Thanks to all who attended the 2017 ATHENA Awards Luncheon! We look forward to seeing you at next year's event, the ATHENA Women's Leadership Luncheon. Check back in early 2019 for details on the next ATHENA Awards Luncheon.
2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient, Katlyn Walters (Gannon University) and 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient, Sister Joan Chittister
Photo Credit: Jennifer White, Acacia Studios
Since the program’s inception in 1982, nearly 6,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives. To view a complete list of past ATHENA Leadership Award winners, visit our awards page.
Nominations are solicited and an ATHENA sculpture is awarded to an individual in the community who meets specific criteria listed below. Recipients of the ATHENA Leadership Award possess the following qualities: - Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession - Provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community - Actively assist women in realizing their full leadership
In addition to the leadership award, each of the four local universities is approached to nominate a female student for the ATHENA Young Professional Award. One nominee is selected from each university: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, and Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Each of the finalists is recognized at the luncheon event and one winner is announced. To view a complete list of past ATHENA Young Professional Award winners, visit our awards page.
Winners of the ATHENA Young Professional Award recipients possess the following qualities:
Are emerging leaders who demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in their college community
Provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community
Clearly serve as a role model for young women, personally, professionally and in their college community
2017 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient: Sister Joan Chittister
Photo Credit: Jack Hanrahan, Erie Times-News
We wish to congratulate Sister Joan Chittister, the recipient of the 2017 ATHENA Award. Joan Chittister is one of the most influential religious and social leaders of our time. For 40 years she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and church renewal. A much sought-after speaker, counselor and clear voice that bridges across all religions, she is also a best-selling author of more than 50 books, hundreds of articles, an online column for the National Catholic Reporter, and a blog for the the Huffington Post. She has received numerous writing awards and honors for her work, and is a noted international lecturer as well as a former fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, England.
Joan Chittister currently serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the UN, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders. She was an adviser for the groundbreaking report, “A Woman’s Nation,” led by Maria Shriver (2009) and was a member of the TED prize-sponsored “Council of Sages,” an interfaith group that developed a Charter for Compassion (2009) being promulgated worldwide with all faith organizations. She served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of the leaders of Catholic religious women in the US, president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses, and was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. She received her doctorate in speech communications from Penn State University, the primary site of her archive collection.
2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient: Katlyn Walters, Gannon University
Congratulations to Katlyn Walters, 2017 recipient of the ATHENA Young Professional Award! Katlyn is a graduate of Gannon University whose hometown is Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Katlyn's personal mission is to empower women to feel safe and heard.
As the president of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), one of her duties was to educate new students, faculty, and community members about sexual and power-based violence. Under her leadership, SAVE organized large community initiatives to educate the public about violence, including Take Back the Night and the Walk to End Violence. She also created a program that funds ten Gannon students annually to study human trafficking with law enforcement in Tampa, FL. In addition, she facilitated numerous service trips for SAVE, including a trip to southwestern Pennsylvania to serve at a domestic human trafficking refugee center.
During her time at Gannon, she interned over 200 hours for the University of Alabama's Administration of Children and Families Project, a government-funded project working with local Head Start agencies to improve preschool curriculum development for children from low-income families, helping to facilitate their cognitive and social development. She also interned at Caring Place serving as a peer support facilitator for grieving children and for the LOV Foundation, an organization that helps women who have experienced sexual abuse.
She volunteered for Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority and Ichthi, a Catholic faith sharing group. Katlyn has made the most of her learning opportunities while at Gannon, in addition to Katlyn receiving a B.S. in Psychology she also took advantage of international learning experiences studying in Thailand and Poland. Her future goals include obtaining a Ph.D. so that she can continue to educate and serve others.
Special Thanks to our 2017 ATHENA Awards Luncheon Sponsors:
ATHENA Erie | 1416 Fairway Dr. | Erie, PA | 16505 | (814) 504-6362 | firstname.lastname@example.org