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College’s Roster of ‘Awesome Women Exemplars’ Grows by 44 at Annual Event

Sara R. Hillis, also one of the evening's guests of honor, oversees the proceedings Some of this year's Awesome Women nominees gather in PDC A total of 44 Penn College employees and students nominated as “Awesome Women Exemplars” were recognized Monday evening during a reception in the PDC’s Mountain Laurel Room. Nearly 130 past honorees also were celebrated during the fifth annual event, held in conjunction with Women’s History Month. Sara R. Hillis, assistant director of student activities for student services and involvement, and Kimberly R. Cassel, director of student activities, took turns reading from nominators’ touching comments and presenting each of the 25 attendees with a floral tribute. Opting for an inspirational video clip over a guest speaker, Hillis shared the story of Tererai Trent, a Zimbabwean who defied her abusive first husband and her culture to attain an education. Now living in Oklahoma and having earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Trent hadplaced a handwritten list of goals in a scrap of tin and buried them under a rock in her childhood village. This year’s Awesome Women Exemplars engaged in a similar exercise, writing their life’s objectives on slips of paper and sealing them inside sandwich bags for safekeeping.