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Clarkson professor named AAUW-St.Lawrence County Agent of Change

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POTSDAM - Clarkson University professor Ruth Baltus will be honored by AAUW-St. Lawrence County as their 2013 Agent of Change at a reception at Potsdam’s First Crush 4 p.m, Monday.

Branch members, students, colleagues, friends and the public are invited to an AAUW Happy Hour to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar for the awards ceremony and a social networking event. Please RSVP to AAUW membership VP JoAnn Rogers at jrogers@clarkson.edu by Friday.

Since 1987, AAUW-St. Lawrence County Branch has biennially honored a St. Lawrence County woman whose work as employer, employee or volunteer is noteworthy in one or all of these three areas: her work has advanced the cause of women’s rights; her work exemplifies the importance of equity for women; her work has brought about significant change in the community.

Dr. Baltus joins a distinguished roster of former awardees for her work as a mentor, a teacher, a researcher and a leader at Clarkson University. She is one of only seven women in the entire university to hold the rank of full professor. From 2006-12, she was the Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. During much of that time, she was the only female department chair at the university.

Dr. Baltus has worked to advance women’s standing and opportunities at the university. She served on the Gender Issues Committee since its founding in 2004. She was faculty advisor for the Clarkson University student section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) from 1991-2001, and for three of those years, the section was honored as the best student section in its 26 school region (Region F).

Past recipients of the AAUW Agent of Change have been Georgia Coopersmith (1987) as Director of the Gibson Art Gallery at SUNY Potsdam and for reaching out to make the visual arts accessible to a wider public; Sister Kathryn Healey (1989) for her work in starting Hospice in St. Lawrence County; and the late Betty Bradley (1991) for her pioneering work as first woman to be elected to the county legislature.

Also honored have been Carol Grzywinski (1993) for her work in establishing the Learning Assistance at SUNY Canton for re-entry and non-traditional students; Lois McAllester (1995) for her work as dietician and administrator with the Office for the Aging in establishing a network of nutrition sites throughout the county; and the late Stacy Hammill (1997) for her work as a citizen activist in the areas of voter participation and protecting the environment.

More recent Agents of Change have been Eva Turknett-Ramsay (1999) for her work as Director of CAVA to serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; Karen Butler Easter (2001) for her work with Reachout, a 24-hour crisis intervention, information and referral service for St. Lawrence County; and Hilary Oak in 2003 for her work for the Arts in the county.

In 2005, AAUW honored the late Bea Woodward for her work with several local volunteer organizations; Allison Koch in 2007, for opening the doors for women in health care by being the first midwife to start a holistic, female-centered, OB/GYN practice in St. Lawrence County.; and Pat Musante, the Director of the Potsdam Public Library, in 2009 for her work to expand library services in the area.

The most recent honoree was Canton’s Margaret Kent Bass, a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education, a trail blazer for women’s rights, an advocate for racial justice, and a modern day Sojourner Truth for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights.

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