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Meet the 2018 Susan B. Anthony Legacy Awards

February 8, 2018
detail from painting of Susan B. Anthony(University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Seven women undergraduate students will be honored February 10 at the Susan B. Anthony Legacy Awards—a 61-year tradition celebrating exceptional women enrolled at the University of Rochester. The event begins at 11 a.m. in Feldman Ballroom at Douglass Commons.

Receiving awards are:

Cherish Blackman

Cherish Blackman ’18.

Cherish Blackman ’18

Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award
Named in honor of Rochester’s dean of women from 1954 to 1960, the Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award is given to someone who grew up in Rochester and is a strong advocate of the region.

A dual major in East Asian Studies and Russian, Cherish Blackman is a member of Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society and founder of an art and creative writing program at Aenon Baptist Church in Rochester.

“I started the program to share my passion for the creative arts with children and adults,” she says.

Blackman plans to pursue a doctoral degree in comparative literature. She loves languages, and in addition to Russian, is studying Mandarin and Spanish.

Giuliana Brawley

Giuliana Brawley ’18, ’18E (T5).

Giuliana Brawley ’18, ’18E (T5)

Susan B. Anthony Prize
The Susan B. Anthony Prize is awarded to a senior enrolled in a five-year program who has shown exceptional leadership, academic excellence and involvement in student life.

Giuliana Brawley is a dual degree student working toward a degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and a bachelor’s degree in brain and cognitive science from the College. The Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, native was the director of orientation programs and summer activities and a member of the senior events committee at Eastman. She sings at Reformation Lutheran Church in Rochester and enjoys performing at retirement communities.

Brawley has been accepted into the Take Five Scholars Program, where she will study religious philosophy. After graduation, Brawley plans to work toward a PhD in speech pathology.

Emma Briggs

Emma Briggs ’18.

Emma Briggs ’18

Sue S. Stewart Award
The Sue S. Stewart Award is presented to a senior undergraduate woman “whose life at the University has been distinguished by a commitment to justice, equality, and community service relating to diversity and inclusion.”

Emma Briggs, an international relations major from West Hartford, Connecticut, is president of UR SEGway, and a committee member for Walk a Mile in My Shoes, It’s On Us, and the Students’ Association Sexual Misconduct Task Force. She plans to begin a master’s degree program in human rights in London next year and work for a nonprofit or government agency, focusing on women, ethnic politics, and post-conflict reconstruction.
She loves to travel and visited 13 countries while studying abroad in Denmark

Deisy Abarca-Espiritu

Deisy Abarca-Espiritu ’19

Maria Murias-Munoz

Maria Murias ’19.

Deisy Abarca-Espiritu ’19 and Maria Murias ’19

Susan B. Anthony Scholarship
The Susan B. Anthony Scholarship is given to a junior who has demonstrated leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to her fellow students and community.

This year, two juniors were selected: Deisy Abarca-Espiritu, an economics major born in Acapulco, Mexico, and raised in Hope, Arkansas; and Maria Munoz, a double major in political science and philosopy from Costa Rica.

Abarca-Espirtu served on the executive cabinet of the Students’ Association government and is currently president and team captain of the Mock Trial Organization. She’s also an associate justice on the All-Campus Judicial Council, and a Renaissance & Global Scholar. Munoz is president of the Undergraduate Political Science and International Relations Council, and a member of the Refugee Student Alliance.

Perry Demarche

Perry Demarche ’18.

Perry DeMarche ’18

Fannie Bigelow Prize
The Fannie Bigelow Prize is awarded to a junior or senior who “forms and expresses fearlessly opinions on vital topics” and participates in extracurricular activities.

An anthropology major from Denver, Colorado, Perry DeMarche is co-president of the Undergraduate Anthropology Council, co-president and volunteer tutor through the Refugee Student Alliance, a tour guide for Admissions, and a peer advisor for the Department of Anthropology.

DeMarche studied abroad in France in 2015 and Morocco in 2017. She has spent three summers back home working for a refugee settlement agency, where she teaches English and helps run a college-readiness program for youths. Her plans after college include working abroad before pursuing graduate school in social science.

Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith ’18.

Jordan Smith ’18

 Jane R. Plitt Award
The Jane R. Plitt Award is given to a woman undergraduate who is a leader dedicated to constructive social change in her community.

Jordan Smith, a double major in political science and economics, is president of the Students’ Association Government and has been involved with student government since her freshman year. The New Boston, New Hampshire, native is also passionate about national politics and government. She worked in New Hampshire in 2015 as an intern for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and says she plans to pursue a career “focused on empowering women.”

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Category: Student Life

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