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Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award

The Ferris Women’s Network is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award.

Nominations can be made using the link below; please include a brief narrative or a bulleted list explaining how the nominee embodies and meets the award criteria listed below.

Make your nomination here.

Award Criteria

This award was created to recognize and honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership to women at their institutions, in their profession, and in society-at-large.

The award is designed to recognize work on behalf of women in higher education that is beyond the scope of the nominee’s formal staff or faculty job responsibilities.

Among activities considered worthy of this recognition are the following:

  • Mentoring women to enhance their leadership skills in higher education
  • Promoting women into increasingly responsible roles in higher education
  • Planning and implementing programs for women
  • Conducting research on and writing about women's leadership in
    higher education
  • Making presentations on women in leadership in higher education
  • Providing advocacy for women's issues in higher education
  • Serving as a catalyst for policy changes
  • Attaining a higher education leadership position in which the nominee serves as an inspiration or role model for other women
  • Being recognized state-wide, nationally or internationally for work on behalf of women in higher education
  • An evident philosophy of helping women that goes beyond job duties
  • A reputation for fairness, equity, and justice based on actions on behalf
    of women
  • A positive impact on women in leadership that goes beyond the nominee’s own campus
  • Publications or presentations that provide new information of use to women
  • Founding or originating events and programs to benefit women
  • Evidence of advancement on behalf of women in general by breaking gender barriers (e.g., in non-traditional or ground-breaking career roles)

The nomination deadline is March 2, 2022. Nominees must be current employees of Ferris State University and can be based in any university division or location within the state of Michigan.
For a list of previous recipients, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the award, please contact committee chair Jennifer Yontz at [email protected].

The recipient of this annual award mayalso be the Ferris nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Woman Leader in Higher Education Award, presented each year by the Michigan ACE Women’s Network. Additional information about this award can be found at

Note: Members of the Michigan ACE Women’s Network Executive Board, ACE Network Institutional Representatives, and their family members are not eligible to receive either the HGF or DWL Awards during their terms of service. Past Ferris recipients for the DWL Award are not eligible for the HGF Award. a brief narrative or a bulleted list explaining how the nominee embodies and meets the award criteria listed above.