Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership Honored with National Award

Gwen O’Brien 
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579

April 4, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)–The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) at Saint Mary’s College has been named the 2012 recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW). NCRW is a network of 120 leading research, policy and advocacy centers committed to improving the lives of women and girls. CWIL will receive the award in June.

According to NCRW, this award was presented to CWIL because of the its significant efforts to promote diversity on campus through its educational programs such as the Intercultural Leadership Certificate, the Global Education programs, holding a national Women as Intercultural Leaders conferences in 2007 and 2010, and starting the English Language School for non-English speaking students who plan to study at colleges and universities in the U.S. Additionally, CWIL has reached out to the local community through its Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which offers entrepreneurship training and support for underrepresented and underserved women in the South Bend area.

“It is a great honor that such an esteemed organization as NCRW has recognized the Saint Mary's College Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) for the creative, passionate, and sustained work towards inclusive excellence happening here. This award affirms Saint Mary's national leadership role in improving the lives of women and girls, and highlights our success and commitment to the challenging issues of diversity,” said CWIL Director Elaine Meyer-Lee.

As part of the application for the award, CWIL included a summary of the Center’s impact; data regarding the demographics of the CWIL staff, boards, and participants; as well as a list of study abroad programs, which expanded into Asia and Africa in recent years.

According to the NCRW application, the Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes a member center that has diversified its leadership, governance, administration and/or its program, policy, advocacy or research activities to incorporate people from under-represented groups. Particular consideration was given to programs that address historic exclusions in the U.S. and/or that work across generation and class.

A representative from Saint Mary’s College will accept the award in person in June at the NCRW’s annual conference to be held at Georgetown University. The title of the conference is “Agenda-Setting 2012 Nationally and Globally: Leveraging Women’s Voices.”

About the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL): Saint Mary's College, rooted in its history of pioneering change, its position within the Catholic tradition and its commitment to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, established the Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership in 2000 with the generous support of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. CWIL advances the College's mission of “preparing students to make a difference in the world” by empowering women to realize their call to leadership and to develop the intercultural knowledge and competence critical in today’s increasingly interdependent world. CWIL is pronounced, “quill.”

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.