Two women who make a difference – a nurse who educates new parents and an EIU journalism professor who leads a state labor union – will be honored at Eastern Illinois University’s Women of Achievement Awards reception.
The awards, given annually by the EIU Women’s Studies Program to women who have improved the quality of women’s lives and advanced the status of area women, will go to Pam Hood of Mattoon, a prenatal educator at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon; and Sue Kaufman of Charleston, an EIU journalism professor and president of the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100.
The awards reception is to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the Tarble Arts Center Atrium. The event is free and open to the public. Awards will also be presented to winners of the Women’s Studies Essay Contest and the new Outstanding Women’s Studies Student award, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet this year's Living History actors.
Hood created SBLHC’s “Oh, Baby” prenatal education program, which teaches expectant parents, grandparents and siblings about the issues they will be facing before and after the birth of children. She has since expanded this program and other special outreach classes to reach surrounding communities. In addition, she maintains a 24-hour telephone “warm-line” for parents to ask questions as needed.
Also at SBLHC, Hood created the Second Nature store, which stocks specialty breastfeeding, birthing and baby-care products that previously hadn’t been available locally.
Hood also teaches at Lake View College of Nursing, where she implemented the Birth Companions program, which pairs an expectant mother with a nursing student, allowing each to benefit from the other.
“During an age when medical care in general is becoming more corporate and less human, Pam Hood is a powerful example of what patient services can and should be,” wrote Ed and Jacqueline Wehrle, who nominated Hood for the award.
The second honoree, Kaufman, has long fought for women’s rights. In the mid-1960s, she picketed the Milwaukee Press Club in an effort to gain membership for women. In the early 1970s, she worked at the national level with the National Organization for Women and the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press, just a small sampling of her activity in influential organizations locally and across the country.
Kaufman joined the EIU journalism faculty in 1986. As the news and public affairs director of WEIU-TV, she guided the student-run news operation into becoming a highly respected program that has spawned numerous successful careers for its alumni.
In addition, Kaufman has been very involved with University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, first as a leader at the EIU level, and now as president of the statewide organization.
“Throughout her long career, Sue Kaufman has been an advocate of women’s causes on the national, state and local level,” wrote Evelyn Goodrick, a journalism professor emeritus, in supporting Kaufman’s nomination. “She has also worked personally to give individual women a boost.”
Winners of the annual Women’s Studies Essay Contest are EIU graduate students Krishna Ignalaga Thomas of Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain , and Emily Ramage of Mattoon, as well as EIU undergraduate student Laurie Heron of New Ulm, Minn. Honorable mentions will be given to two undergraduates, Mark Feimer of Park Forest and Lori Henderson of Charleston.
New to this year’s honors is the Outstanding Women’s Studies Student award, which will go to Carly Riley, a special education major and women’s studies minor from Edwardsville.The reception marks the end of this year’s Women’s History and Awareness Month activities at EIU. For more information on WHAM, please see the Web site at www.eiu.edu/wsminor/wham.html.