UWindsor women recognized for academic and community leadership

Women from the University of Windsor swept this year’s Athena Awards, with three winners receiving the $5,000 scholarships at a luncheon in their honour Friday.

The awards honour post-secondary students based on their community involvement, potential for leadership, and academic excellence. The 2014 recipients are MBA student Jennifer Kysilka (Wang), social work and women’s studies grad Susie Redekop and math major Katherine Vrantsidis.

Kysilka was raised in Windsor and earned a bachelor’s degree in health science at Purdue University and a master’s in public health at George Washington University before returning to pursue her MBA at the Odette School of Business. Her research work includes travel to Kenya, Ecuador and South Africa to evaluate health facilities and projects to improve the lives of impoverished youth.

Redekop earned an “A” average through her university studies, holding an appointment as an Outstanding Scholar and mentoring fellow students. She served an internship at the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women, counselling clients, providing crisis management and teaching life skills and coping strategies. Her overseas experiences include teaching English in China and working as a camp coordinator in Belize.

Vrantsidis is in her third year of studies in mathematics, with a passion for educating women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields—she plans to pursue a teaching career. Her leadership activities include positions with Girl Guides, Students Offering Support (SOS), Toastmasters International and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and as a soccer team manager and referee.

According to Loretta Stoyka, president of Windsor’s Athena Scholarship Fund, each of these scholarship recipients is an exceptional role model.

“Their examples will inspire others to achieve excellence,” she says.