Recognized for their contributions at the Women of Distinction event were front row, left to right, Dr. Mary S. Jackson, College of Human Ecology; Maria Theresa (Terry) Shank, ECU alumna; Dr. Cindy Putnam-Evans, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Kathryn M. Kolasa, Brody School of Medicine; and back row, left to right, Julie Poorman, Department of Financial Aid; Holly Garriott, School of Art and Design; Dr. Beth Wall-Bassett, College of Human Ecology; Dr. Kim Larson, College of Nursing; Dr. Catherine Rigsby, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Kathryn Verbanac, Brody School of Medicine. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
Rigsby gets top women’s leadership award
April 9, 2013
By Mary Schulken
ECU News Services
An East Carolina University researcher and faculty member described as a tireless advocate for a high quality university education has received the campus’ top leadership award for women.
Dr. Catherine Rigsby, a professor in the geology department and a researcher with an international reputation, accepted the 2013 Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award Monday.
“She is a scholar and educator who instills in her students the importance of a strong liberal arts education regardless of the discipline,” said Jill Naar, chair of the selection committee, who presented Rigsby with the honor.
“I hope that we will all band together to defend higher education — for the future of our women and the future of our men,” Rigsby told the group, referring to state funding cuts that have trimmed university budgets as much as 17 percent in fiscal year 2011-12. “We are an education system in crisis.”
Bauer’s nomination of Rigsby described her as a leader in ways that “positively influence the value of the education this university provides our students.”
Rigsby’s work as a researcher and scientist includes time as a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil, where for the next three years she has been awarded a rare Special Visiting Researcher designation in the Science Without Borders program.
“Rigsby has managed to serve at this exceedingly high level while still teaching undergraduates, still advising graduate students and still conducting high quality, original geologic research,” said Stephen J. Culver, chair of the geology department and Harriot College Distinguished Professor.
‘Women of Distinction’
Ten women, including Rigsby, were recognized for their contributions to the institution, community and region at the event. Each demonstrated leadership in areas such as academics/education, outreach, research, politics, athletics and volunteering. Nominees were judged on six criteria: leadership, commitment, determination, generosity of spirit/time, community building and the ability to empower and mentor others.
Other Women of Distinction included:
‘Encourage our girls’