60 Inspiring Women of Rollins

April 07, 2017

By Tanaya Jones ’17

Photo by Scott Cook.

In honor of Women’s History month, Rollins360 readers honor women in our academic community who are making a difference and who inspire others to do the same.

Julie Carrington

Associate Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics
“Dr. Carrington makes a difference not only by teaching but also by going the extra distance for her students. As the department head for computer science, she sees many students. In my own personal experience with her through class and office hours, I find her ability to make the topics easier to understand inspiring. Dr. Carrington makes coming to class an enjoyable experience.” — Maximiliano Castrillon

Barbara Carson

Professor Emeritus
“Dr. Carson has made a difference for generations of students and colleagues at Rollins. She has been an outstanding teacher for our students and an excellent resource for guiding and helping faculty to improve their teaching. Through her "Reflective Teaching" program she has been helping numerous faculty, and overall, the entire Rollins community." — Anca Voicu

Jennifer Cavenaugh

Dean of the Faculty | Professor of Theater | Winifred M. Warden Endowed Chair of Theatre and Dance
“Dr. Cavenaugh lives this work at the deepest core of her being. She leads with love and is beyond supportive of building bridges to connect faculty, staff, and students. She models the way for all leaders on our campus.” — Meredith Hein

Lori Coffae

English Lecturer
“I am not sure there is anyone more passionate about Rollins and her students than Dr. Lori Coffae. Dr. Coffae goes above and beyond both in and out of the classroom to connect with all students. She works with student leadership and our efforts to help adult learners integrate into a full college experience.” — Shannon Conner

Gloria Cook

Professor of Music
“Despite her high yet reasonable expectations, Dr. Cook demonstrates profound compassion for her students. She spends time outside of class helping students and has even provided homemade food on numerous occasions. We are all so grateful to have a superb and experienced teacher who continues to invest in her students and inspire us to improve from each meaningful lesson.” — Alexandra Jeffirs

Joan Davison

Professor of Political Science
“Dr. Davison spends much of her time looking after people and making sure that they get recognition. She works very hard as the NCAA rep ensuring that our athletes receive the education they need and deserve. She is tireless in her support of them both on and off field, attending many games each week. Even more, she has fostered our department work study and she mentors the untenured female faculty in her department. Finally, Joan is constantly vigilant on behalf of the College that she loves, working to make sure those high standards are maintained and for equity for all.” — Claire Strom

Kimberly Dennis

Associate Professor of Art History | Coordinator, Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies Program
“Dr. Dennis cares about her students so much and pushes us to challenge ideas and ourselves. She has enabled so many women to feel so empowered as well. She works what seems like nonstop to help raise money for students to learn or go on conferences, and is there for anyone unconditionally.” — Valentina Emeric

Ruth Edwards

“Dr. Edwards does double duty working at the Winter Park Public Library and as an adjunct professor in SWAG. Her knowledge of intersectionality is very useful for students at this age who are beginning to learn who they are. She's also involved in the Rollins community and is an asset to the College.” — Shan-Estelle Brown

Hannah Ewing

Assistant Professor of History
“Dr. Ewing is a fantastic professor who makes her class super enjoyable. While working as the head of the department this semester, she juggles her teaching and director responsibilities and keeps a cool head and a joyful attitude.” — Julie Sparks

Laurel Habgood

Associate Professor of Chemistry | Chair, Department of Chemistry | Coordinator, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Program
“Dr. Habgood is an inspiring leader in our department, division, and campus. She is a caring, thoughtful professor to her students and is helpful to colleagues. As a member of the Rollins community, she served on the faculty affairs committee and was an active, valuable participant in the division and neighborhood meetings. For the greater city of Orlando, she regularly volunteers her time at the Ronald McDonald House to help families caring for their sick children.” — Ellane Park

“Dr. Habgood is a phenomenal, caring teacher above all other aspects of this job. She teaches a notoriously maligned discipline (organic chemistry), yet gently guides students through even the toughest academic times with their wellbeing in mind. Her classroom or teaching lab is calm, organized, and thoroughly thought out. She is one of our most sincerely caring and creative academic advisors. She never says no to any current student or alumnus in need of help, offering clever advice and problem solving. She is simply one of the most sincerely caring professors in the Bush building.” — Kasandra Riley

“Dr. Habgood is an amazing woman in a multifaceted leadership role in the chemistry department, the science division, and the College. She has been the guiding force for the chemistry department for the past four years. In this role, she has mentored junior faculty and is a thoughtful and well-respected voice within the science division. She has the uncanny ability to think forward and plan for the future while thinking about how decisions and policies affect not only herself and her department but other groups on campus that are not readily obvious. Laurel possesses a wealth of knowledge on pedagogical practices and strategies. I believe Laurel's leadership and mentorship within the science division, chemistry department, and with junior faculty provide a wonderful example that deserves to be highlighted.” — James Patrone

Photos by Scott Cook.

Kimberly Jentsch

Associate Professor of Management, Crummer Graduate School of Business
“Dr. J is the epitome of leadership, kindness, humility, and overall boss attitude. In today's era, women are on the rise in business, but seeing a pioneer woman in business share her passion for it was astounding and refreshing.” — Kasandra Riley

Margaret McLaren

Professor of Philosophy | George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair
“Dr. McLaren is such a powerhouse. From watching her, you learn to speak up, to be an activist, and to be thoughtful with your actions and words. Everything she says is so valuable. She comes in every class, blows our mind with powerful information, gives her all no matter what, and is such a wholesome teacher. You become a better person with her, not just a better student.” — Dilya Bihr

Nancy Niles

Photos by Scott Cook.

Associate Professor of Health Services Administration | Chair, Department of Health Professions
“Dr. Niles is engaging, genuinely concerned about her students, and involved in the success of everyone on campus. Dr. Niles puts education first and makes learning fun. She inspires me to be a better student and a better woman all around.” — Kristina Ferry

Amy Parziale

Visiting Assistant Professor of English
“Professor Parziale is incredibly smart and makes the class feel just as smart as her. She is an inspiration to me simply since she is so strong and has made a huge difference in my life.” — Raven Olson

Leslie Poole

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
“Dr. Poole is just an amazing educator, and she is so passionate about the environmental history of Florida and the women that have been involved with that movement. Leslie inspires all our students, but especially our young women on campus. Dr. Poole is an award-winning writer and historian and we are so lucky to have her here at Rollins.” — Dilya Bihr

Anne Stone

Photos by Scott Cook.

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies | Chair, Department of Communication
“Dr. Stone’s leadership of our department has been incredibly effective, proactive, personal, and professional during this time of leadership and organizational transition at Rollins. Anne is highly regarded by both her colleagues and her students because she embodies the best practices of a leader—she listens, she cares, and she guides us all toward making more informed and equitable decisions.” — David Painter

“Dr. Stone has been the most inspiring chair I have had in my nine years as a professor and in the two years I have been at Rollins. She maintains a strong publishing record, phenomenal teaching responsibilities, and manages our complex department with such joy and encouragement. She is amazing.” — Joshua Hammonds

Stacey Coffman-Rosen

Adjunct Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies
“Dr. Coffman-Rosen is one of the most caring and empathetic professors you could meet. She raises awareness in the Rollins community about people with disabilities, which is something some of us overlook. She makes her students and peers feel like they matter, because they do.” — Dilya Bihr

Patricia Simmons

Adjunct Professor of Humanities
“Professor Simmons is a caring human being who goes above and beyond for her students. She is always determined to aid them in achieving success.” — Levi Whitten-Connolly

Valerie Summet

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
“Professor Summet inspires her students to see past the material and is phenomenal in translating why and where the material being lectured can be applied to in the outside world. Her resourcefulness with class materials is second to none by having all notes, textbook materials, grades and forum discussions available in easy-to-track platforms. She is not just at school to teach. She is there to inspire with her wisdom.” — Maximiliano Castrillon

Tonia Warnecke

Associate Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Business | Co-director of the Center for India & South Asia
“Dr. Warnecke has been instrumental in driving all aspects of social innovation and entrepreneurship at Rollins. Her teaching style is rigorous yet she is extremely approachable. Her co-curricular activities both within the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub and through CISA are exemplary.” — Mary Conway Dato-on

“Dr. Warnecke's classes had some of the biggest impacts on me both personally and professionally. Her economics classes are second to none. Her teaching style made me question my worldview and helped me learn to speak my mind more confidently and openly. I would not be where I am today without her amazing guidance as a professor and friend. Her commitment to her students has led many of my fellow classmates on to do great things.” — Amanda Roche

“Dr. Warnecke is probably best known for her enthusiastic and innovative approach to teaching and learning. In her Global Development class, students are challenged to choose a developing country to research for a policy brief. Students are exposed to different social justice and environmental issues and become experts on their geographic region. What I find particularly interesting about this approach is the peer-to-peer education that occurs when students are responsible for becoming the expert. Dr. Warnecke is also known for her interdisciplinary research as an economist, specializing in international development processes and policy. I believe that all of these accomplishments, along with the many others I don't mention here, make Dr. Warnecke one of Rollins College's most inspiring women.” — Anne Stone

Cari Coats

Executive Director, Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship
“Cari is an exemplary manager and colleague, maintaining an innovative and thoughtful approach to entrepreneurship that drives the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship at Rollins. The mission of this program is aligned with Cari's overarching work at Rollins, which extends beyond women business owners to students and regional growth-stage companies. She leads our team and inspires others through what she would call “grit and grace, a winning combination for success." — Gabbi Feulner

Marissa Corrente

Associate Director of Center for Leadership & Community Engagement
“Marissa feels so much compassion and dedication to making her community better. She has this ability to make you feel safe and welcome so you open up even if you are guarded. She is all about voting, love, and equality.” — Dilya Bihr

“Marissa has been a tremendous contributor to the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Rollins community in the past five years. Her many contributions include oversight of the Democracy Project and voter engagement across campus, Summer Serve, the Bonner Leadership program, the facilitation of community engagement classes, SPARC Day, field studies to the Dominican Republic, and many others. Recently she has accepted a role with the Supervisor of Elections Office in Orange County and made the difficult decision to pursue this passion. She will be deeply missed from our campus and from the lives of our students, and I would love to recognize her for always being a passionate, compassionate, and gracious woman of Rollins.” — Adrianne Benso

Sharifa Ford

Bonner Coordinator | AmeriCorps Public Ally
"Sharifa has dedicated this past year of her life to living out one of Rollins’ favorite sayings: “life is for service.” She uses active listening, critical thinking, and an empathetic perspective to inform her work. This, combined with her passion for service and social change, mean that she is a wonderful example of a global citizen and responsible leader, living out a meaningful life and productive career.” — Marissa Corrente

Amy Galpin

Curator, Cornell Fine Arts Museum
“Dr. Galpin has worked diligently to strengthen the ties between campus and the museum by collaborating with professors and classes to develop shows such as The Black Figure in the European Imaginary. Dr. Galpin has very thoughtfully worked to develop programming around all the exhibitions at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and its permanent collection—both at the museum and at The Alfond Inn—in effort to provide stimulating and transformative encounters with works of art while integrating art learning into daily life for campus and community.” — Sandy Todd

Chelsea Hilend

Marketing and Box Office Manager, Department of Theatre & Dance and Annie Russell Theatre
“Many across campus know and love her for her collaborative attitude and willingness to take on any task with a resourceful spirit, quick wit, and never-ending smile. Since taking over the position several years ago, she has changed the Rollins social media and marketing presence dramatically. The content she generates is always intriguing and shows our theatre and dance students in the best light.” — Chelsea Swearingen

Abby Hollern

Director, Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement
“Abby can be best described as an inspiring colleague, mother, advocate, and mentor. Abby makes a positive difference at Rollins and in the lives of others in the way she values every person she works and interacts with each day. Abby leads in a way that creates welcoming spaces and programs that foster learning environments for students to gain deeper awareness of themselves and others.” — Trish Moser

“Abby Hollern epitomizes authenticity in her personal and professional life. She gives so much of herself to others.” — Meredith Hein

“Abby Hollern is a hero in the lives of students and is a completely unsung hero in her day-to-day work. She is a powerhouse of gentle strength and courage, and she is a support system to countless members of this campus even when she is in need of her own supporting. She does so with humor, kindness, and grace, always. — Anonymous

Meribeth Huebner

Associate Dean, Hamilton Holt School
“Leading by example, Meribeth inspires me to be the very best in my daily tasks. When I ask questions, she will give just enough information or recommendations, thus allowing me to figure it out on my own. On the other hand, she will not hesitate to roll up her sleeves and work on a project.” — Laura Wentworth

Katrina Jenkins

Dean of Religious Life
“Katrina is a spiritually gifted leader and has a tremendously positive impact on many people. Her thoughtfulness and dedication are inspirational.” — Helena Angell

“Katrina Jenkins respects all religions and all students. She is wise and open minded and welcoming to students so that they don't feel intimidated. She has such a healthy mind that impacts every person she talks to. This is very important for a supportive environment on campus.” — Dilya Bihr

Destinee Lott

Assistant Director, Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement
“Destinee and her work with EMBARK have created a positive environment for me as I entered Rollins and as I continue to flourish on campus. She is accessible, relatable, and kind to all the students that she works with.” — Gabbie Buendia

Sharon Lusk

Assistant Dean, Hamilton Holt School
“A true unsung hero, Sharon is optimistic and continues to stay the course for students. Sharon is on a constant quest for ways to support students looking for life-changing upward mobility.” — Shannon Conner

Photos by Scott Cook.

Denisa Metko

Assistant Director for Student Employment
“You would be hard-pressed to find a student, faculty, or staff member that has worked with Denisa and doesn't have glowing words about the way she has impacted them. Denisa inspires me in the way she has transformed her role from a transactional one to one that has undeniable impact on student learning. She truly inspires every person she interacts with at Rollins.” — Norah Perez

Micki Meyer

Lord Family Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Community
“Everything Micki does—from her positive attitude and incredible mentoring to excellent programming and organizational efforts—makes a positive impact at Rollins and in our surrounding community. Micki has driven and continues to drive community engagement to a higher and higher level while challenging us all to remain empathetic and education-focused.” — Mary Conway Dato-on

Grace Mosokla

Director of Disability Services
“Grace works to help all who are connected with the Office of Disability Services. Grace is still hopeful and optimistic and is a role model of mine.” — Alannah Bester

Sherry Orr

Scheduling & Production Coordinator, Department of Music
“Sherry continually upholds the values of Rollins and the music department. Always available, she has a continuous drive to work for the students and the department. Sherry puts the needs of staff and student before her own to ensure a smooth and well-run learning experience.” — Malone Drakes

Coleen Palmer

Academic Advisor
“If there was ever an unsung hero on campus, it would be Coleen. Coleen is fully invested in her students. She believes in her students and is their greatest cheerleader. Truly, their success is her success, and I feel very privileged and fortunate to have had her guiding my journey at Rollins.” — Shannon Conner

Jessica Rager

Assistant Director of Internship Programs
“It almost goes without saying that Jessica is incredibly effective in her role—just ask any of the faculty, staff, and students she works with. Jessica deserves to be recognized for her tireless work that has an immeasurable impact in the future career success of our students.” — Norah Perez

Suzanne Robertshaw

Coordinator, Olin Library Tutoring and Writing Center
“Suzanne leads and trains a staff of more than 50 student tutors and writing consultants and tries to learn names and form relationships with all of us. She's been a supporting and inspiring student, going above and beyond her job title for years. She is a true light in the Rollins community and will be retiring soon.” — Saisha Rattan

Mary Robinson

Program Coordinator, Property Management
“Mary always challenges me to be the best person I can be. Every day she inspires me to push myself further and I am grateful to have met her.” — Jennifer Sands

Photos by Scott Cook.

Elisa Rodrigues

Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services
“Elisa Rodrigues exemplifies the high standards of Rollins. She impacts the lives of our students by ensuring their compliance with U.S. immigration regulations, which requires knowledge of the law and legal best practices. Community members are quick to praise Elisa for her responsiveness, competency, and kindheartedness.” — Rory McNamara

Jazmine Rodriguez

Director, Fraternity & Sorority Life
“No matter the circumstance, Jazmine is able to maintain a hopeful attitude and an empathetic approach. Students are drawn to her humor, intelligence, and ability to connect with them.” — Maeghan Rempala

Jenifer Ruby

Director, International Student & Scholar Services
“Jenifer is always going above and beyond for the students. We like to joke in the office with her that the international students are her children, because you can truly see her sincere concern for their wellbeing and adjustment to life in the U.S. Jenifer leads with respect, compassion, and kindness.” — Elisa Rodrigues

Alicia Schuck

Head Coach, Women’s Soccer
“Alicia is a great recruiter. She is engaged with student athletes and is making this world a better place.” — Jessica Deese

Jayashree Shivamoggi

Director, Office of External & Competitive Scholarship
“Dr. Shivamoggi is someone that is completely invested in the success and upward mobility of all Rollins students. She extends herself professionally and personally to facilitate students discovering the best of themselves; imbuing students with belief and confidence in their intrinsic value to humanity. She never loses faith, positivity, and composure.” — Shannon Conner

“As Dr. Jay's graduate assistant, I have watched Dr. Jay inspire Rollins women students to reach for the stars in their career aspirations and scholarship endeavors. She mentors women through life challenges while truly getting to know each individual. Dr. Jay is always willing to go the extra mile with students when they are in need and she participates in opportunities to be a positive influence and support in the lives of ladies throughout campus by participating in events such as the Women of Color. She is a friend, professor, supervisor, sister, daughter, and a mother.” — Princess Long

Meghan Weyant

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs | Dean of Students
“The best ways to describe Meghan is a student-centered leader and balances the right mixture of challenge and support when working with students and colleagues. Specifically what I admire about Meghan is that she is a student advocate who cares deeply about the wellbeing of our community.” — Trish Moser

Vernisha Andrews ’19

Major: Business
“If you've met V once, I bet she never passes you on the sidewalk without stopping to give you a hug and telling you that she loves you. V is full of energy, love, and passion that are contagious. She is an incredible representative of Rollins on the basketball court, as an EMBARK student leader, and in the community.” — Abby Hollern

Stephanie Arredondo ’16

Advisor | Graduate Assistant, Center for Leadership & Community Engagement
“Stephanie approaches her work with a deep passion for holistic development and social justice. Her support of the Democracy Project student coordinator and student leadership team is a perfect example of her commitment to this work. Stephanie utilizes her counseling skills, social justice framework, and multicultural competence to both challenge and support the students in their work and in their personal development.” — Marissa Corrente

Gabbie Buendia ’18

Major: Environmental Studies
"Gabbie is an environmentalist, feminist, and an amazing human. She has hosted several events at Rollins to help spread awareness about the environment and to empower women. She has been so active in the community, protesting, organizing, and supporting social justice causes! — Dilya Bihr

Vivian Carrington ’17

Major: Communication Studies
“Ms. Vi has a very defined moral compass by which she lives and will gracefully challenge unbecoming conduct in the best interest of another. She sends a message that there is something of value in every peer one encounters and that personal enrichment and growth is a never-ending process. Ms. Vi is a champion for success and refuses to let anything stand in her way.” — Shannon Conner

Caroline Chomanics ’19

Majors: Environmental Studies and Sustainability Urbanism
“Caroline Chomanics is the program manager at Fleet Farming Orlando. Caroline is effecting the local food system in a beneficial way, making it more sustainable and promoting fresh and local vegetables. Her ability to lead her volunteers in making a difference as well her general enthusiasm while working is truly inspiring.” — Alec Stanley

Julie Colombino ’18MBA

“Julie runs a for-profit and not-for-profit business in Haiti. She empowers people to gain skills to get gainful employment through her non-profit and employs the people of Haiti at a fair wage. She has set a standard that you can do honest work and earn a fair living as part of your community.” — Erica Nowak

“Julie is a leader not just of her organization but her industry. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she realized that the conventional methods of charitable aid were unsustainable and largely ineffective. REBUILD globally was born, and Julie embarked on a mission to provide a sustainable solution for survivors. Her team created a social entrepreneurial ecosystem that has trained, equipped, and empowered craftsmen and women to make high fashion sandals from up-cycled tires for sale in the international market place.” — Priscila Kaligan

Sasha Galloway ’17

Major: Psychology
“This past year, I’ve had the honor of seeing her come into her own as a Bonner intern for the Bonner Leaders Program. What I value most about Sasha is her compassion for the world, her quiet and steady determination, and her passion for social change.” — Marissa Corrente

Lily Garnett ’17

Major: Theatre
“Lily is a passionate artist, student, and social activist who typifies the very best of what it means to be a woman. She strives at all pursuits with a drive and a fervor to succeed and to make an impact on the world around her. As an actor, creator, and artist she believes deeply in the power of the theatre and art to change lives.” — Jay Becker

Priscila Kalagian ’18MBA

“As a veteran, Priscila brings a fresh perspective to our experience at Crummer. Not only is her dedication to our country through her service motivating and inspiring, but her work with non-profit organizations and the passion she displays is commendable. She doesn't just do her job; she continues to push for better programs and outcomes for the populations she serves. — Erica Nowak

Muniba Khan ’19

Major: Computer Science
“Muniba has taken an outstanding role in new leadership on campus. Sweet, funny, well-meaning, and driven, she contributes heavily to Imagine Justice and SGA.” — Christelle Ram

Kelsey Matteson ’17

Major: Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
“Kelsey is a trailblazing pioneer for women at Rollins. Kelsey works hard despite obstacles that the school itself has placed in front of her. She prides herself on her intellect and has taught me on numerous occasions that the way to persuade people to change their views requires deep compassion and patience. I am extremely confident that she will make Rollins proud in the future.” — Kamil Fadel

Nam Nguyen ’20

Majors: Public Policy & Political Economy and Economics
“Nam works with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise awareness about Parkinson's disease. Nam is a Bonner student who volunteers at different organizations along with constructing her own program working with the Central Florida Hospital.” — Catherine Linder

Destiny Reyes ’17

Majors: Philosophy and English
“Destiny is an amazing senior, who I know best because of her work as the student coordinator of the Rollins Democracy Project. Destiny’s work with the Democracy Project has exceeded my expectations. Because of her and the whole team’s efforts, Rollins secured a national designation as a voter-friendly campus. Her passion for social change is contagious.” — Marissa Corrente

Grace Soto ’17

Major: Computer Science
“She is a champion. During her time as a Bonner Leader these past four years, she has supported the students at Fern Creek Elementary School and now her fellow Bonners as an intern. Every day, I watch her empower other students and advocate for social change. She is someone I very much look up to and aspire to be when I grow up!” — Marissa Corrente

Holly Tanyhill ’14 ’17MHSA

“Holly is the most inspiring woman that I know. Most individuals would think this is due to the fact that she raised me, but I think you might have to do a little bit more to be the most inspiring. My mother is a hard worker and the strongest woman I know. She has worked tremendously hard, especially in the past two years holding these dual identities. During all the work that she has put in, she never stopped being an amazing mother and grandmother.” — Raven Tanyhill

Lauren Waymire ’17

Major: Psychology | Sandspur Editor
“Lauren insists on providing up-to-date, relevant, unbiased information in the paper, supplying it herself when necessary to every article printed. She insists on upholding our standards and working at her best always, without compromising the wellbeing of her staff.” — Amanda Hughes

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