Student development coordinator McWilliams earns 2021 Status of Women award
Jayde McWilliams, coordinator of student development in the College of Engineering's Engineering Student Services, has earned the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's 2021 Outstanding Contribution to the Status of Women Award.
The award is reserved for individuals whose efforts create a climate that encourages women to succeed on campus. Recipients demonstrate a sustained and tangible impact on the university community. It has been presented annually since 1999 by the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women.
McWilliams came to the College of Engineering in 2017 to start both the Women in Engineering Program (WIE), which aims to support the advancement of women in engineering, and the Multicultural Engineering Program, which supports diversity in the College of Engineering. Both programs will welcome their fourth classes of students in Fall 2021.
"Getting to this point has been years in the making and it's the absolute highlight of my daily work to be able to support these students," McWilliams said. "Gender minorities in the College of Engineering deserve to feel welcome, capable, strong, and empowered, so I feel lucky to be able to remind them that they have that in them and encourage them to use it all and grow to their fullest potential."
The award, McWilliams, shows that work is having an impact.
"Both professionally and personally, it is yet another affirmation that this work truly makes a difference both on an individual level for each student, but also for their community that they've built through the Women in Engineering Program," McWilliams said. "And that's my main goal – to put in some effort to make a difference for these students who undoubtedly deserve it."
With the award, the Chancellor's Office provides $1,000 to a program on campus that is designated by the award recipient. McWilliams chose to pledge the funds to the Society of Women Engineers.
"It's always one of the top organizations that my students want to connect with," McWilliams said. "SWE has done so much to enhance the experiences of the students in the Women in Engineering Program in continuing to make space for them in the College of Engineering where they can make meaningful connections."
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