Distinguished Women Gala a Success

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Several Northwood University students share their perspectives
Breanna Bryant, Victoria Chandler and Christina Monroy

Breanna Bryant, Victoria Chandler and Christina Monroy

Jorge Petroni, Luzely Lopez, Sarah Martinez, Joshua Reyes, Rukshar Nalbandh, Wally Trejo

Jorge Petroni, Luzely Lopez, Sarah Martinez, Joshua Reyes, Rukshar Nalbandh, Wally Trejo

November 2, 2012

CEDAR HILL, Texas - Every year Northwood University hosts its signature Distinguished Women’s Gala to award and recognize the contribution women make, professionally and/or philanthropically, to their communities, businesses, volunteer agencies and public and private sector services worldwide. The Distinguished Women serve as role models for students and are encouraged to become involved through mentorships, classroom presentations and financially supporting scholarships. These women have very successful careers, some of which are offered as majors at Northwood.

The celebration began on Friday, October 19, at Northwood University in the Lambert Commons building. Northwood allows students to gain experience and assist with the event. Sophomore Kourtni Smith, a fashion marketing and management major, commented, “As a student of Northwood University, I can honestly say this event is like no other. It was an honor and privilege to meet these lovely ladies.” Students in the hospitality management program worked alongside Chef Katie Schma, a 1978 Northwood alumna from the Michigan Campus, at the luncheon. Junior Sara Frederickson, a hospitality management major, stated “It was a surreal experience working at the luncheon and just doing what I love most.”

On Saturday, October 20, the fashion marketing and management students also had the chance to help the haute couture fashion designer, Pat Kerr-Tigrett, a 2011 Distinguished Women honoree from Memphis, Tennessee, display her vintage lace design collection at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, the location for the Gala. Junior Christina Monroy, a fashion marketing and management major, shared, “It was an honor assisting the wonderful Pat Kerr. It is always intriguing to work with a designer who has established their exclusive style and, as a student, acquire an insight as to how their creativity becomes more than just a vision. I learned from Pat the importance of passion in a collection. Without passion, it cannot be yours. The Distinguished Women’s event was an opportunity for growth in my knowledge of the fashion industry and for that I am grateful.” Some students even had the privilege of introducing the Distinguished Women at the event and they did so with honor and dignity. Junior Alex Von Hassler, a management major, remarked, “I thought this event was very educational and the stories very inspiring. I really love how Northwood handled everything professionally.”

This event made it possible for students to receive that one-on-one contact with many faces of success. Not only are these students able to say they attended the Distinguished Women’s Gala but that they also gained mentors and a sense of inner peace with the fact that it doesn’t matter how old, how young, nor your gender—anyone can be successful with hard work, determination, passion and networking.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.