UMSL Trailblazers ceremony hits another high note

2013 UMSL Trailblazers

UMSL’s 2013 Trailblazers were honored in a ceremony on March 12 for their contributions to the advancement of women. Pictured (from left) are Chancellor Tom George, Evelyn Moore, guest speaker Dr. Patricia Wolff, Jane Miller, Therese Macan, Jessica Bleile and Linder Williams. (Photo by August Jennewein)

St. Louis entertainers Carolbeth True and Deborah Scharn provided a lively beginning to this year’s Trailblazers ceremony at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Their renditions of Helen Reddy’s 1971 hit ”I Am Woman” and “I’m A Woman,” popularized by Peggy Lee in 1962, had the audience clapping and singing along.

The annual ceremony, which honors women whose extraordinary lives have contributed to the advancement of women, was held March 12 in the Millennium Student Center. This year, five women were honored.

The guest speaker was Dr. Patricia Wolff, a successful St. Louis pediatrician who in 2003 introduced a ready-to-use therapeutic food called Medika Mamba to treat malnutrition in children in Haiti. The treatment has saved the lives of over 62,000 children. She is the founder and executive director of Meds & Food for Kids, the nonprofit enterprise dedicated to preventing and treating malnutrition in Haiti. She gave up her private practice in 2011 to work as the volunteer executive director of Meds and Food for Kids.

The 2013 Trailblazer honorees are:

Jessica Bleile, a UMSL senior majoring in mathematics. She is the president of the Math Club and the Pierre Laclede Honors College Student Association. She will graduate in May and has landed an internship with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in the Department of Defense. She will attend graduate school in the fall to study mathematics and geographic information systems.

Therese Macan was the first woman director of the industrial-organizational psychology graduate program and the first woman to be promoted to full professor in the program. She is a fellow in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, one of only 40 women SIOP fellows in the world. She is the author of 55 conference presentations and 40 published articles in her field.

Jane Miller arrived at UMSL in 1965 as the first woman instructor of chemistry and in 1973 became the first woman tenured associate professor in chemistry. She was the founder of a group that fought discrimination against women in the faculty and staff. She then successfully fought for adjustment of women’s salaries throughout the University of Missouri System.

Evelyn Moore manages the development of F-15 navigation and identification systems and support for domestic and international customers at Boeing Defense, Space and Security in St. Louis. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program in 2003. She then earned a master’s degree in engineering management and a graduate certificate from Washington University in St. Louis.

Linder Williams, program coordinator for persons with disabilities at UMSL, has enhanced not only access for students with disabilities, but the entire campus. With the office of Disability Access Services, she is actively involved in improving the accessibility and entrances of various building across campus as well as collaborating with various outside agencies to improve student services.


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