Franklin College honors women of distinction

The Franklin College Office of Diversity & Inclusion recently celebrated the recipients of its annual Women of Distinction Awards in celebration of National Women’s History Month.

This marks the ninth year the college has celebrated women who have achieved, overcome and forged a path for other women through their professional leadership, volunteer efforts and civic and campus involvement.

Each year, members of the Franklin College community are invited to submit nominations to honor women on campus for this distinction. In addition, they are encouraged to nominate someone from the local community. The nominees are then judged by a panel and a winner is selected in each category. All nominees received a certificate, while the winners were honored with a plaque, according to the college.

Marlisha Marcellin and Kalyn Johnson, director and assistant director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, respectively, presented the awards. Nominees and guests came together on March 20 for brunch to celebrate one another and to listen to the inspiring words of guest speaker Ellise Smith, creator and founder of Fatness Fiction, home of +Plus Size Magic Radio.

The following are the winners in each category:

  • Student: Celeste Edwards, of Indianapolis, is a chemistry and secondary education major. Edwards is the president of the Black Student Union, vice president of administration of the Student Government Association, secretary for Sister to Sister, the Arthur Wilson Community Representative and manager for the women’s basketball and soccer teams.
  • Faculty: Stacy Hoehn, of Franklin, is an associate professor of mathematics. She received a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
  • Staff: Carolina Puga Mendoza, of Franklin, is an admissions counselor at Franklin College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism and French with a minor in international relations from Franklin College in 2022.
  • Community Member: Kathleen Anderson Ratcliff, of Greenwood, is the founder and executive director of Upstream Prevention, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Johnson County that focuses on substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion and suicide prevention.