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Vaughan Receives 2009 Women's Caucus Achievement Award

The University Women's Caucus presented its 2009 Achievement Award on Jan. 28 to Karen Vaughan, digital services coordinator at the Old Dominion University Libraries. The annual honor goes to a colleague "who has made ODU a more women-friendly campus."

Vaughan, who joined the ODU Libraries in 1988, was deserving of recognition for, as nominator Carolyn Rhodes noted, her contributions toward "preserving women's history and enhancing feminist awareness on our campus and in our region" through her creation of special exhibits and Web sites showcasing the achievements of women.

Rhodes, professor emerita of English and women's studies, also noted another example of Vaughan's value to the university regarding her instruction and demonstrations about digital resources for classes in various disciplines:

"Teachers who call upon her for presentations in their women's studies courses tell of her remarkable strengths in conveying both interdisciplinary content and technological resources."

Rhodes added: "Dr. Jennifer Fish, chair of the women's studies department, has spoken of Karen's skills not only for complex instruction but also for convincing students that they can indeed deal with the many and intricate resources available for research. Dr. Fish observes that for many women students such encouragement holds a special value, leading toward greater academic and personal empowerment."

Janet Bing, professor of English, said, "I have worked with Karen for more years than I care to admit, and she has unfailingly supported my work and that of my colleagues in many ways." On a more personal note, Bing added, "Since I am a complete Luddite, she has been my best resource to help me stay on the cutting tail of technology."

Ann Pettingill, associate university librarian, writing in support of Vaughan's nomination, noted that Vaughan annually directs a project to create both Web-based and library lobby exhibits in honor of Women's History Month that are both "stunning and intellectually stimulating."

"In many of the exhibits, she has also focused on campus achievements and achievers," Pettingill said. "Through this, she has contributed significantly to the history of women at Old Dominion University. She's gotten photographs from the archives and talked to faculty and staff members across campus and has been able to bring our university women's history to life for all of us."

Vaughan's exhibits over the past decade include: "Women's Art: Women's Vision" (2008); "Women at ODU: Builders of Communities and Dreams" (2006); and "Norfolk Women Working for Justice" (2001). These and other exhibits can be found at www.lib.odu.edu/special/digital-exhibits.htm.

This article was posted on: March 4, 2009

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