Woman of the Year
The Athena Women of the Year award is given annually to women who have demonstrated clear and sustained dedication to women’s professional enhancement at the University of Idaho. Women of the Year are women who truly represent the mission of Athena and fearlessly engage both professionally and personally in making changes that support and forward the mission of Athena. These are women who have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide mentorship to other women, advocate for an inclusive and supportive climate, volunteering and engaging across the University in ways that carry out in word and deed the mission of Athena. Nominees may also be engaged in other efforts, beyond our campus.
This award should not be based on a single achievement, but rather on the totality of a person’s efforts over a sustained period of time carried out on behalf of women at U of I.
Nominees must be women currently working in a U of I board-appointed position of at least half-time and have worked at U of I for a minimum of three years.
Customer Service Lead, Parking and Transportation Services
In addition to being a dedicated employee, community member and mentor, Summer Howard has accomplished multiple noteworthy endeavors. Currently serving as Chair of Staff Council, she also was on the Operations and Logistics Committee for the Women’s Leadership Conference in 2015. She is a current member of the Women in Parking Group and Professional Development Committee, and a former Athena member. Howard has participated in Take Back the Night, manages women’s and co-ed softball and Moscow United Soccer Team, and is a Scouts Den Leader. She also volunteers for United Way and Habitat for Humanity.
Associate Professor, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
Laura Holyoke has served on numerous committees, task forces, boards and groups in her department, college, and at the university level. She has been instrumental in mentoring many U of I professional women and students throughout her career. In the local community, Holyoke has taught outreach workshops and participated in a number of women’s leadership conferences across the state. She is a current and long-time member of Athena and has demonstrated a clear commitment to advocacy and support for women both personally and professionally.
Associate Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
A U of I alumna, Barbara Petty has served the U of I across the state as an Extension educator, director and now associate dean for 20 years. Petty is a mentor to employees located all over the state and has served as a model for life balance and self-care. She has demonstrated leadership in organizations beyond the university and exceptional support to the increasing number of women working in the U of I Extension system.