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Three Creighton women honored with Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Award at annual Founders Week

Mary Lucretia Sarah Emily AwardsOn Feb. 9, Creighton University’s Committee on the Status of Women honored three Creighton women with the 2017 Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Award. This award honors faculty, staff and students who have created a supportive environment of achievement for women; encouraged women faculty, staff or students in the development of their talents; or served as a role model of accomplishment for women.

The recipients of this year’s award were Mary Chase, EdD, vice provost for Enrollment Management and University Planning; Deborah Wells, PhD, senior associate dean, Heider College of Business; and Rachel Lee, third-year student, School of Law. Videos were shown at the luncheon to highlight each recipient's accomplishments. View each video below.

Chase has been at Creighton since 2004 and holds more than 20 years of experience in admissions and enrollment management. Throughout her career, Chase has consistently shown her dedication to the mission of Creighton University. Her ability to be both strategic and visionary ensures Creighton will always be well prepared for the future of higher education. Chase leads the University as a co-chair for the President’s Planning Committee. She recently completed her doctorate at Creighton, focusing on better serving adults seeking degree completion.

“At Creighton, we recruit one student at a time” is one of Chase’s popular sayings. She is committed to the success of students from their initial enrollment through graduation and beyond. Chase serves as a role model for many students, advocating for their personal and professional development. She is a thoughtful and focused leader, blazing a trail for other women to shine their light on the world.

View Chase's video here.

Wells began her career at Creighton in 1987 as an assistant professor in management in the College of Business. Throughout her many roles at Creighton, including acting dean of Heider College of Business and associate dean of Graduate Programs, Wells has been a champion for equity and inclusivity for women. She has fostered an environment supportive of women’s growth, development and achievements within the Heider College of Business. Wells is also a mentor to students and women across the University and Omaha through the Women’s Fund of Omaha.

When Wells began her role as an associate dean, she saw some of her female colleagues had to work two jobs to make ends meet. Wells advocated for job reclassifications for women, ensuring higher pay grades for them. In the classroom, Wells is careful to balance female and male guest speakers, so students can see both genders in powerful positions. She encourages her team to speak up, and find opportunities for professional development on and off campus. Her focus remains on enlarging the Creighton network in service to other women.

View Wells' video here.

Lee has long been an active proponent of increasing outcomes and achievements for women. Prior to law school, Lee spent two years in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, as a Young Adult Volunteer through the Presbyterian Church. She lived and worked with 15 indigenous Guatemalan weavers in a community known as the “Heart of the Women,” where she assisted in organizing a fair-trade business.

While at Creighton, Lee volunteered to assist with a pro bono case for a young female immigrant in the Omaha community. Her efforts led to the woman receiving work authorization in the U.S. Lee also has worked for Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON-NE) as a law clerk, advocating for the rights of immigrants. Through JFON-NE, Lee has worked on cases seeking protection for clients of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act. As a member of the Negotiation and Client Counseling Board and an associate at the Legal Writing Center in the School of Law, she encourages the academic and personal development of her peers. She received a bachelor’s degree from Hastings College, in Hastings, Neb., in 2012.

View Lee's video here.

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