CORVALLIS - A Linn County woman, as well as four women from Benton County, will be honored with the 2004 Women of Achievement Awards at Oregon State University on Friday, April 30.
Honorees include Mary Zelinka of Albany; Moira Dempsey of Philomath, and Corvallis residents Rebecca Concepcion, Anisa Zvonkovic and Kathy Heath. A public reception to honor the women is set on April 30 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at OSU's Women's Center. The awards are based on devotion to equality and furthering the status of women, and for excellence in work not widely recognized, yet with potential for creating change.
Concepcion, who is working toward an OSU doctoral degree in exercise and sports science, is the first student to be honored as a Woman of Achievement. Her research focuses on the influence physical activity has on the healing process of survivors of domestic violence. Judges noted that exercise and sports science is a male-dominated field and issues of women's health have historically received little attention. Concepcion has also assisted with the Turning Point Transitions Program at Linn-Benton Community College, where she studied the role of physical activity on the self-esteem of displaced homemakers and single parents.
Zvonkovic is an OSU associate professor and the graduate director in Human Development and Family Sciences. Most of her academic research focuses on the status of women and the effect gender has in daily life and family roles. Zvonkovic was a founding member and past chair of the Family and Feminism section of the National Council on Family Relations and has served as a board member for the Corvallis Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence.
Heath, OSU an associate professor emeritus of exercise and sport science, was noted for her efforts in helping young women find careers in the male-dominated field of physical education and to promote equal access for women to organized sports. She served on the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Board in the 1980s. She served as president of the American Association of University Professors in 1986-87 and president of the OSU Faculty Senate in 1992. She was also head adviser, assistant dean and interim dean in the OSU College of Health and Human Performance (now Health and Human Sciences) between 1985 and 1997. Heath has volunteered time to the Benton County Commission on Children and Families and the Pregnancy Prevention Task Force.
Zelinka has toiled against domestic and sexual violence for nearly a quarter century. She's worked for the Center for Rape and Domestic Violence since 1990, staffing crisis lines, serving as an advocate and peer counselor to women, and providing community education. She's served as shelter coordinator-client services director since 1996. Zelinka has worked with the Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team, the Benton County Sexual Assault Response Team, and the OSU Sexual Assault Response Network. She is serving a second term as a member of the State Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Advisory Board.
Dempsey has dedicated her life's work to student success. The new director of the OSU Academic Success Center has served as co-chair of the OSU President's Commission on the Status of Women and as a consultant to the commission prior to becoming co-chair. She has worked as mentor and coach to many women on campus and has helped the commission move to a more active, inclusive role on campus. She has contributed to writing the OSU 2004 Status of Women Report, representing many hours of volunteer labor to raise standards of equity for all women on campus.
The awards are sponsored by the OSU Women's Center and the Corvallis-based Community Alliance for Diversity.
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Beth Rietveld, 541-737-1330