The contributions of women at UR were recognized at the annual Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner, held on Feb. 5.Five undergraduate women were honored for their accomplishments and Professor of Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at Eastman Jean Barr was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. “We want to recognize women who are strong, passionate, successful leaders,” Director of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership Nora Bredes said.The dinner has been a tradition since the 1940s and is designed to commemorate Anthony’s contributions to UR, – most notably her work in helping women gain admission. Juniors Marilyn Lopez and Rachael Gabriel received the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship, an award for women who are leaders, both academically and in the community.Lopez has been active on campus since her freshman year. She served as Meliora Weekend Co-Chair in 2002, is an active member of the Spanish and Latino Students’ Association and is also an editor of the UR Messenger.Gabriel has worked to establish the Northeast Women’s Collegiate Hockey Association and is captain of the women’s ice hockey team. She said the dinner was very special. “This award is an extreme honor,” she said. “Being associated with the women who have received my award in the past, many of whom I am privileged to know, is the greatest honor of all.”Senior Andrea Ferrara was presented with the Susan B. Anthony Prize, an award given to a senior enrolled in a five-year program with high academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities. Ferrara is a member of Senior Class council and is Social Chair of the Golden Key Honor Society. She plans to do a Take Five program in Italy next year. “I must admit that some weeks I feel pulled in so many directions,” Ferrara said. “It’s reassuring when someone takes notice of all that I’m trying to juggle.”Senior Sheila Vakharia received the Fannie Bigelow Prize for her activism in various campus groups. “It was in incredible honor to get that kind of recognition for campus activities that I was doing just because I enjoyed them,” she said. Vakharia has worked as a facilitator with the College Diversity Roundtable, is the Coordinator of Safe Zone, and has been active in diversity programming.Take Five Scholar Carmen Lewis received the Jane R. Plitt Award for community service and a commitment to further the rights of women. Lewis helped organize a student organization at UR for women in science.Barr’s Lifetime Achievement Award is the result of her work at Eastman in establishing a graduate program in piano accompanying and chamber music. She was the first keyboardist in the United States to receive a doctorate in accompanying and continues to be a pioneer in her field. She was delighted to receive such an award. “To be recognized in this way is a validation and affirmation of one’s work and dreams over a period of many years,” she said.Bredes feels the dinner is important, both in remembering and encouraging women. “What women achieved didn’t come easy,” she said. “There are still barriers today. We want to recognize women who are stepping up and encourage others to do the same.”Taylor can be reached at

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