Women’s Society recognizes students with awards, scholarships

Switzer Award winner
Harriet K. Switzer (left) presents the Switzer Leadership Award to recipient Lauren Dumas at the Women's Society of Washington University's annual membership meeting. (Photo: Mary Butkus/Washington University)

The Women’s Society of Washington University presented the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award and the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarships to four deserving students at their annual membership meeting April 10.

Wendy Olk, chair of the group’s Leadership Committee, handed out the Switzer Leadership Award to this year’s honorees. Nominees for the award are selected based on a commitment to the university and leadership at the undergraduate level. This year’s recipients are graduating seniors Lauren Dumas, of Olin Business School, and Sabrina Wang, of Arts & Sciences.

Dumas is majoring in both organization and strategic management and in marketing, with a minor in psychology. She served as head teaching assistant for Olin’s introductory business course. She also served in the Undergraduate Fellowship, a program in which she mentored her peers to make a difference in the St. Louis community. Dumas successfully led several consulting projects as a part of Arch Consulting, a competition group at Olin that strengthens business skills. Following graduation, she will begin management consulting at Bain & Company in Chicago.

Switzer Leadership Award recipient Sabrina Wang accepts her award. (Photo: Mary Butkus/Washington University)

Wang, who is majoring in both biology-neuroscience and in international and area studies, both in Arts & Sciences, serves as executive director for the Washington University Political Review, working to encourage civic engagement on campus. She worked with the Assembly Series to plan an event focused on journalistic truth in the digital age. Additionally, she works as the health clinic chair for Partners in East St. Louis, a campus service organization that provides volunteer support to East St. Louis institutions.

On the academic side, Wang showcased neuroimaging techniques in dementia diagnosis at the national conference of the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association in October. Following graduation, she plans to enter the global health policy field with an emphasis on low-income countries.

Gwendolyn Wesley, chair of the society’s scholarship committee, presented the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarships. The competitive full-tuition scholarship is awarded to impressive community-college transfer students. This year’s recipients are Ayoub Benzzine and Janessa Johnson, both students at St. Louis Community College.

Benzzine studied at the Meramec campus as an Honors Program scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. He also worked as a campus tutor in math and physics. As a student-athlete, Benzzine won the NJCAA Regional Men’s Soccer Tournament with his team in 2018. He plans to study computer science at Washington University.

Women’s Society President Kathy Frost with Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, left, and Risa Zwerling Wrighton
Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Risa Zwerling Wrighton (center) were interviewed by Women’s Society President Kathy Frost following the annual meeting. (Photo: Mary Butkus/Washington University)

Johnson studied at the Florissant Valley campus. She received the 2018 Annual Ox-Bow Summer School of Art Scholarship. Johnson has worked as a gallery assistant and student worker. She will display her artistic abilities at the St. Louis Varsity Art Exhibition, a competition for top students from area colleges. She will pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with an emphasis in printmaking.

Also at this year’s meeting, Kathy Frost, the group’s president, interviewed Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and his wife, Risa Zwerling Wrighton. The pair shared a few of their favorite things and the story of how they met.

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