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Virginia Wolf Distinguished Service Awards

2023 Virginia Wolf Distinguished Service Awards Reception and Celebration

Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Clearwater/Whitewater Rooms, First Floor, ISUB

Each year, members of the campus and local community are recognized with the Virginia Wolf Award for their continuous dedication to activism for gender justice.

Virginia (Ginny) Wolf was a professor of physical education at U of I from 1964-1982. Ginny took an active role in addressing issues affecting women on campus, including chairing the U of I Women’s Caucus and helping to launch the campaign that brought about the establishment of a permanent Women’s Center.

The award was created in 2002 to recognize individuals who reflect a similar level of commitment and demonstrate a level activism reverent of what Ginny gave more than 30 years ago. Selection of awardees is by review from a panel composed of past honorees. Women’s Center staff members serve as advisors to the nominations review committee but do not participate in the review process.

Upcoming Events

The Women’s Center offers a wide variety of events to help inform, educate, inspire and empower around women’s and gender-related issues.

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2022 Recipients

Farjahan is a staff member in the International Programs Office at the University of Idaho and a PhD candidate in the Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences. She has demonstrated extraordinary courage, challenging incessant sexism, misogyny, and violence throughout her married life of 10 years. Enduring terrible physical and emotional torture daily, she was able to emerge as an independent single mother with 2 children, and travel to the University of Idaho from Bangladesh to pursue her PhD. Farjahan continues to persevere, raising her children on her own in a foreign country, providing them with everything they need from a stable parent. Farjahan’s nominator salutes her spirit as an indomitable independent human being, flying free, bravely facing all of the cultural stigma her family still subjects her to.

Listen to her tell her powerful story at a TEDx UIdaho talk here.

Dr. Haltinner is a remarkable advocate for social justice, especially regarding the intertwined realities of gender, race, and class. She has a distinguished record of university service around equity and justice, both in her administrative positions and her committee service.

For almost a decade, Dr. Haltinner has served as either coordinator or director for the Certificate for Equity & Justice. In these positions, she has hosted workshops, organized dozens of talks by national and local experts, and provided trainings on issues of equity and justice. She has also provided trainings on avoiding microaggressions for U of I faculty, resisting hate groups for students and community members, and how to be anti-racist for the College of Law. Perhaps most courageously of all, she shared her own experiences with sexual assault in a Mobilizing Men series panel for the U of I Women’s Center in fall 2021.

Over the past decade, she has served on a working group for Equity in Undergraduate Admissions, the President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion, and the planning committee for Black History Month. She is currently chairing Ubuntu and serving on the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team (formerly the Bias Response Team). For the past three semesters she has also assumed the position of a CLASS Humanities Fellow dedicated to improving equity in the college by reviewing hiring guidelines, fundraising for an equity endowment, and organizing lectures, professional development workshops, and trainings for students, staff, and faculty. A crowning achievement within her larger efforts was the change in naming practices by the university. After years of collective efforts, Dr. Haltinner was part of the team on the Preferred Name Working Group who helped instigate a technological shift that allowed students to list their preferred names, effectively ending deadnaming in classrooms and offices across the U of I.

Dr. Haltinner’s administrative work is intimately connected to her teaching. Over her tenure at the university, her Sociology courses have served as a backbone to gender and feminist theory, including courses like Sociology of Gender or Introduction to Inequity and Inclusion. She has also served students as affiliated faculty in Africana Studies; Environmental Studies; Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and American Indian Studies. This semester, her Power, Politics, and Society course invited students to structure their own utopian class environment and provided crucial experiential learning opportunities as students question what an egalitarian society can look like. She has published on teaching gender and sex in the classroom, bringing her insights to other teachers and sharing her experiences.

Finally, Dr. Haltinner’s research has also contributed to her career-long commitment to social justice, especially with regards to gender. Her main research has focused on right-wing extremism, and she has often addressed the role of women within those ideologies. Dr. Haltinner also recently published a book, No Perfect Birth: Trauma and Obstetric Care in the Rural United States (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) that grapples with the life and death consequences of gender inequality in medical care.

The University of Idaho is lucky to have Dr. Haltinner and her commitment to making our communities safer and more understanding. Her willingness to be vulnerable and her courage in both sharing her own stories makes her a role model for everyone engaged in fighting for gender equality.

Amy has been dedicated to gender justice for decades and discovered her passion for social justice and equity on the University of Idaho campus.

Amy is an alumna of U of I and has taken her talents beyond the bounds of Moscow. After graduating, Amy worked at the U of I Women’s Center supporting programs and students. She then moved on to Washington State University, supporting low-income students through TRIO and then, furthering WSU’s land grant mission by serving students in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Presently, Amy serves as the WSU Women's Center Director. In her role, Amy models authentic, feminist leadership for students and her colleagues. She remains accessible to students with intention, she comforts colleagues with her laugh and she calls out patriarchy in meetings. Amy can make you feel unsettled one moment, pushing you out of your comfort zone, perhaps to confront your white privilege, and the next moment, have you laughing. She is skilled at educating while connecting. She’ll call you in while simultaneously communicating care.

Amy exemplifies practicing what you preach. For Amy, decolonization and intersectionality are not buzzwords to perform social justice credibility, but rather true values she holds and carries with her in the work she does. She plays an integral role in supporting women and queer people of color on the Palouse. For example, bringing her idea to fruition by co-writing a proposal to bring the 2020 Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Summer Institute to Pullman, Washington (English translation: Women Active in Letters and Social Change). This is a national conference that actively works toward the support, education and dissemination of Chicana/Latina and Native American women’s issues. Amy is serving her campus and community by providing a much-needed, rare space where Chicanas/Latinas and Native American women, trans and gender non-conforming people can come together without the influence of male and/or Euro-American consciousness or opinion.

Although this conference was altered by COVID, Amy’s work to bring it to the Palouse touched people and communicated the need for this vital space. Amy transitions intersectionality and decolonization from theory into practice every day whether planning a conference, speaking up in a meeting, or giving a student her ear, time, and expertise. The work she does is taxing. She faces institutionalized imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy as her full-time job. She also does this on weekends and holidays and in her personal life. On tough days, bright days, seemingly hopeless days – Amy is there continuing the work, willing to connect, willing to keep at it. Students adore her, and people hear her laugh and want to know her.

Past Recipients

2021 - Briana Navarro (student), Erin Chapman (faculty), Maureen Laflin (community member)

2020 - Samragyee Gautam (student), Leontina Hormel (staff), Maureen Taylor Regan (community member)

2019 - Ashley Ayala (student), Julia Keleher (staff), Christine Wall (community member)

2018 - Catherine Yenne (student), Christina Vazquez-Ayala (staff), Nancy Nydegger (community member)

2017 - Madeline Scyphers (student), Rula Awwad-Rafferty (faculty), Erin Tomlin (community member)

2016 - Courtney Kersten (student), Ryanne Pilgerem (faculty), Sally Fredericks (community member)

2015 - Sara Spritzer (student), Maribel Franco (student), Laura Putsche (faculty), Kathy Sprague (community member)

2014 - Kaitlin Moroney (student), Yolanda Bisbee (staff), Deb Payne (community member)

2013 - Whitney Chapman (student), Colleen Kulesza (student), Virginia Solan (staff), Heather Shea Gasser (staff), Lela Ames (community member)

2012 - Micah Kehrein (student), Jane Lear (staff), Jama Sebald (community member)

2011 - Lynn McAlister (student), Chelsia Rice (student), Christine Moffitt (faculty), Christopher Bidiman (community member)

2010 - Rachel Todd (student), Francesca Sammarruca (faculty), Liz Sullivan (community member)

2009 - Anne-Marije Rook (student), Rebecca Rod (staff), Joann Muneta (community member), Jeannie Harvey (lifetime activist)

2008 - Tara Malmquist (student), Liz Brandt (faculty), Amy Stone Ford (community member)

2007 - James French (student), Traci Craig (faculty), Mary Jo Hamilton (community member)

2006 - Cassie Searle (student), Kathy Aiken (faculty), Ginny Foote (community member)

2005 - Selena Lloyd (student), Betsy Thomas and Valerie Russo (staff)

2004 - No awards given

2003 - Lori van Buggenum (student), Debbie Storrs (faculty)

2002 - Emily Sly (student), Kay Keskinen (staff)

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