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Phenomenal Woman Awards 2012

Phenomenal Woman Awards 2012

Tenth Biennial Phenomenal Woman Reception and Awards Fundraiser

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

4 - 7pm

USU Grand Salon


Please RSVP by October 20th, 2012.

For more information, please call 818-677-3110


Links to Past Awardees

Phenomenal Woman Honorees 2010

Phenomenal Woman Forum 2009

Pictures of the 2009 Phenomenal Woman Forum

Phenomenal Woman Honorees 2008

Phenomenal Woman Honorees 2006

Phenomenal Woman Awards Organizing Committee

Dianne Bartlow, Shira Brown, Tracy Buenavista, Susan Feldman, Florence Kyomugisha, Marta Lopez-Garza, Sheena Malhotra, Breny Mendoza, Randi Picarelli, Kathryn Sorrells, Sandra Stanley, Nayereh Tohidi


Simin Bahmanyar.

Administrative Support

Janaki Bowerman and Molly Nguyen.


The Phenomenal Woman Awards

PWA 2012The Phenomenal Woman Awards event celebrates women who have made outstanding contributions to our community. It also allows the Gender & Women’s Studies Department to raise funds to sponsor special programming, support student and faculty research, and finance scholarships for Gender and Women's Studies students. In addition, these contributions support the CSUN Women’s Resource and Research Center, the oldest continuing Women’s Center within the California State University system.





Meet our 2012 Phenomenal Woman Awardees

Jody Williams

Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). At that time, she became the 10th woman in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since 1998, she has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, speaking on its behalf all over the world. Williams has worked with the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which she chairs, since 2006.

She holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston where she has been teaching since 2003. In academic year 2012-2013, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her new memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, will be released in March 2013.


Melissa Roxas

Melissa Roxas

Poet, Health Worker, and Human Rights Activist.

For over fifteen years Melissa Roxas has done community and social justice work in the United States and in the Philippines.  She is a co-founder of Habi Arts, a Los Angeles-based cultural organization dedicated to promoting community empowerment and social justice through the arts.

Melissa is a survivor of enforced disappearance and torture by the Philippine military.  While conducting health care work in the Philippines on May 19, 2009, she was abducted at gunpoint and held in secret detention in a Philippine military camp and tortured for six days.  Melissa continues to write and speak out against human rights violations and to demand justice for victims all over the world.


Chancee Martorell

Chanchanit (Chancee) Martorell

Community Activist and Organizer.

Chancee Martorell graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Urban Planning with a specialization in Urban Regional Development. She also studied Humanities at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand in 1988.

Engaged in social activism for the past 20 years, Martorell is currently the Executive Director of the Thai Community Development Center, a non-profit organization she founded in 1994 in an effort to improve the lives of Thai immigrants through services that promote cultural adjustment and economic self-sufficiency. 

She is known most notably for her work on several major human rights cases involving Thai victims of human trafficking.  She is also a leading community development practitioner engaged in affordable housing development, small business promotion and neighborhood revitalization projects.  Under her leadership, Thai CDC played a pivotal role in the designation of the first Thai Town in the nation right here in East Hollywood.

Lindsey Horvath Lindsey Horvath

Political Activist.

Lindsey Horvath is an Entertainment Advertising Executive at Cold Open, and served on West Hollywood’s City Council (May 2009-March 2011). She is Outreach Coordinator for V-Day's worldwide One Billion Rising Campaign, and serves as Vice Chair of the Transportation Commission for West Hollywood.

Her accomplishments include: President and Co-Founder of Hollywood NOW; President of NWPC-LA Westside; Chair of West Hollywood's Women's Advisory Board; Co-Chair of Women for Gavin Newsom with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Senator Dianne Feinstein; West Hollywood Plan B Access Committee; and Young Feminist Vice President of California NOW. She fought to secure funding and clear the backlog of untested rape kit evidence in the City and County of Los Angeles. Lindsey also initiated West Hollywood's first-ever Domestic Violence Community Response Team.  She is a graduate with honors of the University of Notre Dame where she earned a bachelor's of arts degree in Political Science and Gender Studies.

Maria Elena Gaitan

María Elena Gaitán

Performance Artist, Social Justice Activist and Cultural and Linguistic Specialist.

East L.A. native, María Elena Gaitán, is a fourth generation musician and teacher, a performance artist and a national subject-matter expert in healthcare interpreting and cultural competency.

Through music and satire, she has created artistic explorations of women’s history, health, immigrant human rights, race and identity. Her concepts have been featured by Meet The Composer and Arts International as models of international artistic collaboration and she is the first Latina participant in the Ford Foundation's Africa Exchange Project, developing works about the African Diaspora in Mexico.

Often performing for standing-room only audiences, Gaitán has performed for audiences throughout the U.S. and in Portugal, including performances of Igor Stravinsky’s "The Soldier’s Tale," directed by Peter Sellars with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen.

From the stage to the courtroom, to the classroom and in healthcare, throughout her life, María Elena Gaitán has served the people of Los Angeles as a cultural and linguistic expert.

Photo credit: Chola Con Cello © 2006 Misha Erwitt


Phenomenal Woman Awards Event Details

The event begins with a Reception and Silent Auction from 4-5 p.m. This is a wonderful time to meet and converse with the awardees for this year and past awardees. The Silent Auction offers a wide array of items ranging from spa and restaurant coupons and weekend getaways to sculptures and other art works. All proceeds go to supporting the students and faculty in GWS.

The presentation of the awards will begin at approximately 5 p.m.

Our host for the evening: Professor Lillian Lehman

1st Online Auction for Phenomenal Woman

This year, our auction will begin online on October 20th, and continue at the event itself. We have exciting items to bid on.

Please access our online auction through this link.

Event Tickets

Tickets are $65 each. Alumni tickets are available for $40 each.

$150 Sponsor - includes 1 ticket & recognition in the program

$300 Supporter - includes 2 tickets & recognition in the program

$500 Patron - includes 4 tickets & recognition in the program

Additional donations to the department are most welcome.

You may also donate to sponsor a student ($25 per student sponsored).


You may order your Phenomenal Woman tickets online via credit card. Please click on the link to the right to utilize a credit card.


Phenomenal Woman Credit Card Payments

Please click on the "Order Tickets" tab, register your information and then purchase the ticket(s) level you would like.


You can mail your check to us. Please make the check out to CSUN Foundation - GWS.

In the memo area, please write in "PW" and your ticket level.

(eg: PW-2 tickets or PW-Patron)

You can also print out the Reply Card linked HERE and send it in with your check.

Mail your check to:
Gender and Women's Studies Department

California State University
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8251


You can order tickets via email. Send us your contact information and we will follow up with you.


Email us at: gws@csun.edu


Parking is free for guests who RSVP in advance.

Please remember to pick up your parking permit from the parking attendant in Parking Structure G3. Vehicles without permits will get ticketed.

To access the parking structure, enter Dearborn from Zelzah. Turn Right into Parking Structure G3. Click here for a campus map.