University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Mullen/Spector/Truax Women's Leadership Award


The Mullen/Spector/Truax Endowment was established in 1997 to provide funds for the Mullen/Spector/Truax Women’s Leadership Award given annually to a faculty or staff woman at the University who has made outstanding contributions to women’s leadership development. This award honors Patricia Mullen, Janet Spector, and Anne Truax for their contributions to women at the University of Minnesota in their positions in Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action, the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and at the Minnesota Women’s Center, respectively.


The Mullen/Spector/Truax Endowment for Women’s Leadership Development and the Women's Center.


A $1500 award will be given to the recipient’s department to be used by the winner in support of her professional development programs and activities. Award to be given at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program hosted by the Women's Center.


4:30 p.m., first Friday in June


Women faculty or staff members who have been at the University of Minnesota (systemwide) at least three years. Faculty nominations will be considered in even calendar years and staff nominations will be considered in odd calendar years. For the 2018-2019 award cycle (nominations due June 1, 2018), we will be accepting faculty nominations.

Selection Criteria

Nominees are evaluated on the basis of a narrative and letters of support documenting their outstanding contributions to developing leadership in women. Applications should focus on nominees' contributions to University women, although their contributions to women in the community can also be included. We especially encourage applications that highlight nominees' contributions to serving underrepresented women. The narrative should provide: 

  • Two or more specific examples of contributions to developing women's leadership, such as:
    • Distinguished program creation that helps University women faculty, staff, or students build skills and/or knowledge essential to success
    • Policy or procedural changes that improve leadership opportunities for University women
    • Creation or improvement of community initiatives that reinforce and expand advancement and leadership opportunities for women
    • Outstanding one-to-one mentorship in developing leadership in other women  
  • Details regarding the impact and scope/audience of these contributions
  • Examples of the nominee's commitment to collaboration and support for diversity 

Selection Committee

Appointed by Women's Center, to include women faculty, P&A staff, Civil Service/Bargaining Unit staff, and a student representative.

Nomination Process

University of Minnesota faculty, staff, or students may make nominations (self-nominations accepted). Individuals nominated but not selected may be re-nominated for subsequent years. A completed nomination packet must include the following items:

  • One letter of nomination (a narrative describing how the nominee meets the criteria) (preferably under 500 words) 
  • Two letters of support (preferably under 500 words)
  • Nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae

Submit ONE email with a complete nomination packet to: with the subject line M/S/T Women's Leadership Award 

Questions: Women's Center, 612-625-9837, or

Past Awardees

2017 - Sarah Rohne, Employer Relations Director and Associate Director, Law School Career Center
2016 - Brenda Ogle, Professor, Biomedical Engineering
2015 - Linda Kim, Coordinator of Academic and Scholarship Support, Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
2014 - Cynthia Cattell, Professor, Physics and Astronomy
2013 - Catherine Squires, Associate Professor, Communication Studies
2012 - Laura J. Cooper, Professor, Law School
2011 - Maria Gini, Professor, Dept of Computer Science and Engineering
2010 - Caroline Hayes, Dept of Engineering, IT
2009 - Sally Kenney, director, Center for Women and Public Policy, HHH Institute of Public Affairs
2008 - Roberta Humphreys, Department of Astronomy
2007 - Professor and Associate Dean Shirley Nelson Garner, Dept of English
2006 - Professor Jean K. Quam, Social Work
2005 - Professor Mary Jo Maynes, Dept of History
2004 - Roberta E Gibbons, associate director, Aurora Center
2003   Jeanne D. Markell, Assistant Dean and Director of the University of Minnesota Extension Service
2002 - Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Professor, Program in History of Science and Technology, IT
2001 - Jane W. Canney, Associate Vice Provost, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
2001 - Marjorie K. Cowmeadow, Associate Dean and Director of Student Services, General College
2001 - Mary Jo Kane, Professor and Director, Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport
2000 - Pamela Beader, director of design and construction services, Facilities Management
1999 - Mary Heltsley, Professor, Department of Family Social Science
1999 - Toni McNaron, Professor Emeritus English, Office of Language/Literature
1997 - Jamie Tiedemann, Director, Aurora Center