Leslie E. Tower has been selected to receive the 2016 Neil S. Bucklew Award by the West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for her dedication to women’s issues.

The Bucklew award, named after WVU’s 21st president, is given to a person who demonstrates continuous outstanding leadership, courage and support in the area of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion within the WVU system.

“We are very happy to make this award to Dr. Tower on her outstanding work on women’s issues at West Virginia University,” said David M. Fryson, vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “She has a long history of sterling work for the empowerment and support of social justice issues.”

Tower is a tenured professor of social work at WVU and has advocated for more support of work-life balance at the University. The task was not easy or popular but she was so passionate about the topic that she chose to change her research agenda to study women and work.

Tower advocated for and contributed to many of the work-life programs currently offered to WVU faculty, including parental leave, family leave, childcare supports and lactation supports.

She created the WVU Lactation Network, a list of individuals willing to permit nursing women to use their offices to extract milk, and expanded the network by working with WVU to develop a Lactation Support Program, which includes building state-of-the-art lactation rooms across campus.

Tower is the principal investigator on the Elsevier Foundation, New Scholars Program (2015-16): WV STEM+ Family Travel Initiative. As the first statewide program in the nation of its kind, the travel fund provides female faculty and post-doctoral scholars at West Virginia public and private institutions of higher learning the opportunity to apply for reimbursement of incremental child and eldercare expenses incurred as a result of traveling.



CONTACT: Sharon Mallow, Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
304.293.5496, Sharon.Mallow@mail.wvu.edu

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