Women’s History Month
The success of every woman should be an inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. - Serena Williams
Women's History Month is a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture, and society and has been observed annually in March in the United States since 1987. Women's History Month is to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, to Rosa Parks, women's history milestones' timeline stretches back to the United States' founding.
2023 Women's History Month Nominees
Annu Prabhakar is a Professor in the School of Information Technology. Throughout her 22 years of teaching at UC, she has been a strong advocate for women. In her chosen field of Computing, women faculty and students are a minority. Sensing the need for support and networking opportunities for women students in the program, she started the Women in IT (WIT) student organization in her first year at UC. As the only female faculty member in the unit for a long time, she continued to serve as the WIT faculty adviser for over a decade. Through WIT, she organized workshops and networking activities for students. She served as the inaugural organizing committee member of Cincinnati's Women in Technology (WIT) conference. In collaboration with women leaders from regional universities and businesses, the WIT conference provided leadership, networking, and scholarship opportunities for women students pursuing computing-related degrees in the region, including students in the IT program. She continues to help IT students attend the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC) conferences, where they can present their scholarly work and connect with students from other Ohio universities. Dr. Prabhakar integrates her advocacy for women into her scholarly work with her research on designing socio-technical support interventions for new mothers to help prevent post-partum depression. Her commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is evident through her leadership roles at UC and other organizations. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Faculty Senate ad-hoc committee on Race & Equity. She is a recipient of the George Barbour Award, a University-wide award for excellence in Faculty- Student relations. Dr. Prabhakar is a Commissioner of the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the premier accreditation organization for computing and engineering.
“Very dedicated to her students and her attention to detail is very fascinating.” -Student
“Her contributions during the past two decades to the school, college, university, and to our community are remarkable!”- Student
“She is a strong example of female leadership and success in her own right, but she devotes her time to studying and sharing about others.”- Student
Dr. Nelly Elsayed is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Technology. She is the Leader and Founder of the Applied Machine Learning and Intelligence Lab. She received a BS. and MS. degree in Computer Science from Alexandria University, and She received her MS. Eng. And Ph.D. degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is an IEEE Computational Intelligence Society active member. She has served as a principal investigator and co-co-principal investigator in different federal, educational, and industrial level-funded research projects. She received the Faculty Incentive Award for Research and Scholarship from the CECH, UC, recognizing her research contributions, journal and conference peer-reviewed publications, and professional presentations in 2020-2021. She received the Love of Learning Award from the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi in 2019 and 2021. She received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching (Graduate Level), CECH. She received the UCAADA Sarah Grant Barber Outstanding Advising Faculty Award for the academic year 2021-2022 University of Cincinnati. She has been an Ambassador for Goodwill of Lafayette, Louisiana, since 2017.
“Great instructor”- Student
“One of the greatest challenges of international students is getting an advisor to work with and finding a faculty they can communicate with. Dr. Nelly has a great cultural blend with a unique ability to decompose difficult tasks and help students navigate through roadblocks.”- Student
“I am personally enthralled by her courage and mentorship, especially during my graduate program journey. She was instrumental to my research success, and I have been able to transfer some of the skills she taught me to other students within the CECH community”
Josette Riep is the Assistant Vice President of Integrated Development, Engineering & Application Services (IDEAS) in Digital Technology Solutions (DTS) and is currently pursuing a PhD in IT. Josette has worked in the field of Development for over 20 years and her current responsibilities include: Leadership over custom development initiatives spanning education, research, patient care & administration; Equity & Inclusion sponsorship activities with an emphasis on increasing STEM representation for African Americans and other underrepresented groups, customer relationship management; budget planning, and resource allocation; project planning, the establishment of methods to share lessons learned; implementation of best practices among DTS developers; hands-on coordination of projects and other strategic initiatives; process improvement to evolve the efficiency and effectiveness of DTS operations; team building; revenue generation. Josette is committed to creating a more inclusive environment within STEM and strongly believes that an individual must have a willingness to break through barriers, clear obstacles, and pave new paths where needed. Through participation in UC’s Diversity initiatives including the UC Equity & Inclusion Liaison Committee, the DTS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program, ShareIT (training and mentoring program), AI-driven research related to the expansion of African Americans in STEM, and other initiatives Josette continues to serve a role in ensuring UC creates an environment that does not tolerate but embraces our differences and thus empowers individuals and organizations to excel.
“She truly believes in all students succeeding. She gives each student a opportunity as well to showcase their talent and skillsets. Aside from that she does a phenomenal job being head of the IT department.” - Employee
“She is constantly putting out fires, making sure everything goes as it needs to and that the department is never lacking. I’ve personally seen how hard she has worked and it’s always paid off. She has moved up in multiple rankings because she truly deserves it.”- Employee
Name: Keyona Schill (She/her)
CECH Affiliation: 2nd year Student, Criminal Justice
How do you celebrate Women’s History Month? I celebrate Women’s History month with self care, whether this includes getting my hair done or going out to eat and enjoying time to myself. As the strong independent women we are, we work really hard to accomplish our goals and support others around us.
Our campaign is entitled, “Be Historic.” How does your work inspire future women leaders? As a young female minority, it is essential to set a path of vision to inspire future women leaders. As a young lady in student government, I’ve learned to take the time to iniatives that you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, never say never, and don’t give up on the things you truly care about.
What are some personal achievements or activities you are involved in that you would like to share? Within the past year, 2022, I’ve been on the Dean’s List, recieved an Award of Distinction and a Superior Achievement 4.0 GPA. I’m currently a Bearcat Academy mentor and I enjoy meeting with my mentees at Taft, Hughes, and Aiken high school. I’m a member of Camp Kesem where we fundraise for kids whose parents have been impacted by cancer and use the money to send them to camp for free.
2021 Women's History Month Nominee
Name: Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey
CECH Affiliation: Graduate of the School of Criminal Justice
Accomplishments: Newly appointed Hamilton County Sheriff, Charmaine McGuffey, is one of the first openly gay women Sherriffs of Hamilton County in Cincinnati, OH. McGuffey earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from CECH in 1988. Since then, McGuffey has led a career in law enforcement.
McGuffey was sworn into her position on January 4, 2021. She has since vowed to change Cincinnati's police system by pushing for more resources that will support officers speaking to those with mental health issues, reform the police system, and strengthen community partnerships.
Click here to read more about Charmaine's story.
Last year, CECH acknowledged Elizabeth Dyer, who is the college's namesake, for her many accomplishments and her ongoing participation with movements that liberated women to continue their education and establish a career for themselves.
2020 Women's History Month Nominee
Name: Elizabeth Dyer
CECH Affiliation: College namesake
About: Elizabeth Dyer was an active member of Cincinnati, where she served on the Cincinnati Board of Education, the Board of Consumer Conference of Greater Cincinnati, and was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee Cincinnati Dietetics Association.
Dyer believed that women were capable of being more than just mothers and child care providers. Upon her retirement, she participated in opportunities to liberate women and was considered one of the most progressive women amongst her peers. Because of her effort, CECH's leadership has an outstanding balance of men and women who work together to make effective change to help its students develop its faculty and staff. Read her many accolades and accomplishments in her story that was featured on the UC News web page.