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Biological Engineering Associate Professor Sheila Grant honored

Sheila Grant, associate professor in the University Biological Engineering Department, was presented with an award fund by the Women¿s and Gender Studies Department and the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women.

Sheila Grant, associate professor in the University of Missouri Biological Engineering department, had no idea she had been nominated for a campus-wide award — until she received a letter saying she had won.

Grant was presented with an award fund for the recognition of faculty women at the fourth annual dinner and lecture on Oct. 20, jointly sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies and the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

The fund and annual awards were conceived to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the admittance of women to the University. Although the award has been distributed since its creation in 1970 to support faculty women on campus for teaching excellence and contributions to the education of women, only recently has the event been jointly sponsored by CCSW and the Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Grant was honored at the dinner along with Linda Reeder, associate professor of history. Heather Carver, associate professor of theatre, presented the lecture.

Grant said she was surprised, but honored after discovering she would be receiving the award.

“It is our responsibility to mentor our women and let them know they can succeed. It is nice to be a role model and be recognized,” Grant said.

She has been teaching at MU for about seven years. After receiving her Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. all from Iowa State University, she performed her post-doctoral research for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Associate professor of animal sciences Carol Lorenzen, associate professor of biological engineering Steve Borgelt, and two of Grant’s graduate students nominated her earlier this year. The committee who selected Grant was impressed with the letters they received.

Shelda Eggers, administrative assistant in the Women’s and Gender Studies department and committee member, said everyone was excited that Grant received the award.

“We were extremely pleased to honor a female faculty member in the Biological Engineering Department. From the letters we received, Dr. Grant  really is a role-model to her female students,” Eggers said.

Eggers also believes the distribution of the award to different departments, specifically male-dominated areas, will make the Women’s and Gender Studies department more visible.

“In the beginning, this fund was mainly distributed to professors in the College of Arts and Science. These connections we have with the science and engineering departments have made us more visible and the award more visible. I think that is really important,” she said.

Eggers hopes more students will nominate professors from different areas this spring.

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