Throughout an instructors lifetime they have the opportunity to touch many student’s lives both directly and indirectly. One such example of this powerful student impact is the Patti T. Ota Women’s Studies Award at Lehigh University.
The Women's Studies Program at Lehigh began with the offering of a minor in 1978. Both a major and a graduate certificate were added in 2008. Women's Studies at Lehigh is an interdisciplinary field of academic inquiry that critically examines the diverse realities of women's lives and the ways in which gender and power differentials shape human lives and human societies.
Dr. Patti Ota (currently MIS Associate Professor) was the vice provost (1989-1999) and dean for the college of Business and Economics (1997-1999) at Lehigh University. At Lehigh she led the faculty in responding to the challenges of assuring continuation of accreditation and reorganized the Iacocca Institute to ensure fiscal stability.
The Patti T. Ota Women's Studies Award was started in 1997 to recognize a graduating Women's Studies student who combines strong academic achievement with a significant contribution to improving the condition of women at Lehigh and/or in the community. Students receive an award check as well as a plaque from Women's Studies. Their names are included on a larger plaque that hangs in the Women's Studies Program office. To date 21 Lehigh women have received the award.
This year, the award will be presented at the Gender Equity Awards Reception hosted by the Lehigh University Feminist Alliance (associate with the Women's Center) at the end of March. The Women's Studies Program is hosting a faculty/student dinner following the reception and Patti will be the guest of honor at the dinner.