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Woman of the Year

The Athena Women of the Year award is given annually to women who have demonstrated clear and sustained dedication to women’s professional enhancement at the University of Idaho. Women of the Year are women who truly represent the mission of Athena and fearlessly engage both professionally and personally in making changes that support and forward the mission of Athena. These are women who have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide mentorship to other women, advocate for an inclusive and supportive climate, volunteering and engaging across the University in ways that carry out in word and deed the mission of Athena. Nominees may also be engaged in other efforts, beyond our campus.

This award should not be based on a single achievement, but rather on the totality of a person’s efforts over a sustained period of time carried out on behalf of women at U of I.

Nominees must be women currently working in a U of I board-appointed position of at least half-time and have worked at U of I for a minimum of three years.

Nominations open each Spring.

2021 Recipients

Woman of the Year for Faculty

Leda Kobziar, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Wildlife Fire Science

  • Director of the Master of Natural Resources program
  • Member of the CNR Leadership Team, and the CNR Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Leading Scholar in Fire Sciences
  • Outstanding Instructor in the College of Natural Resources in 2018
Leda kobziar
Leda Kobziar

Woman of the Year for Staff

Mercedes Frausto

Academic Success Counselor

  • Advocates for and assists first generation, low income and students with disabilities
  • Created the SSS-TRIO Mentoring Program with the Women’s Center
  • Lambda Theta Alpha Advisor
  • Athena Mentorship Program 2019 Alumni 
Mercedes frausto
Mercedes Frausto