Women’s Studies Center founder receives Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award

An activist for equality, Marilyn Hoder-Salmon’s journey to foster understanding and advancement for women at FIU began in 1982.

Marilyn Hoder-Salmon, Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award Recipient

Marilyn Hoder-Salmon, ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award’ Recipient

As the founding director of the FIU Women’s Studies Center, Hoder-Salmon created a welcoming and safe space for students with an extensive library of materials related to the emerging field of women’s studies. At first, the center only granted undergraduate certificates. By the time she stepped down in 1999, the center offered a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies. Today, it also offers graduate certificates.

This year, Hoder-Salmon is a recipient of the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award presented by the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU and will be honored during an award reception and ceremony starting at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 21, at the museum located at 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

This annual award celebrates professional achievements by women who are also active in the Jewish community. As a faculty member of the Department of English and an Honors College fellow, Hoder-Salmon is being honored for her drive to make women’s studies a point of focus at FIU during a time when it was often overlooked as a respectable academic discipline.

“While there have been outstanding strides made by Jewish professional women throughout the state, it is important that we continue to recognize these women as an inspiration to others to aim for the stars,” said Jo Ann Arnowitz, executive director of Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

Hoder-Salmon is one of five women being honored at the ceremony this year. The other honorees include:

Judge Jeri Beth Cohen – A dependency court judge in the State of Florida 11th Judicial Circuit. She was the first to develop a pilot program for rehabilitating DUI offenders.

Sherryl Susan Evans – First woman police officer in the St. Petersburg Beach Police Department. She later became Deputy Sheriff for Hillsborough County.

Sonia Pressman Fuentes – Joined the General Counsel’s office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as its first woman attorney in 1965. She was the highest paid woman at the headquarters of multinational corporations GTE Financial and TRW Automotive.

Betsy Kaplan – Champion of public arts education in Miami-Dade County. A teacher, volunteer and politician in Miami-Dade County, Kaplan lobbied local and state government to support arts programs and was active with the first arts magnet school in Liberty City in 1973.

More than 75 women have been honored by the museum since the award programs inception, from a wide variety of fields including banking, politics, law, aviation, journalism, sports and entertainment.

For information about the event, contact 786-972-3175 or info@jewishmuseum.com.


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