The Women's Commission offers two awards each year to deserving members of the University community.

The first award that the Women's Commission initiated was the May A. Brunson Award. This award was named in honor of the University's second Dean of Women. This award is given to the person within the University community who most contributes to improving the status of women on campus. The Commission also contributes to the University Library for the purchase of books and periodicals related to women's studies following the announcement of this award each year. The books are known as the May A. Brunson collection. The second award, the Louise P. Mills Award, is given to a student at the University who exhibits "leadership, creativity, caring and high academic performance." Traditionally, these awards are given at the Women's Commission annual breakfast meeting held each spring on the Coral Gables campus.

Normally, these awards would have been presented at our Annual Breakfast. Unfortunately, this event has been canceled to comply with the mitigation practices instituted by the University. In spite of our need to cancel the Annual Women’s Breakfast, the awards committee wanted the opportunity to recognize the award winners' contributions in 2020 and thank them for their service to our University community.


The 2020 May A. Brunson was awarded to Dr. Linda Neider. 

In this 100th year since the passage of the 19th amendment, Dr. Neider's service has been especially noteworthy because she has continually sought to improve the status of women at the University of Miami, going well beyond the confines of her job or role. Without a doubt, Dr. Neider is a trailblazer in our community What really impressed the Women's Commission was the common theme of Dr. Neider's willingness to mentor, to share knowledge and to effectuate positive change that supports women in our community resulting in a legacy of faculty and staff achieving goals they did not imagine could be possible.  Current students and alums, far and wide, have lauded her open-door policy and Dr. Neider's willingness to advise and mentor them well beyond the classroom. 

It is clear that Dr. Neider values the power of inclusivity and equity for all demographics. As Chair of the Faculty Senate, she uses her experience, institutional knowledge, and upfront approach to continue to advocate for colleagues and to elevate those who encounter marginalization. Dr. Neider's commitment to fostering long-term gender and cultural equity benefits the status of women throughout our University community. 


The 2020 Louise P. Mills was awarded to Ms. Katelyn Menninger 

The awards committee is excited to recognize Ms. Menninger's contributions to the enhancement of women with her passionate advocacy for the young women of Miami-Dade County Public Schools through the Introduce a Girl to Engineering program. This program, which served over 150 students was a day, was filled with hands-on engineering activities, alumni and industry panels and included tours of the College of Engineering laboratories. The awards committee was especially impressed that Ms. Menninger took a further initiative to cowrite a $25,000 grant in order to expand this program into a summer camp for students and projecting greater participation by targeting underserved and unprivileged high schools that don’t have the resources to participate otherwise. Her student leadership on campus included serving as Vice President of UMaker – the first and only student organization focused on robotics, 3D printing, and innovation. 

Ms. Menninger's involvement within the campus community, her advocacy for young women within the greater South Florida community and Ms. Menninger's utmost dedication to innovation, education, and philanthropy has made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of women.