COLUMBIA — Vicky Riback Wilson fought for women's rights for years in the Missouri House of Representatives. Now, she's the service-learning and fellowships coordinator at MU and advocates for women's rights on campus.
Riback Wilson said young women tend to forget that the fight for gender equality and participation is not over yet, especially within the realm of public policy. She said the U.S. has worked with other countries to develop constitutions that require at least half the legislature to be female, but, in the U.S., less than 22 percent of legislators are female.
"I think that disadvantages all of us, to have the perspective of over half our population missing in our public policy discussions," Riback Wilson said.
Riback Wilson was one of seven honored at the Tribute to MU Women on Thursday afternoon. The Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women sponsored the event.
"It's important to acknowledge how far we've come since we were founded as a men's only, whites' only university many, many years ago in 1839," Chief Diversity Officer Roger Worthington said.
Riback Wilson was recognized for her support of women's rights in the Missouri House of Representatives and her involvement at MU, where she is active in the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life and the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women.
Rebecca Calvin, marketing specialist for the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative, was honored for supporting nursing MU mothers so they don't have to choose between studying and parenting or working and parenting. She was also recognized for her leadership in the Health and Wellness Gathering and Information Fair.
Access Services librarian June DeWeese was honored for her prior involvement in the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women, her involvement in the Task Force on Violence against Women and breast cancer awareness activism.
Jill Ford, director of student enhancement for engineering, was honored for mentoring female engineers and expanding the relationship between Residential Life and engineering. She helped start the female engineering Freshman Interest Group.
Journalism graduate student Stephanie "Stevie" Mathieu was honored for her fight for women's rights through journalism. Her article for The Daily News about the HPV vaccine won a Society of Professional Journalists award. Mathieu also advocates for women in her daily life. She will often stop intoxicated women on the street to make sure they're okay, journalism graduate student Rebecca Wolfson said.
Peggy Placier, associate professor for educational leadership and policy analysis, was recognized for encouraging people to think critically about gender issues.
Public health graduate student Stephanie Smarr was recognized for her work with women with autism.
The seven award recipients received flowers and certificates at the event.