LCU Fund for Women's EducationLCU Fund for Women's Education

Opening Doors Since 1858

President's Award for Excellence in Leadership

At the October 19, 2017 donor and student event, the LCU Fund for Women's Education Board of Directors recognized its 2017 recipient and six finalists of the President's Award for Excellence in Leadership. This award, named in honor of past LCU foundation president Carol Farris, is designed to recognize outstanding leadership demonstrated by a current student beneficiary in her home and / or school community.

2017 Recipient: Anne Marie Witchger

Anne Marie Witchger is a student at the General Theological Seminary, where she is actively engaged in campus life as a reader, preacher, officiant and pastoral presence.Throughout her education, she has served in a variety of leadership roles.  At the Church of the Heavenly Rest, she coordinates prison re-entry and hunger programs and provides leadership for a staff of fifteen. She has also served as an Oncology Chaplain Resident at where she was responsible for organizing interfaith memorial services; developed a two-day seminar on cancer for local clergy and led patient experience trainings for hospital staff members. She has taught Sunday school, served as a young adult leader; teaches yoga and led interfaith and faith-based initiatives at her school, church, and broader community.

Anne Marie writes, “I have realized that, for me, leadership is as much about supporting and empowering others as it is about being the face of a new initiatives. For me, leadership is about hard, detail- oriented work as well as visionary ideas.”  

Anne Marie will be pursuing a Masters of Arts in Ministry at the seminary.

2017 Finalists

As a student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Mistee Denson, took advantage of every opportunity to make an impact. As the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Chapter at the school, she planned a city-wide rally to advocate around juvenile justice issues. She was also a member of the Criminal Justice Caucus and helped to coordinate the Beyond the Bars Conference along with the Center for Justice at the university. She also served on the school’s task force on Race, Ethnicity, and Inclusion; and is a Student Ambassador where she assists students in navigating the school community.

Elizabeth Ramos received her Associate's degree from Phillips School of Nursing at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel in June. She began the school's Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program this fall. Considered a non-traditional student as it has been nearly a decade since she was enrolled in formal courses, she states that, “My work experience, history and education, will be an asset to shaping my career as a Registered Nurse.” With a goal to become a nurse practitioner with a specialization in Geriatrics, Elizabeth exemplifies the spirit of a leader through her special volunteer work at her mother's senior center. Elizabeth says, "In nursing school, I learned that a leader may or may not have recognized authority within the organization. People can truly demonstrate leadership skills at any level of experience and in any stage of their careers. Working efficiently toward goals, as one helps to influence others to meet the same goals is the definition of leadership in the field of nursing. We can all be leaders in our community and work place."

Kalyca Seabrook recently graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science in Nursing. In September, she began her studies with Columbia University’s School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She has been accepted as a Paul Ambrose Scholar (one of only forty in the country); in which she is pursuing strategies to decrease infant low birth weight and prematurity in Harlem. All who know Kalyca are confident that she will be a nurse leader who will serve the vulnerable populations nearest to her heart.

Lucy Turnbull has been a part of the New York Studio School for a year and has successfully completed two semesters and participated in six two-week intensives called ‘marathons”. She quickly transformed from a shy, international student to class monitor for her courses. In this capacity, she assisted at lectures, attended dinners and participated in school fundraising benefits. She takes great pride in serving the school, working hard, leading by example and contributing to this vibrant community of students, artists, staff, patrons and visitors. In her final year of studies, she will serve on the School Board of Governors and continue to encourage fellow Australian’s to study in New York.

Sharma Uddin is a graduate student with the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College where she is an exemplary student despite having responsibility for supporting her family and caring for her siblings. Sharma in deeply involved in campus life where she serves as an Ambassador to the Baruch College in which she mentors other students as they work to balance family life, personal struggles, a career, and in many cases - childcare, while pursuing their studies.

Leeanna Chipani recently received a Master of Fine Arts from the New York Academy of Art. During her time at the Academy, Leeanna concentrated in painting and worked feverishly to embrace her training and her cultural roots. She traveled to Peru to immerse herself in her family history and threw herself into her studies. From her time working for the communications department, Leeanna also showed herself to be devoted, thorough and knowledgeable – qualities of a strong leader. Leeanna demonstrates leadership in another unique way: defining contemporary figurative art in diaspora for a country that does not share the same figurative traditions. As she transitions from postgraduate life and becomes a practicing figurative artist, she will inspire others like her to remain focused on their passions, despite the many social and individual difficulties they may face.