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Wise Receives WOW Achievement Award

May 2, 2002

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CMACOMB, IL -- Each year the Western Organization for Women (WOW) honors a woman employee who has made an extraordinary contribution to Western Illinois University by mentioning, supporting, or promoting women colleagues, coworkers or students. Paula Wise, WIU psychology professor, was named the 2002 WOW Achievement Award recipient at the WOW annual spring luncheon April 29.

A faculty member at WIU for more than 25 years, Wise has done much to advance the status of women at Western through service, teaching, research and special projects. She consistently advocated gender distribution in faculty hiring in her own discipline, and, since 1977 when she arrived to Western, the number of women faculty in her department has increased from one out of 20 to 10 out of 23.

"She has served as a positive mentor and model for new women faculty, both inside her own department and outside," said Syndy Conger, chair of the WOW Achievement Award Selection Committee. "When we started comparing notes, we all realized that Paula had helped each one of us when we started at Western."

Polly Radosh, director of Western's Women’s Studies program, said “Paula’s quiet, unassuming, thoughtful and supportive presence has been an inspiration to many women at WIU.” This sentiment was echoed by a colleague in her own department, who sees in her “an endearing quality that makes her approachable to junior colleagues and to students.”

According to department chair James Ackil, she has also modeled leadership in her scholarship and teaching. Wise is a recognized authority at both the state and national levels on the subject of training school psychologists. She has co-authored the only training book in this discipline, and has served as the graduate program coordinator in school psychology for more than 24 years -- a program with more than 80 percent women graduates.

Wise's special projects include a number of programs for students and faculty of Western highlighting the roles of women in psychology.

"The WOW Achievement Award Selection Committee applauds Dr. Wise for her lifetime commitment to promoting the welfare of women at Western," Conger added.

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