service.