My nominee, Suzanne Martin, is a young mother, current scholar and student leader who is a star of our NCSU Social Work program.

Before women can champion women’s equity as a general cause, we must redeem ourselves from social and personal damage that is often gender-based.  Her thrill with her own willpower-generated emergence and empowerment has led her to wish that same strengthening for all girls and women, and beyond that, for all marginalized people. She has an enthusiasm for spreading information, for creating opportunities for dialogue and engagement, and for justice advocacy that runs circles around most people.  Further, Suzanne brings an extraordinary level of administrative and task management skill and in-the-trenches detail coverage to her enthusiasms, so that she is very effective in her leadership roles. I call her the Queen of Templates because she is a wizard at charting out how to get things done—well and expeditiously.

Martin currently serves for her field internship in the office of NCSU’s OIED–folks there can assure you of her efficiency, commitment, high enthusiasm, and initiative in all OIED goals.  A top scholar, Suzanne finds the time to gobble opportunities for training and leadership.  She stretched herself last year to take three professional development programs at NCSU: the Graduate Leadership Development Series, the Equal Opportunity Institute, and the Visionary Leaders Certificate program. She won the 2013 Ronald C. Butler Leadership Award from CSLEPS.

There’s more!  Suzanne was also last year’s Secretary to the Graduate Student Social Work Association; she brought an entire administrative structure to that loose group. She currently serves as President of our Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha; as liaison to our professional association, NASW; and as an active member of our department’s Advisory Board and our committee on Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention.  Additionally, her resume reveals a stack of community volunteer offerings such as speaking at a suicide prevention vigil, a run/walk for Triangle Family Services, and many more activities. All of these activities have as core elements the well-being of women who are sick or harmed, who lead families, who suffer from discrimination, etc.

Suzanne comports herself as a mature professional of joy and talent—she is a personal manifestation of what embodied women’s empowerment looks like. She is a North Carolina treasure and I hope she wins this award!