NC State
Council on the Status of Women

Please take a moment to read the nominations of amazing work being done on campus and in the community.

Student Nominees

Joanay Tann

Joanay Tann (she/her) – RECIPIENT
Undergraduate Student
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Joanay’s scholarship, work, and use of voice challenges others to consider how they think about gender and equity along the lines of race. When Joanay speaks, the room listens. Throughout the year, she led, alongside others, campus movements for racial justice; giving up her summer to meet with campus leadership, advocate for better policies and procedures, and call attention to the status of Black folx at NC State.



Sisterhood Celebration 2021

Andrea Ward (she/her)
Undergraduate Student
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Even with a caseload of over 40 mentees, Andrea still somehow manages to provide individualized support and guidance for each Villager that she serves. I do not exaggerate in saying that Andrea has made almost every single aspect of the WISE Village experience better just by being her authentic self. A large part of promoting womxn’s equity is empowering womxn to center their power, their experiences, and their stories. It makes me proud to know that Andrea is doing this work both for herself and for all of the womxn in STEM that she supports and she does it with a level of humility and grace that is to be admired and modeled.



Perusi Benson

Perusi Benson (they/them) – RECIPIENT
Graduate Student
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Their desire to be a change agent is steadfast and the impact and power of their voice is unmatched in our department. Not only does Perusi evidence a desire to conduct translational research, they also are pushing the field (and our laboratory) to consider multiple intersectional social determinants of health, namely those at the intersections of social identity positions of gender and sexual orientation for Black individuals in the United States.



Kaylie Kirkwood

Kaylie Kirkwood (she/her)
Graduate Student
College of Sciences

She also has tried to promote the scientist within FeMS (Females in Mass Spectrometry) by initiating member spotlights, video Q&A clips, supportive posts, and transition talks for those looking for jobs. These were solely Kaylie’s ideas and they helped increase the FeMS membership from ~10 to >2000 in just seven months. Kaylie’s influence on FeMS has been invaluable in its promotion of minority members and her tireless work has also benefited NCSU female scientists as several have been in the FeMS spotlights and given transition talks to gain exposure during COVID-19. In the last 7 months, Kaylie was able to highlight 28 FeMS members in spotlights and she also created a video to showcase the work that one group of minority scientists did during COVID to produce an international webinar series.



Staff Nominees

Stefanie Saunders

Stefanie Saunders (she/her)
Research Administration and Compliance

During the time I have known Stefanie, I observed how women employees progressed, developed new skills and advanced in their service to NC State under her supervision. Stefanie is a real role model and sets up an example of very reliable and friendly customer service. Stefanie would always go an extra mile to accommodate the co-workers and clients in any unusual situation.



Christina Walker

Christina Walker (she/her)
University Advancement

Christina has been the driving force to establish the Wolfpack Women in Philanthropy, a committed and talented group of multigenerational, multidisciplinary professional women dedicated to growing, recognizing and celebrating philanthropic contributions by women to NC State. The idea of a group focused on women’s philanthropy is not novel, but it’s new to NC State and being well received. Christina is the face and backbone of the program but consistently accepts no recognition instead, crediting her peers and the volunteers with the group’s success. She is raising the profile of women on campus and truly an asset to NC State and University Advancement.



Women & Minority Engineering Program

Women & Minority Engineering Program – RECIPIENT
College of Engineering

I know that this is an unusual nomination, but the three members of the Women and Minorities in Engineering Program work together as co-equals in all of our activities. To highlight one event from the nomination: beginning in the spring and continuing over the summer, we held regular check-in meetings for Women and Minorities in Engineering Program students to help them process the things that were happening in the world. Our minority women were particularly affected by the BLM-related happenings over the summer. We held a variety of discussions/meetings designed to help students who felt affected in the summer, even though those students were not in school at that time. We have been successful in creating community in the College that has connected all women in a supportive and successful network.



Lynn Locklear-Fisher

Lynn Locklear-Fisher (she/her)
GLBT Center

Lynn is a natural leader, and oftentimes advocates for all women, and in particular Native women and the disparities in equity treatment therein. Her work through the GLBT Center has played an integral role in the gender identity development and exploration for not only students, but faculty and staff as well. Throughout her tenure, she has impacted hundreds, if not thousands of lives.


Faculty Nominees

Dr. Emily Berglund

Dr. Emily Berglund (she/her)
College of Engineering

Dr. Berglund’s impact on the CCEE Department is crucial and visible. As one of the most senior female professors, she has promoted women grad students in the Department, in terms of their welfare and well-being in an engineering curriculum. Many of the female grad students in our EWC program decided to come to NC State because they saw the Department as a welcoming and inclusive place for grad school, along with its excellent reputation.



Jill Sexton

Jill Sexton (she/her) – RECIPIENT
NC State Libraries

In a male dominated field, it is not often that a woman is chair of the Campus IT Directors group; and we’ve needed Jill as our chair in this turbulent year. Jill helps keep a sense of community and support in a time where everyone needs IT, but no additional resources are being given; and thus our community is working long hours to ensure business and academic continuity for the university. Jill’s scholarship, leadership and service in this past year have absolutely advanced women’s equity in the NC State community.



Dr. M. Gail Jones

Dr. M. Gail Jones (she/her)
College of Education

Mentoring to Break the Glass Ceiling One of the most remarkable characteristics of Dr. Jones is her strong commitment to her students and the incredible mentoring she provides them. Although she is an excellent mentor for all students, Dr. Jones goes the extra mile to ensure that her female students do not “settle” for low paying positions and works one-on-one with them to build their self-efficacy, skills, and knowledge of academic cultures.



Dr. Laura Bottomley

Dr. Laura Bottomley (she/her)
College of Engineering

Dr. Bottomley is the true representation of diversity in several fields of study that have historically been predominately men. Her leadership, volunteerism and scholarly contributions allow young girls and women to see themselves in the STEM fields that continue to represent a gender gap. Her commitment to supporting diversity, STEM, leadership and mentorship is unwavering and NC State has benefitted greatly from her wisdom and dedication.



Dr. Lina Battestilli

Dr. Lina Battestilli (she/her)
College of Engineering

Dr. Battestilli has been an active advocate for women equity by working toward the goal of increasing women’s participation in tech. Women’s participation in tech will help alleviate bias built into technology and represent women’s points of view. It is an undisputed fact that diverse teams also produce better products. Dr. Battestilli is actively working on increasing women’s participation in tech and specifically in Computer Science.