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Women's Leadership Project Announces Award

* Fund will honor exceptional student leader


The College administration and the Women's Leadership Project (WLP) will honor one exceptional student leader with a $750 award, Assistant Dean of the College Karen E. Avery '87 wrote in an e-mail message.

The award will be financed by the Terrie Fried Bloom '75 Endowment and will be given at a ceremony in March, according to a statement released by the College on November 12.

The student recipient must be in the class of 1998 or 1999. The award is open to any student leader, male or female, who has played an influential role in women's leadership, said Willow D. Crystal '98, co-chair of WLP's 1997 executive board.

"We're not committed to any one image of a woman leader. This award is open to interpretation in many ways," she said.

In addition to the undergraduate award--which is called the Harvard Women's Leadership Award--a professional who has benefited women and the community will receive the Harvard Women's Professional Achievement Award, said the statement.

According to Crystal, this award has no cash prize.

The aim of the awards is to elevate awareness of the accomplishments of women leaders and encourage more women to lead, said Colleen T. Gaard '99, co-chair of WLP's 1998 executive board.

"Once you recognize anyone, other people are going to be inspired. They're going to look, to that person and say 'Wow, look what she did!"" said Gaard, who is a Crimson editor.

The WLP is an undergraduate organization founded 10 years ago to promote women leaders at Harvard, Gaard said. It holds a five-day conference each September and runs a mentoring program in addition to several other activities promoting women leaders.

In order to be eligible for the award, an initial letter of recommendation by Faculty members, staff members, administrators or fellow students must be submitted by December 3, according to the statement.

Crystal stressed the importance of students' recommending their peers.

"Tutors and professors don't necessarily know what we're doing outside the classroom to the extent that students do," she said.

Candidates must then submit a personal statement, a resume and another letter of recommendation, according to the statement. An Awards committee composed of five members:--two administrators, a Faculty member and two others chosen by WLP--will determine the recipient of the award.

Members of the committee are Assistant Dean of the College Karen E. Avery '87, Associate Director and Librarian in the Office of Career Services (OCS) Susan M. Vacca and Professor of Government and Sociology Theda Skocpol, Crystal said.

The two members selected by WLP will include an emerita from WLP's executive board and a representative from the Advisory Board.

Bloom donated her endowment money last spring, Crystal said. Around that time, undergraduate women received another boost when Maisie K. Houghton '62 and James P. Houghton '58 donated the greater sum of $1.25 million to the women's initiative project.

Attaching Bloom's name to the Women's Leadership Awards will make sure Bloom's contribution is not overshadowed, Crystal said.

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