Purdue Today presenting profiles on Title IX service awardees

January 16, 2013  

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, Purdue has recognized 40 individuals with the Title IX Distinguished Service Award for their significant contributions to the advancement of gender equity in education. Profiles on the recipients will be presented in Purdue Today each month. This month features Nancy Cross, Jane Zimmer Daniels, Carol Dewey, Carol Ecker and Barbara Edmondson.

Nancy Cross

Nancy Cross receives the Title IX Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding work as a mentor, supporter and leader for women in athletics at Purdue.

As a senior athletics director for development and sports, Cross is known for her strong ethical beliefs and her efforts in pursuit of equal support for women's athletics. She is known to go out of her way to mentor female student-athletes and coaches.

Cross has worked at Purdue since 1979 and has held previous positions within Intercollegiate Athletics as women's basketball assistant coach, field hockey head coach, promotions coordinator, assistant director of the John Purdue Club, director of the John Purdue Club, and associate athletic director for marketing and development.

Through her Purdue career, Cross has championed greater resources, enhanced and improved facilities, and overall equal accommodations for athletes. Additionally, her work and voice are well-known and highly respected across the country.

Cross earned her master's degree from Purdue in 1977.

Jane Zimmer Daniels

Considered the "mother" of women in engineering programs, Jane Zimmer Daniels has been a driving force for women in engineering, even though her own background is in education.

Daniels worked for 20 years as the director of Purdue University's Women in Engineering Program and served as the advisor for the Society of Women Engineers Purdue Collegiate Section until 2001. During her time leading these organizations, the retention rate for female students rose to 60 percent, matching the statistic for male students. Additionally, she co-founded the national Women in Engineering Proactive Network, was senior program director at the National Science Foundation for the Program for Women and Girls and served on the staff of the Henry Luce Foundation to direct the Clare Boothe Luce Program for women in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Daniels is the author or editor of more than 60 articles and book chapters covering her expertise on gender equity, higher education, organizational effectiveness and philanthropy.

Throughout her career, Daniels has received numerous awards for her work. She is a fellow of both the Society of Women Engineers and the Association for Women in Science. She was an inaugural member of the Women Pioneers of Purdue University in 2006 and received the Special Boilermaker Award from the Purdue Alumni Association in 1988.

Daniels received her master's and Ph.D. from Purdue's College of Education, and in 2009 she was recognized as a distinguished alumna.

Carol Dewey

As the first volleyball head coach at Purdue, Carol Dewey had a tremendous influence on the University's perception of volleyball as a competitive collegiate sport and on female athletes and coaches.

Beginning her Purdue coaching career in 1975, Dewey guided volleyball to become Purdue's first women's revenue sport. During her 20-year career as coach, Dewey also emphasized the academic side of being a student-athlete, and every female athlete who played volleyball for four years graduated Purdue, including six Academic All-American players.

She was a member of the first NCAA volleyball Championship Selection Committee in 1981, when the NCAA opened championships in women's sports. Even after retiring from coaching, Dewey continued to help Purdue student-athletes as an Intercollegiate Athletics academic advisor.

Dewey received the M. Beverly Stone Award from Purdue's chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, which is given to a Purdue staff member who provides counseling and support, without working in a counseling position. She was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 as the all-time winningest volleyball coach.

Carol Ecker

As one of the first women to graduate from Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine, Carol Ecker serves as inspiration and a valuable resource for women seeking careers in veterinary medicine.

Ecker was in the second graduating class of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students at Purdue and was one of two women within the class. Since graduating, she has worked to open doors for women within the veterinary medicine profession by hiring and counseling them to become successful in their field.

She was the first woman president of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and spent many hours with young women who wanted to buy a practice and start out on their own.

Additionally, Ecker served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1997. She is an Old Master and a past member of the college's Dean's Advisory Board. While serving on the board, Ecker placed emphasis on equality for staff members, and she examined areas without equal women's promotion to identify challenges relating to promotion and tenure.

Furthermore, she encouraged Purdue to add women's sports to the itinerary without detracting from men's programs. Ecker fought to improve the women's locker rooms, travel experience and general attitude, with the aim of creating equal programs for each gender. 

Ecker also has more than 40 years of experience in private practice as the owner of Clayview Animal Clinic in South Bend, Indiana. She is also the executive director of the Humane Society of St. Joe County, where she allows young women to spend hours volunteering to get the experience that they need to make a decision of whether or not they want to become Veterinarians or to fit in somewhere in the animal medical profession.

Barbara Edmondson

Barbara Edmondson is recognized for her efforts to advocate gender equity at the highest level of the University as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Edmondson was appointed a Purdue trustee in 1997 and served in the position until 2006. As a trustee, she was a passionate champion of female faculty, staff and students. As a member of the board’s Academic Affairs Committee, she worked to hold the University accountable for gender equality  and expanding the opportunities for women within Purdue and higher education. Edmondson also served on the Ag Dean's Advisory Council and is currently a member of the Libraries' Dean's Advisory Council and the Women's Archives Advisory Council. Outside of Purdue, Edmondson is affiliated with Indiana agriculture committees and associations, where she is a strong supporter for initiatives and opportunities for women and children.

Edmondson graduated from Purdue in foods and business in 1964.


* Profiles on Martha Oakley Chiscon, Barbara S. Clark, Sally Combs-Dunaway, Barbara Ivy Cook and Cheryl A. Cooky.

* Profiles on Evelyn Blackwood, Roger Blalock, Beth Brooke, Morgan Burke and Susan Bulkeley Butler

* Purdue's Title IX anniversary website

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