The winners of the 2013 Iris Marion Young Award have been announced | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
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The winners of the 2013 Iris Marion Young Award have been announced

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Iris Marion Young Award Winners 2013

Four winners of the 2013 Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement have been named.  The award is co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and the Graduate School for Public and International Policy.  Young was a professor in GSPIA during the 1990s, and she was active in the Women’s Studies Program.  After Young’s death in 2006, the award was founded in 2008 to honor Young’s memory and to recognize members of the Pitt community whose actions have had political impact within the university or beyond.

There are four winners, including Pitt undergraduate Audrey-Marie H. Winn:

For the Faculty Award:  Jessie B. Ramey, currently an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in Women’s Studies and History at the University of Pittsburgh.  Ramey is being honored for her activism on behalf of public education in Western Pennsylvania.  She is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Great School Coalition, an organization devoted to improving public schools and public school funding in Western Pennsylvania, and the lead author of the blog with the same goal, Yinzercation.  As a result of these efforts, Ramey has twice been invited to the White House to meet with President Obama’s senior policy advisors about educational issues.  Ramey’s scholarship supports her interest in children’s welfare and opportunities.  She is the author of Childcare in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages (University of Illinois Press, 2012), which won the Lerner-Scott prize in women’s history from the Organization of American Historians, the Herbert G. Gutman Prize of the Labor and Working-Class History Association, and the John Heinz Award of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

For the Staff Award:  Sherdina D. Harper is being honored for her exemplary work as Coordinator of Cross Cultural Programming at Pitt.  Harper advises several student organizations at Pitt (Rainbow Alliance, Black Action Society, and Campus Women’s Organization) and provides diversity trainings and workshops, including the Allies Training for staff and faculty about how to support LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer) students at Pitt.  

For the Graduate Student Award:  Alicia Williamson, currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Lecturer in the English Department, is being honored for her accomplishments as a PhD student.  Williamson was a founding member of Pittsburghers for Public Transit, a grassroots organization begun in 2010 that brings together transit riders, drivers, and supporters.  The group works to stop service cuts and fare hikes and to make public transportation cheaper and better.    She has also been a member of the Thomas Merton Center’s Economic Justice Committee, and she has recently helped to found the Pittsburgh Collaborative for Working Class Studies, an organization that brings together scholars from several Pittsburgh colleges and universities. 

For the Undergraduate Student Award:  Audrey-Marie H. Winn is a junior majoring in Philosophy, Chinese, and Nonfiction Writing.  She is being honored for activism and service conducted in the Pittsburgh area and China.  She has worked locally as a reading tutor through AmeriCorps VISTA, and as a result of this work, she founded a community service initiative to provide communal bookshelves in low-income Pittsburgh neighborhoods.  She has also worked as a Legal Intake Intern for the ACLU.  Winn extended her work for social justice to a new field this summer when she began compiling statements from migrant workers while living and studying in Chengdu, China.  She presented her research in Mandarin Chinese to students and administrators at Sichuan University, one of the largest employers of migrant workers in central China.   

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