Everyone one at Tech probably already knows her. But Becky is an amazing woman who
has helped break the glass ceiling for any women working in sports. She is
an awesome Sports Information Director and was a great mentor to me.
Dayanny De La Cruz
Super Chef, Super Mom
Submitted by Joseph De La Cruz
Dayanny De La Cruz is an immigrant from Dominican Republic who came to the United
States and decided to follow her dreams of being a chef. While raising three
children, she was able to become a world-known chef and is currently the executive
chef at the Hard Rock Stadium (Home of the Miami Dolphins). She is the first women executive chef in the NFL business and was the first women
to be an executive chef for the Super Bowl.
She also happens to be my mother.
Psychiatrist, Children's Champion, Former President of AMA
Submitted by Janelle Sewell
Patrice Harris is an alumna of WVU and my Sorority
Sister. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Eta Omicron
Chapter she set the mold for several future members and students to strive for
excellence by providing “service to all mankind.”
We celebrate her
European Central Bank President, Space-Maker, Leadership Exemplar
Submitted by Angela Peterson
Former chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund and current president of the
European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde is one of the world's most powerful
women. A former lawyer and politician, Lagarde has earned the respect of international
peers, establishing herself as an intellectual authority and thought-leader.
LeGarde uses a leadership philosophy that I embrace, which is this: "Leadership
is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling
them to achieve what they can achieve - and to do that with a purpose.” She has
inspired me to help other women.
I am inspired by her advise for women in leadership positions. First and foremost,
make space for other women. “Make sure that it’s not just about you, that there
are other younger women that are also coming up the ranks,” she said, “so that
the day when you stop, they are there to also take space.” And second, Lagarde
laid out the three qualities she considers essential in a leader: confidence,
energy and generosity. I have done my best to follow these words of wisdom
and I'm inspired by her courage to inspire others through her actions.
Laura Lucas Messer
Service and Outreach Coordinator, Encourager Extraordinaire
Submitted by Joseph De La Cruz
Laura Lucas is a faculty member at WVU Tech. She’s a young, compassionate
woman who puts her all into the students and the community. She inspires me because
she pushed me to become uncomfortable with finding my passions and becoming a
leader in my own right. I am forever grateful for her. I wouldn’t be where
I am today without Laura - she changed the trajectory of my life in a monumental
Thelma Pickens - English Teacher, 4-H Leader, Class Act
Submitted by Carolyn Long
Pickens was from extension in the 60's and was over the 4-H program in Webster
County, WV. She was an English teacher also. Miss Pickens was a role model for
many women. She was a very pretty women who always looked just perfect, whether
she was all dressed up for church or was ready for a day at 4-H camp. She took
special interest in teaching us about manners, proper public speaking, and
always emphasized being the very best you could be, no matter the task.
She emphasized the importance of always being on time, listening to learn and that kindness was never wasted, even if not returned.
She was a single lady with no children. I really think the 4-H was her family.
She expected the best, but was never harsh when you didn't meet her bar for
I have though of her often as I have moved to different phases of my life.
I remember one time at camp she made everyone take the class on good table
manners. One of the campers made a remark that this was just
"stupid." She very quickly, with a smile on her face, said, "If
you just one time in your life need this skill, I have done my job."
Miss Pickens may never know how many lives she enhanced, but once a year we
have a gathering at the 4-H camp in Webster County, and the conversations
always go to how she was one of the people who inspired so many of us through
her 30 years of service to the youth of Webster County.
Thank you Miss Pickens.
Financial Aid Manager, Dynamite Boss
Submitted by Jada Mickey
JoAnn inspires a lot of people to do what's rightly so. Her presence just makes you
want to do the right thing.
She's a great boss and great person to work with.
Dean of Students, Never-Giver-Upper
Submitted by Alex Gray
I’ve heard it time and time again, “God puts people in your life for a reason”. It’s a common theme, people say it all the time, but this is something I truly believe.
Emily Sands is that person. Her traits make her rare and what she has done as a woman makes her a leader and a role model.
Hearing stories about Emily from then to now showed me why I can be a leader. Somewhere down the line, you realize that it’s not about being perfect - it’s about being you. It’s about accepting yourself. Emily taught me that you don’t always have to be strong. You are allowed to have a meltdown from time to time. You are allowed to break into pieces. That’s OK as long as you keep picking yourself up.
I think that is one of the hardest things a woman has to do when you feel like the world is against you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep pursuing your goals. That is why Emily Sands is my role model and inspiration because “she never gave up!”
Senior Financial Aid Counselor, Counselor of our Hearts
Submitted by Malik Wynes
Tammy Saunders is a Senior Financial Aid Counselor at WVU Tech. She has been an inspiration to me since I began in 2018. She hired me for a work-study position in the Financial Aid office and we have been so close since then. She has helped me through some great and tough times. She is very caring and compassionate. She has a tremendous amount of wisdom that is greatly appreciated by other students and staff.