Two members of the Campus Community Honored with Jane Weston Chapman Award

April 06, 2010

Karen Petko, associate dean of students, and Leland Spencer, a senior communication studies major of Massillon, have been honored with the Jane Weston Chapman Award at Mount Union College.

The award, named for the first female graduate of Mount Union College, has been a part of Women's History Month at the College since 1997. It is awarded to faculty, staff and students - male or female - who spread women's history and address women's issues on campus.

Petko plays several important roles on campus including being a defender of women's rights. For several years, she has served as the advisor to the Association of Women Students. She has helped organize several important campus events related to women's issues such as Sexual Assault Awareness week and Take Back the Night, as well as taking part in a number of National Women's History Month events.

Along with advising the Association of Women Students, Petko is also the advisor to the Sophomore Service Honorary. She serves on the Student Technology Subcommittee, Campus Life Committee and the Diversity Council.

'Karen assists students involved in crisis situations and has been of particular assistance to students in sexual assault or domestic violence situations,' said Dr. Mary Eicholtz, assistant professor of communication, who presented Petko with the award.

Spencer manifests the ideology of the award ' and his personal idealogy ' by attempting to learn as much as he can about non-dominant groups and particularly women. From participating in the Women in the Workplace and Interpersonal Communication courses, Spencer is aware of how society needs to change. He is one of the few males pursuing a gender studies minor.

On campus Spencer has consistently been a part of the Women's History Month planning committee and has taken leadership roles in the Gay Straight Alliance.

'I am confident there is no better example of a student who works hard at disseminating information about women, addressing women's issues and improving the climate of women at Mount Union College,' said Dr. Jamie Capuzza, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, upon presenting Spencer's award. 'The women of Mount are lucky to have such a considerate and thoughtful advocate.'

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