Each academic year the WICCD award is given to a student, faculty, and staff member who each embody WICCD’s mission in their work—a commitment to women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenge injustices and inequalities of all kinds. Nominees can be of any gender and can be submitted by any member of the UMA community.
This year’s WICCD award winners are:
Amanda Brown and Joseph Spiller
WICCD Undergraduate Award
This year’s WICCD Undergraduate award winners are Amanda Brown and Joseph Spiller. Both Amanda and Joseph have been student reps on the newly-formed DEI Council this academic year and have also formed a student DEI Action Club “where students can come together and work towards the changes they feel are needed.”
As a peer tutor, Amanda works with UMA’s diverse student body, branching out to support and advocate for students in a number of ways. As a part of the DEI Council Amanda works on the mini-grant, community engagement, and internal policy sub-groups. She has also continued her education through a number of professional development opportunities such as: Gatekeeper Suicide Training, Equity Leadership webinars, ESOL Tutor training through the Literacy Volunteers of Maine, The Maine Multicultural Centers “400 Years of New Mainers” series, Creating Just Schools webinar, and LQBTQ+ Awareness training through Northern Light Hospital.
As SGA and GSA President, Joseph has spearheaded a number of programs and initiatives that work to educate our campus community about diversity around gender, sexuality, and race (among other things). As an Honors student, he has co-organized the Civil Discourse Forums, providing space for students to discuss issues that are often divisive. He has worked to find opportunities for students to learn about diversity from a number of angles—from the personal experiences of impacted individuals to conversations about systemic challenges, social constructions, and institutionalized norms.
LeeAnn Trask, Administrative Specialist CL2, College of Arts & Science
WICCD Staff Award
Our WICCD Award to LeeAnn Trask only begins to recognize the impact and importance of her service to UMA. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with LeeAnn knows how kind, generous, organized, and supportive she is. Like so many of us, she is always willing to take on extra work in order to make sure we have the resources we need to teach and learn. LeeAnn’s support has been pivotal to so many projects over her years at UMA, but this award specifically recognizes the huge amount of extra work that LeeAnn took on to support WICCD’s Book Grant Program in 2020 and 2021. The success of this program in 2021 created a huge project of ordering books and making sure they got to the grant awardees (in addition to all the other work behind the scenes). Without LeeAnn, we would not have been able to deliver books to 9 faculty and staff and 28 students!
Lisa Botshon, Professor of English
WICCD Faculty Award
Lisa’s scholarly expertise and her deeply held commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion have made her a vital force for greater equality at UMA for decades. Lisa now serves on the DEI Council while she also continues her active work toward justice in her teaching, her research, and in her service to the community. Beginning this year, Lisa has spearheaded the initiative to grow Native American Studies offerings and indigenous land recognition initiatives at UMA. One of the ways that Lisa is most WICCD is in her active support and mentoring of junior faculty members, many who are also involved in DEI work. Lisa has been a key part of the WGS (Women’s and Gender Studies) program and initiated the creation of an American studies minor over a decade ago. She has been a Fulbright scholar twice and has brought a number of diverse speakers and performers to UMA. Lisa’s scholarship and advocacy have done so much to shape positive change at UMA and in the wider community. Her voice has powerfully and consistently moved UMA’s conversations toward a DEI ethic, and perhaps more importantly, a DEI practice.
WE ARE WICCD!: Women Invigorating Curriculum and Cultivating Diversity
WICCD honors the diversity that exists in Maine by educating our campus and larger community about local, national, and international issues, initiatives, and ideas related to diversity. Because women have been historically underrepresented in social, cultural, political, institutional, and economic spheres, WICCD centers women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenge injustices and inequalities of all kinds. Led by faculty and staff who work toward gender equality and social justice, WICCD provides opportunities for education and engagement to raise awareness around these important intersectional social challenges.