Lee University recognizes contributions of women
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Mar 06, 2014 | 1814 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HONOREES at Lee University’s International Women’s Day celebration hosted by the Cultural Diversity Committee recognized nine female university employees. From left, standing, are Dr. Mava Wilson, Audra Iannarone, Brie McDaniel, Amanda Stockton and Dr. Sara Ortega-Higgs. Seated are Patricia Ellis, Barbara McCullough, Dr. Debra Mimbs, Julie Burchfield and Dr. Loralee Songer. Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
HONOREES at Lee University’s International Women’s Day celebration hosted by the Cultural Diversity Committee recognized nine female university employees. From left, standing, are Dr. Mava Wilson, Audra Iannarone, Brie McDaniel, Amanda Stockton and Dr. Sara Ortega-Higgs. Seated are Patricia Ellis, Barbara McCullough, Dr. Debra Mimbs, Julie Burchfield and Dr. Loralee Songer. Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
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“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do,” esteemed jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald once encouraged. “Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t believe you can go wrong.” 

Lee University director of Global Perspectives Angeline McMullin repeated the words to honorees and guests at the Cultural Diversity Committee’s celebration of International Women’s Day Wednesday afternoon.

McMullin reminded women present to continue the drive toward advancement.

“If there is something you believe in, something you believe can be better, don’t give up,” McMullin said. “There are so many things on our campus, and beyond, that have changed because women like you have seen a need and have pushed for something to change. Pushed for something to be better.”

Ten female university employees were honored at the celebration. Their positions range across campus. Each was presented with a rose, recognition and thanks.

Those highlighted included Dr. Mava Wilson, Dr. Debra Mimbs, Dr. Loralee Songer, Barbara McCullough, Julie Burchfield, Brie McDaniel, Mandy Stockton, Audra Iannarone, Patricia Ellis and Trease Pope.

McMullin said the university believes it is important to celebrate the lives of women on campus.

The purpose of the event was “[to honor] each and every one of you, and the contributions you make in the community in which we live,” McMullin said. “We recognize that women across campus inspire people every day by excelling in their chosen field or occupation.”

She said each has given their all for the tasks set before them.

McMullin added, “Working at Lee for most of us is more than just a job or a paycheck.”

She honored the ladies one by one.

Burchfield has worked in the library as an assistant since 2007. She will graduate in May with a master’s in communication from Regent University. She has reportedly earned the reputation as the kindest person with whom to work. McMullin said she is respected by the colleagues and patrons alike.

Ellis is a custodian and has worked at Lee since 2009. A majority of her time is spent in the Atkins-Ellis dormitory and the campus safety office. While Ellis may not receive much public recognition, McMullin said she comes to work every day “giving of her talents” to make the campus a pleasant place to live and work.

Iannarone has worked at Lee since 1998, and currently serves as the administrative assistant to the vice president of administration. She handles all work with professionalism and efficiency. McMullin said Iannarone goes above and beyond her assigned duties, including reaching out to the international student population.

McCullough has worked at Lee University for the past 45 years. She currently serves as the director of library services. According to McMullin, it is McCullough’s plan to retire this summer. She has served in leadership positions outside of campus and has sponsored many student club organizations.

McDaniel is the director of student development. Her work is felt on a daily basis by students, whether they are aware of her impact or not. McMullin said McDaniel’s many roles keep her at school far after most other employees. She is currently the head sponsor of the diversity committee and has sponsored the student leadership council.

Mimbs is a “kind, seemingly mild-mannered” math teacher passionate about her subject. She has been an assistant professor of mathematics since 2010. McMullin said Mimbs has made amazing contributions to the math department at Lee while pursuing numerous mathematics research outside of the university.

Songer, according to McMullin, is one of those employees who makes the university look good. She has served as an assistant professor of music since 2009. McMullin said she is an outstanding performer whose vocal talent has been nationally recognized. She is also an active presenter at scholastic conferences and the director of the Ladies of Lee choir.

Stockton is currently an area coordinator in the residential life department. The position places her in charge of four resident directors and six freshmen dorms. McMullin described Stockton as a role model of a successful professional with tenacity and courage in adversity.

Wilson is, in the words of McMullin, a computer expert. She serves as an associate professor of information systems in the department of business. Wilson is the administrator of a community summer camp for middle school students. Her department chair said the school is very blessed to have her.

“The women we honor today value people,” McMullin said. “They see the needs around them and they look for ways to help, to inspire, to change situations for the better.”

Dr. Sara Ortega said all honorees were nominated by supervisors and colleagues.

“On behalf of the diversity committee, we thank you so much for being with us today and celebrating these wonderful ladies we are honoring today,” Ortega said.

“... There is still so much yet to do. As long as we will pause and remember it is not over, there is still so much to do and to be done, then we will continue to celebrate this day here at Lee University and beyond.”