Announcing 2011 Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

In response to a request I made today of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services’ communications department, I received the following information regarding the nine Ohio women who are, as I type this, about to be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. I want to be clear: the people who helped me to get this information (three individuals in different offices) were lovely and very congenial and helpful.  However, the fact that I had to take the steps I did to even get this information and the complete and total failure on the part of the Kasich administration to more widely acknowledge the individuals being honored today is shameful, embarrassing and should be reversed 100% in the future.  This honor is now in its fifth decade of existence. It is nonpartisan.  The diversity fail pattern of the current administration – intentional or unintentional – continues unabated. You can watch the induction here at The Ohio Channel.

Nine women will be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

The nine women inducted will join more than 400 members of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. The 2011 inductees are:

Cheryl A. Boyce of Franklin County for her contributions to health services. Boyce was born in East St. Louis, Ill. Her interest in public health was the result of the premature death of her father. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health education from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in health planning and administration for the University of Cincinnati. She has made Columbus her home for more than 40 years and recently retired as the executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.

Elizabeth H. Flick of Franklin County for her contributions to community and military service. Flick was born and raised in England but has made her home in Columbus for more than 50 years. In 1972, she put on the POW/MIA bracelet of an American veteran missing in Vietnam, but she decided that was not enough. Thus began a lifelong dedication to the veteran community.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) for her contributions to cultural activism and the arts. Watkins was born a free African American in Baltimore, Md., in 1825. The 1982 Smithsonian exhibit of 20 panels celebrating African-American women highlighted her as a pioneer for civil rights. She taught at Union Seminary in western Ohio, which later merged with Wilberforce University. She was also married and gave birth to her only child while living on a farm in central Ohio.

Brenda J. Hollis of Henry County for contributions in the military service and law. Hollis is an international criminal prosecutor based at The Hague in the Netherlands. She served on the first international criminal tribunals related to crimes against humanity since World War II. She attended elementary and high school in Henry County and earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). While at BGSU she was also an outstanding athlete in several sports.Mary C. Juhas, Ph.D., of Franklin County for contributions in science and education. Juhas is the associate dean for diversity and outreach in the College of Engineering and an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. A Pittsburgh native, Juhas came to Ohio State in 1985 to earn her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering. After a career spanning more than 20 years in engineering research, she turned her attention toward advocacy for women and minorities in the field.

Kleia R. Luckner of Lucas County for contributions in health service and law. Luckner, a Princeton, N.J., native, arrived in Toledo in 1971 as a nurse and midwife. She brought with her clinical skills and an educational background from Yale and Stanford universities. Throughout her career, she has focused on providing a safe childbirth experience for women. Through her efforts, medical care has improved for women, children and families not just in northwest Ohio, but throughout our state and nation.

Valerie J. Lyons, Ph.D., of Lorain County for contributions in science. Lyons is the chief of the Power and In-Space Propulsion Division of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The division performs research and technology development for aerospace power systems, including batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, Stirling convertors and power electronics. She is also the founder and director of an aerospace science summer camp for children ages 10 through 15.

Linda S. Noelker, Ph.D., of Cuyahoga County for contributions in community service and health service. Noelker is a highly accomplished and respected professor in the field of gerontological research, policies and service. She joined the Benjamin Rose Institute in 1974 as a research analyst and gradually assumed positions of greater responsibility. Her contributions have addressed critical service concerns of older adults and their families and offer avenues for creative delivery of services at the local, state and national levels.

Carrie Vonderhaar of Hamilton County for contributions in the arts and conservation. Vonderhaar, a Cincinnati native, earned degrees in fine arts, French and political science from Wittenberg University in Springfield. She is the chief expedition photographer for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and an on-camera personality for the PBS television series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. She has taken risks to capture insightful photos that captivate audiences with emotional imagery of wildlife and conservation issues ranging from habitat loss in the Amazon to climate change in the Arctic.

More information about the women in the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/women/. The Ohioana Library coordinates the nomination, selection and induction for the Hall of Fame, and makes information about its members available to the public.

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