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The WVU Council for Gender Equity is pleased to announce Dr. Amena Anderson as the 2023 recipient of the Mary Catherine Buswell Award.


The Mary Catherine Buswell Award was established in 1978 to recognize an individual who demonstrates excellence in their field as it relates to the advancement of university women, community and civic activities that serve and advance women, and/or significant pioneering activities that improve the status of women in the WVU community.


Under Anderson’s leadership as the assistant professor of practice and assistant director of the WVU ADVANCE Center, she has helped promote social justice, advance gender and racial equity, and establish innovative programming to create positive, inclusive cultures at WVU and in higher education institutions nationwide.


In her ADVANCE role, she continues to serve as the primary developer and lead facilitator for the prominent Change Agent Course offered to academic faculty and staff not only at WVU, but across the nation.


She also has developed a professional development course for faculty to serve as social justice allies within their academic departments and across WVU. And she has influenced inclusive hiring practices to help departments reach candidates who are more diverse in their social identities and specializations.


To further support WVU’s efforts to attract and retain a more diverse faculty, Anderson is the founding director of the WVU Faculty Justice Network. Through formal and informal networking opportunities, pedagogical presentations, research scholarship, professional development and even some fun happy hours, she offers an inviting space for women of color and racialized and minoritized faculty, staff and graduate students to gather and engage.


Under her leadership, the FJN has thrived with institutional support while also providing an opportunity for non-racialized and minoritized faculty, administrators, and community members to support foundational goals of the FJN. 


Anderson’s leadership talent, community investment and commitment is reflected her award nomination letter, which stated in part: “Dr. Amena Anderson is a selfless, transformational leader who leads with courage and conviction. She is a trusted mentor and model of excellence for so many underrepresented minority women at WVU, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is strong, fearless, and unapologetically walks in her purpose and brilliance.”