On Feb. 15, two Niagara University students were presented with the annual Susan B. Anthony Writing Award for their individual written submissions. The event took place in St. Vincent’s Hall and focused on the winners’ essays in which they highlighted the achievements of women in history.

Winners Erika Ruggieri, a freshman biology major, and Marissa Seib, a junior history major, were recognized for their intellectual pieces, engaging readers with their knowledge of the history of the women’s rights movement.

Ruggieri’s piece, titled “Equal Pay, Any Day,” was written for Lynn Bey’s Thinking and Writing 100 course. It touches on the issues regarding equal pay in the workforce for women.

Seib titled her essay, “The Madness Beyond the Bly-Lines,” which was written for Dr. Shannon Risk’s Research Methods course. The piece examines journalist Nellie Bly’s attempt to find the truth behind the horrific conditions of Blackwell’s Island “Insane” Asylum. It then goes on to explore what reforms were made possible due to Bly’s findings.

Dr. Risk believes that both students created literature that directly reflects the mission of Anthony.

“Susan B. Anthony was an indomitable force for the advancement of women’s rights, not only in the United States, but around the world,” she said. “With the Susan B. Anthony Awards, the women’s studies committee at Niagara University, and our partners around campus, aim to honor Anthony’s work and that of our students, who carry on the tradition of investigating societal injustices and proposing solutions that can lead to lasting change for the better.”

During the event, Dr. Peter Butera, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recognized committee member Sharon Green for her contributions to the women’s studies program. Her efforts in clearing a path for future students to become more educated on women’s studies has reflected positively on all members of the Niagara University community, he said.

The event fell on Anthony’s 198th birthday. Participants enjoyed birthday cake while they reflected on the achievements of women throughout history and laid a foundation for a better future for all.

Article by Natalie Jennings, a senior business administration major. Photos by Taylor Lilton, a sophomore studying criminal justice. 

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