Virginia Wolf Distinguished Service Awards
Congratulations to the 2021 recipients of the Virginia Wolf Distinguished Service Awards!
This year’s virtual celebration will take place at noon PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 via Zoom.
The Women’s Center is proud to announce the 2021 award recipients! Selection of awardees is by review from a panel composed of past honorees. Women’s Center staff members serve as advisers to the nominations review committee but do not participate in the review process.
Each year, members of the campus and local community are recognized with the Virginia Wolf Award for their continuous dedication to activism for gender justice.
Virginia (Ginny) Wolf was a professor of physical education at U of I from 1964-1982. Ginny took an active role in addressing issues affecting women on campus, including chairing the U of I Women’s Caucus and helping to launch the campaign that brought about the establishment of a permanent Women’s Center.
The award was created in 2002 to recognize individuals who reflect a similar level of commitment and demonstrate a level activism reverent of what Ginny gave more than 30 years ago.
Senior, International Studies, Spanish & Sociology
Deeply dedicated to egalitarianism, Briana discovered her passion for social justice on the University of Idaho campus. As a first-year student, Briana was a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) scholarship recipient, where equity and diversity work sparked her interest in contemporary social issues. Encouraged by her CAMP advisor, she applied for a position with the Women’s Center, igniting her passion for feminism.
Briana has served the Women’s Center as the Social Media & Outreach Assistant and Events & Programming Assistant for the majority of her undergraduate career. She’s successfully coordinated and led programs on environmental justice, privilege, menstrual justice, domestic violence, and much more. She is committed to her coworkers and supervisors and lifts up the entire Women’s Center team with her steadfast dependability, commitment and brilliance.
Fellow students greatly respect Briana and engage her in conversations regarding all facets of social justice, including racial, gender and class justice, to listen, converse and learn. Briana recognizes the influence she has and has committed to further activism on campus: she held an officer position with Movimiento Activista Social (MAS), a student organization promoting and building equal and just communities in Idaho that appreciate the worth and value of all humans; became Diversity & Inclusion Chair for her sorority, Delta Delta Delta; and volunteers for the Salvation Army, the Community Council of Idaho’s Head Start program and the U of I’s Mobile Food Pantry.
Briana thrives in her humanitarian outreach, but she also thrives in academia. As an International Studies, Spanish & Sociology major, she has seized multiple opportunities to showcase her intelligence and expertise. Briana is a CAMP scholar, an SSS-TRiO scholarship recipient and a participant in the McNair Scholars program, a research and preparation program for undergraduate students working towards graduate school.
On top of her extensive involvement with the university, both academic and co-curricular, Briana has placed on the Dean’s List for the past four semesters consecutively, maintaining an impressive 3.96 cumulative GPA. She was selected by the Dept. of International Studies as their 2019-2020 Outstanding Sophomore and served as a committee member for the Distinction in International Service Award.
Emerita Professor of Law
Maureen Laflin, JD has had a long history of advocacy for gender and social justice, beginning in high school with challenging the concept of prom queen as objectifying of women, working in a women’s clinic doing pregnancy testing in college, advocating for a community organizing focus for social work majors and fulfilling her social work practicum with the United Farm Workers.
Professor Laflin was a longtime mentor to both students and colleagues at the University of Idaho’s College of Law and never shied away from directly confronting issues of gender bias, sexual harassment and other forms of identity-based discrimination. She advocated strenuously for the College of Law’s trial advocacy program to include more women trainers and updated the trainer’s manual in the early 1990s to include a sexual harassment policy. She has been a force for diversity and inclusion in ensuring the College of Law events and speakers included representation of diverse populations. She pushed for the professional legal organization, Inns of Court, to be more inclusive and diverse. And she was active for many years with The Grail, an international women’s movement “committed to spiritual search, social transformation, ecological sustainability and the release of women’s creative energy throughout the world.”
Professor Laflin served as Clinic Director for the College of Law’s Legal Aid Clinic, securing and maintaining funding for a program that offers free legal assistance around victims’ rights to survivors of domestic violence. She worked to respond to the needs of Syringa Mobile Home Park residents in Moscow when they endured more than three months without potable water. She organized wills clinics for LGBTQ couples to obtain legal documents securing the status of their relationship.
Professor Laflin’s work in her later career focused predominantly on family law issues through child custody mediations, and she recently helped a friend start a micro business for women in Tanzania seeking alternate sources of income for their families. She walks the walk again and again. Throughout her life, her work for gender justice has been a constant effort that leads to permanent change.
Associate Clinical Professor, Family & Consumer Sciences
Professor Chapman’s teaching, university service, community outreach and overall demeanor deeply reflect her lifelong commitment to advocating for social justice based on gender. As a professor in the Dept. of Family & Consumer Sciences, as well as the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies minor program, she consistently ties in the intersectionality of gender and feminism throughout her teaching. Her areas of specialization include human development across the lifespan, human sexuality and sexuality education and healthy intimate and family relationships.
Professor Chapman exemplifies inclusion, gender equity and a welcoming environment for all. Since 2018, she has served as Faculty Associate for the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL). Within that role, she co-develops and co-facilitates workshops on higher education pedagogy and pre-faculty development, helping to educate her colleagues on ways to create affirming and inclusive environments. She is actively breaking down barriers and bringing awareness to individuals’ implicit bias to improve the climate of higher education for those who come after her.
She also collaborates and assists with multiple trainings available to the campus community, such as Sex Talk & Blow Pops, This Thing Called Love, Sex in the Dark and the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training. Her collaborative roles with Vandal Health Education, the Violence Prevention Programs office and the Women’s Center promote and cultivate a space and platform for those willing to demonstrate courage and commitment in challenging misogyny and sexism.
Professor Chapman is also actively involved in various committees and departments across campus and the community, including but not limited to UI Women’s Lead, Athena and the U of I Coordinated Community Response Team through the Office on Violence Against Women Campus Grant Project. Her visibility, involvement and engagement in a wide range of initiatives across campus allow her to truly make an impact on all those with whom she interacts.
Aside from her course offerings and facilitator roles, Professor Chapman also serves as the Faculty Advisor for Generation Action, the student affiliate group of Planned Parenthood. She assists with the mobilization of advocates for reproductive freedom, public awareness about reproductive health and rights and promotes the community change associated with this work. She has the passion and ability to make a difference in her teaching, but her proven track record in providing platforms for others to do the work is unmatched. Professor Chapman has an innate ability to promote culture change. She consistently challenges her students and colleagues to be better people, both as individuals and as academics.
2020 - Samragyee Gautam (student), Leontina Hormel (staff), Maureen Taylor Regan (community member)
2019 - Ashley Ayala (student), Julia Keleher (staff), Christine Wall (community member)
2018 - Catherine Yenne (student), Christina Vazquez-Ayala (staff), Nancy Nydegger (community member)
2017 - Madeline Scyphers (student), Rula Awwad-Rafferty (faculty), Erin Tomlin (community member)
2016 - Courtney Kersten (student), Ryanne Pilgerem (faculty), Sally Fredericks (community member)
2015 - Sara Spritzer (student), Maribel Franco (student), Laura Putsche (faculty), Kathy Sprague (community member)
2014 - Kaitlin Moroney (student), Yolanda Bisbee (staff), Deb Payne (community member)
2013 - Whitney Chapman (student), Colleen Kulesza (student), Virginia Solan (staff), Heather Shea Gasser (staff), Lela Ames (community member)
2012 - Micah Kehrein (student), Jane Lear (staff), Jama Sebald (community member)
2011 - Lynn McAlister (student), Chelsia Rice (student), Christine Moffitt (faculty), Christopher Bidiman (community member)
2010 - Rachel Todd (student), Francesca Sammarruca (faculty), Liz Sullivan (community member)
2009 - Anne-Marije Rook (student), Rebecca Rod (staff), Joann Muneta (community member), Jeannie Harvey (lifetime activist)
2008 - Tara Malmquist (student), Liz Brandt (faculty), Amy Stone Ford (community member)
2007 - James French (student), Traci Craig (faculty), Mary Jo Hamilton (community member)
2006 - Cassie Searle (student), Kathy Aiken (faculty), Ginny Foote (community member)
2005 - Selena Lloyd (student), Betsy Thomas and Valerie Russo (staff)
2004 - No awards given
2003 - Lori van Buggenum (student), Debbie Storrs (faculty)
2002 - Emily Sly (student), Kay Keskinen (staff)