CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) has announced the creation of a new award named in honor of the director of the Women’s Center at Oregon State University, Beth Rietveld.
The “Beth Rietveld Award for Outstanding Service to Oregon Women in Higher Education” recognizes the OSU director’s service and is meant to inspire a similar spirit of dedication, leadership and activism in others, organizers say.
OWHE was founded in 1980 and is affiliated with the American Council on Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education. The organization meets annually as an educational forum of female administrators and faculty, with a goal to provide Oregon women in higher education the opportunity to meet and share professional knowledge and skills.
At OSU, colleagues Diane Davis, Stephanie Duckett and Alicia Bublitz wrote about the impact Rietveld has made at OSU.
Their nomination said: “Beth has had a powerful and wide-ranging influence on the status of women in higher education at all levels. Beth has taken a personal and professional interest in the lives of women faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants in the university environment.”
Rietveld helped found the OSU Faculty Women’s Network as a forum for faculty women to share triumphs and difficulties, and she also helped develop a Graduate Women’s Network to support female graduate students as they move through the academy and into careers. She pushed to create several university positions, including the Office of Women’s Advancement and Gender Equity and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education office within student health, that are specifically tasked with addressing the needs of women on campus.
Rietveld said she was shocked to be presented with the award.
“I am truly humbled and blessed to have had the opportunity to serve both Oregon Women in Higher Education and Oregon State in raising awareness of issues that disproportionately affect women’s lives,” she said. “I hope I have provided opportunities for others to get involved and carry on with the work that lies ahead.”