COLUMBIA — Amy Williams, a graduate student at the MU School of Law, lives her life according to three values.
"I try to live my life by two words: empathy and justice," Williams said. "And today, I'd like to add a third word: community."
Williams was among the honorees who were celebrated Thursday at the Tribute to MU Women, hosted by the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women and the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative. About 50 people gathered for the ceremony.
The tribute is an honor reserved for MU female students, staff and faculty who work to make the campus a more equitable place for women, respect the differences in women's experiences and promote the advancement of women.
Along with Williams, staff member Suzanne Flanegin and faculty member Claire Horisk were honored.
Flanegin is the senior director for development in the Office of Gift Planning and Endowment. She was honored for her work as a mentor with the Griffiths Leadership Society.
Horisk, associate professor in the philosophy department, was honored for her efforts to recruit women to the department as both students and faculty.
Williams said that when she looked at the list of previous winners, she recognized the names of people who had mentored her during her years as a student at MU.
Christina Wells, who nominated Williams, was one of three previous honorees present at the ceremony. She said Williams has participated in a human rights workshop in Rwanda, worked as a peer mentor, was involved in Active Minds, helped create the nonprofit organization Global Issues of Leadership Development and received a Rotary scholarship to study international human rights in the Netherlands.
"I'm not impressed by Amy and her accomplishments," Wells said. "I'm humbled."
Williams said her interest and involvement in those organizations started her first year at MU.
"I started with 'Vagina Monologues' when I was a freshman," Williams said. "It just led to opportunity after opportunity, and it just never stopped."