Women’s Society gives leadership awards, scholarships

The Switzer Leadership Award recipients are Emille Taylor (left) and Shubhanjali Minhas (right). The Danforth Scholarship recipient is Maggie Maichel (center). (Photo: Mena Darré/Washington University)

The Women’s Society of Washington University presented the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award and the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship to three exceptional students at its annual membership meeting, held April 12 in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium.

The Switzer Leadership Award is given to students who show a commitment to the university and leadership at the undergraduate level. This year’s recipients are graduating seniors Emille Taylor and Shubhanjali Minhas.

“The leadership these two young women have shown is extraordinary, and is motivated by the understanding that good leaders can be agents of change in a world that is in need of healing,” said Kathy Fulstone, vice chair of the leadership committee.

Taylor is majoring in American culture studies and educational studies, with a minor in mathematics, all in Arts & Sciences. She is committed to bettering the experience of first-generation and limited-income students, as well as students of color. She served on the student experience committee of the Board of Trustees and shared insights into the WashU student experience.

Immediately following graduation, Taylor will work as a program supervisor for pre-college programs in Arts & Sciences this summer. She plans to pursue graduate programs in mathematics education in the future.

Minhas, who is majoring in chemistry, with a concentration in biochemistry, and a minor in anthropology, both in Arts & Sciences, works to bring together students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles. She was selected by the Honorary Scholars Program to receive the Florence Moog Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship given to one sophomore in Arts & Sciences. She also has served as an academic mentor in the General Chemistry Peer-Led Team Learning Program at the university.

After graduation, she plans to pursue a pediatric medical specialty at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship, which provides a two-year full-tuition scholarship, is awarded to impressive community-college transfer students. This year’s recipient is Maggie Maichel, a student at St. Louis Community College.

Maichel studied at the Wildwood campus and made the dean’s list in the fall 2021, spring and fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She is currently interning at Evolution St. Louis, a premier high-tech knitting facility with 3D technology.

Penny Pennington gives the annual Adele Starbird Lecture. (Photo: Mena Darré/Washington University)

She plans to study fashion design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. She also plans to contribute to Amour Magazine, a student-led fashion publication at Washington University.

Danforth Scholarship recipients also receive an Ida H. Early startup grant, a one-time grant for indirect educational expenses to assist with the first-year transition.

Following the annual meeting, Penny Pennington, managing partner at Edward Jones, delivered this year’s Adele Starbird Lecture. During the talk, Pennington discussed her background, her role at Edward Jones and her views on leadership and business.

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