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Women of the Year 2018 Recap

Every year we host our most anticipated event, the Women of the Year awards. This event recognizes five women, one from each school, and their accomplishments so far in college. The women are nominated by other students on campus who have been inspired by their stories and selected by our executive board. This year we held a brunch in their honor.

Listen to our social media director’s radio recap here

This year’s winner are Jenna Caldwell (School of International Service), Savannah McCann (School of Communication), Dana Foley (Kogod School of Business), Sabrina Hernandez (School of Public Affairs), and Erica Jurado (College of Arts and Sciences). 


The winners received a personal photo shoot, an article written about them, and money to put towards a charity of their choice. This year’s brunch featured amazing food from Le Pain Quotidien and entertainment from American University’s A Cappella group “Dime a Dozen”. Each award recipient gave a speech about their award and what it meant to them. Listen to the speeches below with a brief recap of what was said. 

Jenna Caldwell dedicated her award to the “countless women of color who keep pushing this campus forward.” Her advice is that we must not look up to role models, but across. 

Listen to the full speech here

Savannah McCann thanked her friends, especially her roommate that nominated her. She was surprised at the nomination because she says “you never think it’s going to be you who is recognized until you’re thanking people at a podium.” 

Unfortunately, we did not get a recording of her speech but watch an interview with her here

Dana Foley believes she wouldn’t be where she is now without the support of everyone around her. She compared her award to Cady Heron from Mean Girls breaking the award and giving it to all the women in the room.

Listen to the full speech here.

Erica Jurado says she’s been lucky to have wonderful mentors in the College of Arts and Sciences who have been there for her “through personal and academic struggles.” She says looking at other women and LGBTQ people in the STEM field have helped her get through her experiences. 

Listen to the full speech here.

Sabrina Hernandez’s friends showed up as a surprise for her to the awards brunch. She told people to “be kind, always, and without expecting anything in return.” The message that she wants to leave with everyone is that people may be different from you but that it’s important to treat them with respect. 

Listen to the full speech here.

We loved listening to all these women’s stories and getting to know them a little better. If you know of someone who would be an amazing Woman of the Year, nominate them next year! Check out the articles that each woman had written on them on our campus page. 

Photo credits: Emma Shetter 

Katrina is a senior at American University, studying Broadcast Journalism and Sociology. She is currently the President of Her Campus American. She was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. When she's not writing for HCAU, you can find her traveling the country, interning at WJLA, or working at the campus gym front desk. Katrina loves cats, white chocolate mochas, and Beyoncé. In the future, she hopes to be a local reporter back in Boston.
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