Alyson Garrison wins 2018 Linda J. Lacey Award

Alyson Garrison is a voice of guidance and advice for students on the TU campus as the director of Greek Life. This year, the Women’s and Gender Studies program recognized her with the Linda J. Lacey Award for Mentoring Excellence.

TU students, faculty and staff who embody true mentorship are eligible for the award, which acknowledges someone who advises, shares knowledge, supports and encourages, gives specific feedback, collaborates, helps create opportunities and empowers others.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award. I consider many of the previous recipients mentors and to have my name among them is truly humbling,” Garrison said. “My mentors made conscious efforts to continuously better themselves and those around them.”

Past winners of this award include McFarlin Professor of Psychology Elana Newman, associate professor of English Jennifer Airey, director of TU global scholars program Lara Foley, associate professor of art history Kirsten Olds and many more.

Garrison is not a typical Greek life representative. She looks past the more antiquated traditions to an inclusive vison for sororities and fraternities. “Alyson has personally championed the goal of recruiting additional organizations for women of color,” said one of her nominating letters.

She also challenges fraternities to investigate problems embedded in their culture. “Alyson consistently voices and presses young men in fraternities to be better than their stereotypes. To grow into an awareness of the culpability within a culture and history of violence towards women and to hold each other accountable towards a new culture,” described another nominating letter.

Garrison recognized the great need in the Greek community for a champion for women’s rights. “My hope is to pass even the slightest bit of encouragement and knowledge on to help others become the best they can possibly be,” she said.

The winner of the mentor award is selected by a four-member judging panel made up of faculty, staff and a student representative. There were a record number of nominees this year. Here is a list of those honorees and a brief excerpt from their nominating letter:

Patricia Byrd
Through her work with survivors of sexual assault, she has empowered individuals to advocate for themselves and to take ownership of their healing process. She has taken the initiative to provide evidence-based treatments for MST survivors. She is kind, listens wholeheartedly and meets veterans where they are in their emotional recovery.

Anna Carpenter
Professor Carpenter has worked tirelessly to empower her students, offering guidance and support and opening doors that connect these students to opportunities. She also dedicates one semester each year to helping students seek protective orders for women who are survivors of domestic violence.

Karen Cravens
She has been a friend, mentor, guide and so much more. She is kind beyond any words. She always puts others before herself and makes life so enriching for anyone she is around. She is highly deserving of this award.

Karen Dutoi
She is unfailingly patient, kind and willing to help, even as she holds the students to high standards. She inspires in them a desire to become better editors themselves, lessons they are then able to apply to their own writing and teaching. She also creates an unfailingly feminist workplace, and therefore demonstrates the exact sort of mentorship that the Linda J. Lacey award seeks to recognize.

Rachel Deeds
Rachel has done a fantastic job leading her peers. What has especially amazed me is her ability to do all of this with a smile on her face and an incredibly positive attitude. This sets her apart from her peers. She is a wonderful mentor.

Denise Dutton
She is the kind of person who has a ripple effect — quietly having an impressive impact across TU. Dr. Dutton’s own actions, as well as her mentoring of others, have improved countless programs at TU, all because of her commitments to student learning and faculty fulfillment. She is deeply dedicated to improving the educational experience for all of us at TU.

Diana Folsom
Diana possesses a deep affection for her colleagues, specifically those of the female gender. Diana powered through her mid‐career years in a time when women were seen as subordinate to their male peers. Today, she helps others break free from the chains of the limiting patterns of society and embrace their natural talents and powers.

Nadia Hall
Nadia is always available to meet with both current TU students and students considering TU who need advice, encouragement or support, often taking time to go to lunch or talk with them when they stop in unexpectedly. Supporting diversity in higher education is one of Nadia’s goals, and each person who works with Nadia notices how positive and welcoming she is.

Sandeep Kuttal
Dr. Kuttal effort’s to promote diversity at TU are outstanding. In her two and half years at TU, she has proven herself to be an excellent mentor, intelligent researcher and skilled teacher. She is an invaluable member of the computer science faculty in promoting recruitment and retention of female students. She more than just advises students, she genuinely mentors them as well.

Jim Scholl
Jim has been a tireless force for good on campus and within the broader Tulsa community. Jim has dedicated himself to working with underserved populations and the LGBTQ+ community in particular. He has also shown himself to be a fierce ally to sexual assault survivors through his work as a bystander intervention trainer, a campus advocate and an executive member of the Advocacy Alliance.

Anne Sheaff
When I think of a teacher, professor or coach, I think of someone who is willing to make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good. I think of someone who is so willingly selfless and humane, doing whatever possible to instill knowledge in those around them. Professor Anne Sheaff, is the perfect of example of all of these qualities.

Kyla Sloan
Representation is so important, and Kyla Sloan is my role model in the type of person I aspire to be on campus. She creates a safe place for students of color to build community and support one another throughout our attendance of a predominately white institution. Kyla demonstrates strength and integrity of character that sets an example for many of my peers and myself with poise and grace.

Kathleen Strunk
She is genuine and authentic. She treats every student with equality and respect. I have witnessed Kathy in the clinical setting, and she treats every patient with dignity and acceptance. She is not judgmental or condescending. She invests an incredible amount of her personal time in the Tulsa Institute for Trauma, Adversity and Injustice, an organization that advocates for all individuals.

Maddie Withee
Maddie is an exemplary peer mentor for student-athletes. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and genuinely has the best interests of the students at heart and works hard to let her care and compassion shine through.