May 07, 2004

Henry, Simmons named Women of Distinction

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two Southern Illinois University Carbondale women were named Women of Distinction at a reception on Wednesday, May 5, at SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

The designation, awarded annually by SIUC's University Women's Professional Advancement office, recognizes women who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity through their leadership, vision and action as well as service to the University and the community.

This year's honorees, both members of the administrative/professional staff, are Carol A. Henry, budget director, and Rosemary E. Simmons, assistant director and director of training for the Counseling Center.

A closer look at the 2004 Women of Distinction:

One of her nominators, Harold R. Bardo, director of SIUC's MEDPREP program, wrote that Henry has "contributed above and beyond the basic requirements of getting the job done, especially in times of fiscal crisis. We have spent countless late nights working diligently to respond to several external agencies such as the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the governor's budget office or legislative staffers. SIU's funding is totally dependent upon maintaining good relationships with these agencies and being able to respond quickly to their requests, which is viewed positively by the state. She has transformed the SIUC budget office into one of the most productive business units on campus."Carol A. Henry, a native of Quincy, has logged more than 20 years at SIUC. Named budget director in 1992, she was the first woman to hold the post. She is also an adjunct instructor in the master of public administration program. Henry earned two degrees at SIUC -- a bachelor's in accounting in 1970 and a master's of business administration in 1982.

Another nominator, Corey S. Bradford, assistant vice president for financial and administrative affairs, pointed to Henry being a "role model and mentor to countless young African-American women" not only on campus but in the community and through her church as well.

Henry also served as chair for the development of the system-wide budget module for the SIU Administrative Information System.

"She has established sound fiscal guidelines and procedures that protect the financial viability of the campus," Bradford wrote. "She has instituted more flexibility into the budgetary process that allows units to make changes to their budgets throughout the year."

As co-coordinator of the Counseling Center's Minority Programming Team, Simmons was the primary designer of a diversity retreat that annually brings together African American, Latino, Asian American and Caucasian American students. As the center's outreach coordinator she designed and facilitated countless workshops for students to confront their own prejudices, examine their experiences as a minority on a majority campus and to stand up for diversity.Rosemary E. Simmons' "tireless work of her lifetime is to promote diversity with a capital D on both a personal and professional level. This work has far exceeded the demands of her position into an incredible amount of volunteer work on and off campus," wrote nominator John F. Snyder, senior counseling psychologist at the Counseling Center.

As the center's Women's Services coordinator, Simmons designed programming and enhanced services for women on campus. And as director of training, she supervises and mentors countless new professionals in the field of psychology.

Janet M. Coffman, Counseling Center director and another nominator, wrote that Simmons' "most outstanding contributions have come from her work on behalf of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered (GLBT) community."

In that capacity, Simmons provided individual and group psychotherapy for the GLBT community, consults with campus groups, community groups and other universities on GLBT issues and is founder and trainer for SIUC's Project "Safe Zone."

Simmons also has served several positions in her national organization, the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies. A native of Clarion, Iowa, she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wartburg College in 1982. She also earned two degrees at SIUC -- a master's in 1985 and a doctorate in 1990, both in counseling psychology.

Snyder wrote, "Frankly, considering the many terrific professional women that I have known both on campus and throughout my professional travels over the last 35 years, I cannot think of one who is more deserving of the University Women of Distinction award than Dr. Simmons."