Published 04/22/14

Toby Simon receives award

Toby Simon, center, surrounded by some of the presenters and winners of this year's HerStory awards, reacts to receiving the inaugural Toby Award, presented to the person who goes above and beyond promoting women's issues on campus. Simon, the first director of the Gertrude Hochberg Women's Center Women's Center, is retiring this year.

HerStory awards honor 8 students; inaugural Toby Award goes to Women's Center's retiring director

Each spring, the Gertrude Meth Hochberg Women's Center honors women students who have enhanced the quality of life for the community of women at Bryant with HerStory awards. The awards cap HerStory month, which is dedicated to promoting issues that affect women's lives.

“These women have increased awareness on key gender issues in the Bryant community.”

“These women have increased awareness on key gender issues in the Bryant community,” says Toby Simon, assistant to the Dean of Students and director of the Hochberg Women's Center. “They are extraordinary leaders and are fabulous role models for all women on campus.”

This year's award recipients were:

  • Felicity Abreu '14, of Providence, RI. A Communication major, she is the president of the Multicultural Student Union, a member of the Senior Class Committee, and an active participant in Linked through Leadership.
  • Paige Andrews '14, of Middleboro, MA. A Human Resources major with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, she is the vice president for the Alliance for Women's Awareness and directed the Hochberg Center's annual performance of The Vagina Monologues.
  • Carli De Laura' 14, of Gales Ferry, CT. A Business Administration major with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, she works at the Hochberg Women's Center and interns with Bryant's human resources department analyzing Title IX issues.
  • Molly Martuscello '14, of Dover, NH. A Management major, she received a special achievement award for spearheading the creation of a “You Can Play” video for Bryant Athletics. The video is part of a national project to ensure that athletes are judged solely on talent and work ethic, not on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Wankelley Medina '14, of Boston. A Management major and president of the Alliance for Women's Awareness, she has worked hard to educate the campus and heighten awareness of issues that affect women's lives. She is also the vice president for African American Enterprise within the Multicultural Student Union.
  • Kelsey Nowak '14, of Litchfield, NH. A Management major and editor of The Archway, where she has written about women's issues for the last three years, Nowak also worked tirelessly to assist in preparations for the 2013 Women's Summit at Bryant University.
  • Laura Sprague '16, of Charlton, MA. A Literary and Cultural Studies major, she participated in the First-Year Orientation Program's presentation on  preventing sexual assault, and is Safe Zone certified as an ally of the LGBTQ community. She also performed in The Vagina Monologues and is a member of the Alliance for Women's Awareness.
  • Dawnette Wallace '15, of Christiansted, Virgin Islands. A Sociology major and president of Zeta Phi Beta, she has led her sorority toward implementing campus programming specifically designed to empower female students.

Simon, who became the Women's Center first director in 2003 and is retiring this year, was presented with the inaugural Toby Award for the person who goes above and beyond in promoting women's issues.

“I will miss the phenomenal students that we have here at Bryant,” she says. “It is rare to find a campus where everyone cares about each other so deeply.”

The Gertrude Meth Hochberg Women's Center provides a forum for discussing issues facing women in business and society and serves as a resource for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate diversity, engage in intellectual discussion, and work to support to the increasing number of women students on campus. Among initiatives sponsored by the Center are HERstory Month; participation in International Education Week; and collaboration with faculty and student organizations to strengthen co-curricular education and foster Bryant’s student-centered learning environment.