University Community

Ohio University Chillicothe celebrates Women of Distinction

As part of Women’s History Month, Ohio University Chillicothe celebrated women who contribute to Ohio University Chillicothe and the greater Chillicothe community at the annual Women of Distinction program on Tuesday, March 19, in the Stevenson Center Fireside Lounge.

The program featured recognition of the Women of Distinction Award winner, as well as a panel of women in the arts featuring Poet Kathleen Burgess, Ceramicist and Glassmith Christi Conkel, Documentarian Jessica Griesheimer, and Memoirist and Seamstress Margaret Planton. Associate Professor of Instruction in English Debra Nickles served as moderator for the panel.

Roberta Milliken, dean of campus and community relations, welcomed community members, as well as OHIO Chillicothe faculty, staff, and students to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women in the community. 

“Women’s History Month provides us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the wonderful women who help to knowingly or unknowingly shape us,” Milliken said. “Some are famous. They wrote wonderful books, held important offices, ran influential businesses, or were responsible for a host of other significant accomplishments, and because of this, they serve as fine role models for us. However, it is also important to think more ‘locally,’ to think about the women we have been so very fortunate to personally know or interact with, for they, too, have made equally important impressions on us and taught us many valuable lessons.”

Panelists reflected on how they got started in their creative ventures, where they find inspiration, and why they create works of art in their respective mediums.

“I learned to listen to that organic material (clay),” said Ceramicist and OHIO Chillicothe alumna Christi Conkel. “I carry ideas around with me all the time.”

Stacey Saunders-Adams receives the Woman of Distinction Award from Roberta Milliken

Nikki Priest, assistant professor of instruction in social work, presented the Women of Distinction award to her colleague and mentor, Associate Professor of Social Work Stacey Saunders-Adams. 

“Stacey Saunders-Adams is a strong advocate for underserved and marginalized individuals, particularly those who experience some of the greatest suffering,” said one of her nominators. “Many of these people are women who have experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, and other trauma, who are unhoused and struggling with addiction. She takes extra care to create a safe space for these women and advocates for safe solutions for them in our community. Stacey has also hosted safe and sober activities for youth with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in our community through her work at First Capital Prevention.” 

“Stacey works so hard in the community as part of the Board of Directors for the Hope Partnership Project, and as a volunteer at the Ross County Community and Outreach Center where she serves people experiencing substance use disorder, homelessness, and food insecurity,” said one of her nominators. “Stacey loves being a social worker and a professor so she can teach students about how they can impact change in their communities.” 

Find a full listing of Ohio University’s Women’s History Month Events online 

March 26, 2024
Staff reports