PULLMAN, Wash. — Four women will be honored Thursday, March 26, during Washington State University’s Women’s Recognition Luncheon on the Pullman campus. Selected this year were alumna Pauline Seals, WSU Tri-Cities staff member Lucy Luginbill, WSU graduate student Lucy Loera and Donna Shavlik, American Council on Education senior fellow. A fifth woman will be named Woman of the Year at the luncheon.
Seals, a 1990 WSU graduate in electrical engineering, exemplifies how, with the help of WSU, one’s life can profoundly change, said her nominators.
Seals now teaches avionics, communication/navigation, to Boeing airplane customers throughout the world. Her customer service and ambassador roles include orienting international airplane buyers about the products’ maintenance and engineering.
She knows what’s to gain by just hanging in there. “Each time I meet a new career goal, I think of all the personal support of students, faculty and staff who helped me through my most difficult senior year … Without this extra support, I surely would not have made it through graduation.”
The Seattle native had been an air traffic controller for 12 years with the rank of staff sergeant in the U.S. Army before she decided to make a career change. After graduation and securing her position with Boeing, Seals became a foster parent to several children and has taken a volunteer interest in The Refugee Foster Children Program. Last month she was on the Pullman campus as an invited speaker for Engineering Week and Black History Month.
Loera epitomizes a “woman of distinction,” according to her nominators. Under her leadership as president of the graduate student organization CAMARADAS, the group has been its most active and accomplished many things, said her nominators.
Loera is a research assistant on a project about student learning styles and ethnic and gender differences. According to Marc Pizarro, Comparative American Cultures Department faculty member, she “asks spontaneous and insightful questions … giving guidance to other members of the research team” in the process.
She also is a volunteer for the Alternatives To Violence of the Palouse organization, and serves as a senator for the Graduate and Professional Students Association. Loera also is adviser to two undergraduate women’s student organizations.
She has the unique ability to bring together very diverse groups and unify them around issues such as undergraduate education and mentorship, civic duty and responsibility, cultural sensitivity, political awareness and so on, her nominators added.
Daughter Tiffany Luginbill brought out her pride in her mother as she nominated staff member Lucy Luginbill for the award.
“… postponing school … Mom took on the most important job of her life, raising my sister and me … When I was in junior high, my mom made the decision to go back to school; she was 36,” the daughter said.
After receiving an associate’s degree from Columbia Basin College, she traveled weekends to attend college in Spokane. “At the time, I was too young to realize her commitment and how difficult it must have been for her to work, care for us, go to school and still find time for homework. My mom reached her dream of finishing her education and has made a name for herself in the media industry,” Tiffany Luginbill said.
Lucy Luginbill has been a television producer/director for Northwest Public Television since 1994. She has written scripts, edited television programs and videos, and trained and supervised student crews.
Currently, she produces and hosts a two-minute program that focuses on good news in the community. The WSU staff member also volunteers for Wishing Star and the Salvation Army. “My mom loves her job, but most of all, she loves people … I cannot think of a person more deserving than my mom to receive this award,” her daughter said.
Shavlik is the former director of the American Council on Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education that provides a national voice for women in higher education with a special focus on the advancement of women leaders.
As director for 15 years, Shavlik played a major role in coordinating efforts to address issues such as sexual harassment, employment discrimination and gender equity in sports. During her tenure, Shavlik helped develop one of the first major mentoring programs in the country, the American Council of Education National Identification Program, for the advancement of women in higher education administration.
The program identifies women candidates for senior positions at universities and brings together mid-level women candidates with senior men and women. She is credited with being instrumental in increasing the number of women college presidents from 148 to close to 500 over the past 22 years.
Shavlik also is a founding member and former chair of the executive board of the National Council for Research on Women, and the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education. She has also served on the executive boards of the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women, the United States Olympic Committee, the American Association for Higher Education and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Committee on Strengthening Leadership of Higher Education.
She now turns her attention to developing the Deep Bay Center in Montana, an educational and spiritual retreat center. She continues to serve as a Senior Fellow at ACE and as chair of the national council’s board of directors.
The luncheon is part of the third annual Women and Leadership Forum that features keynote speakers Carmen Otero, vice president of the WSU Board of Regents, and Shavlik. Questions about the forum can be directed to staff at the Women’s Resource Center, 335-6849.

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