Purdue to honor the Distinguished Women Scholars Class of 2012

February 24, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue alumnae have been named as the university's Class of 2012 Distinguished Women Scholars.

This year's honorees are Jane Butler Kahle, the Condit Professor of Science Education Emerita at Miami University; Carolyn Woo, chief executive officer and president of Catholic Relief Services; and Kathleen Blake Yancey, the Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University.

Purdue will honor the three women March 2 as part of the West Lafayette campus celebration beginning at 3 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a panel discussion with honorees on "The Future of Higher Education." Purdue President France A. Córdova will lead the discussion.

The Distinguished Women Scholars awards program, which was launched in 2011, honors alumnae who earned a Purdue doctorate and have made significant scholarly contributions to their academic communities. Program sponsors are Purdue's Office of the Provost in partnership with Discovery Park's Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence.

"These three women are distinguished scholars from a diverse array of disciplines - management, English and education, and biology," said Beverly Davenport Sypher, vice provost for faculty affairs and the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair for Leadership Excellence. "Purdue is excited to celebrate the successes of these women, who are role models to our many scholars in the making on campus, especially female students in STEM disciplines, where they are most underrepresented."

Jane Butler Kahle

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Professor Kahle has served as a professor of biological sciences and education and associate dean of the Graduate School at Florida State and director of the Division of Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education at the National Science Foundation.

She has led 45 research projects, including Ohio's Systemic Initiative, receiving more than $55 million in external funding. She was founder and original director of Ohio's Evaluation and Assessment Center for Mathematics and Science Education.

Kahle received the Willystine Goodsell Award for her research on women from the American Educational Research Association. In 2006 Purdue named her a Friend of Education. In addition, she was chairperson of the National Research Council's Committee on Science Education K-12, a member of NSF's Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, and chairperson of its Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering. She received her doctorate in science education and educational psychology from Purdue's College of Education in 1972.

Carolyn Woo

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Professor Woo was born and raised in Hong Kong and educated by the Maryknoll Sisters of Ossining. She immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue, where she earned a bachelor's degree in economics with highest distinction and honors, a master's degree in industrial administration with recognition as a Krannert Scholar, and her doctoral degree in strategic management in 1979.

Woo, a former Purdue associate executive vice president for academic affairs, joined Purdue as assistant professor in 1981, became full professor in 1991 and directed the Professional Master's Programs in the Krannert School of Management from 1993-95.

In 1997 Woo was selected as the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. During her tenure there, the college received top rankings for business ethics as well as its MBA, EMBA and master of science programs in accounting. She left Notre Dame in January of this year to become president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services.

Kathleen Blake Yancey

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Professor Yancey directs the graduate program in rhetoric and composition at Florida State and has served as chair of its English department twice. She also served as the Roy Pearce Professor of English at Clemson University, where she directed the Pearce Center for Professional Communication and founded the Class of 1941 Studio for Student Communication.

Yancey received her doctorate from Purdue's Department of English in 1983, where she studied rhetoric and composition and, for her dissertation, developed a model of the composing process. As a Purdue graduate student, she taught several courses including first-year composition, composition for English as a second language students and mass media - in addition to tutoring in the Writing Lab. She received Florida State's Graduate Teaching Award in 2009 and its 2010-11 Distinguished Research Professor Award in 2010.

In 2011 the inaugural Distinguished Women Scholars were M. Eileen Dolan, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago; Nancy Ann Monteiro-Riviere, professor of investigative dermatology and toxicology at the Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University; and Mary Jean Wirth, the W. Brooks Fortune Professor of Chemistry at Purdue.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Source: Beverly Davenport Sypher, 765-494-9709, bdsypher@purdue.edu