Five local women were honored as the UAB Outstanding Women for 2010 during a ceremony on campus March 4. The UAB Women Center and Women’s Studies Program present the awards annually during Women’s History Month to honor female members of the UAB and Birmingham communities who have mentored or served other women, taken a courageous stance or overcome adversity. Candidates for the award are nominated by Birmingham residents and selected by a committee of university women.
The 2010 winners are: Outstanding Woman UAB Faculty Member Diane Tucker, Ph.D., Outstanding Woman UAB Student Gisella Mancarella, Outstanding Woman UAB Staff Member Molly Moran and Outstanding Woman in the Community Kathie Hiers. Joan Davis will receive the Susan D. Marchase Outstanding Woman Administrator Award.
Tucker, a psychology professor, is being honored for her leadership as director of the UAB Science and Technology Honors Program, in which more than half of the students are women. The Science and Technology Honors Program is for outstanding undergraduate students who aspire to become researchers and innovators in their scientific and technical fields. Tucker is credited for her efforts to recruit and retain women in the program and to serve as a role model.
Mancarella is a senior biology major. She has been active with “Into the Streets,” a biannual service initiative at UAB, and has worked with the UAB Black Student Awareness Committee and UAB Blaze Productions to introduce cultural and artistic events to students on campus. Mancarella has been an instructor for the Universal Cheerleaders Association in Nashville, coaching and counseling girls ages 4-18 on physical fitness, body image, healthy eating and self-esteem. She also has volunteered more than 100 hours with Campfire USA as a mentor for girls ages 7-14.
Moran is a program manager at the UAB Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics in the Department of Neurology. Nomination letters have hailed Moran as a hard-working, dedicated employee. One colleague describes her as one “who gives of herself tirelessly, both at UAB and her own time.” In addition to her job, Moran is a volunteer with the Crisis Center in Birmingham, counseling sexual assault victims and helping them navigate the medical, legal and social service processes.
Hiers is the chief executive officer of AIDS Alabama, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing housing, support services, education and testing to low-income persons with AIDS and HIV. She is being honored for her advocacy work on behalf of HIV and AIDS patients. Hiers lobbied to have the Ryan White CARE Act amended to make the distribution of federal AIDS research and treatment funds more equitable to Southern states. Earlier this year, she was appointed to U.S. President Barak Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
Joan Davis is director of administrative and fiscal affairs for the UAB Office of the Vice President for Development, Alumni and External Relations. Davis is one who “has displayed a lifelong commitment to bettering the university and specifically the lives of women on campus,” says Shirley Salloway Kahn, UAB vice president of Development, Alumni and External Relations. Kahn says Davis’ “strong business intellect and management skills have made her a valuable asset to the university and every department on campus with which she has worked during her more than three-decade tenure at UAB.”