Women of Promise
Photos by Amber Alexander Payne March 24, 2017
Allison Burris Castellanos encourages women faculty, students to become advocates
The University of Delaware honored more than 100 students at this year’s Women of Promise dinner on March 15. Allison Burris Castellanos, educator and member of the UD Board of Trustees, provided the keynote address.
This annual event promotes positive faculty and student mentoring relationships, with women faculty members selecting exceptional women undergraduate and graduate students to accompany them to the dinner.
Also recognized at the event were the 2017 recipient of the E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women’s Equity: Heather Doty, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; the 2017 recipient of the Mae Carter Award: Pallavi Mathur, an honors senior from Hockessin, Delaware, majoring in electrical engineering; and the 2017 recipient of the Bessie Collins Award: Zhuolun Fu, a graduate student who is pursuing her master’s degree in statistics.
Castellanos is a long-time advocate for the Hispanic community in southern Delaware. She currently teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) for Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown, Delaware.
Recalling her experience as a young girl, Castellanos encouraged the Women of Promise students to combine their values and college education to be an advocate for others.
“Sometimes the values you learn as a young girl and the education you receive in college can have a profound effect on so many others,” she said.
Castellanos also suggested specific ways to become an advocate:
1. Do not keep education for yourself. Make sure your education leads you to action.
2. Help those less fortunate than you.
3. Believe in others.
4. Treat others equally.
5. Appreciate the opportunities you have been given in life by making those same opportunities a reality for others.
6. Represent others.
7. Defend others.
8. Speak up for others.
9. Include others in the decision-making process.
10. Invite others to join you every step of the way.
11. Fight for others to have the same rights, privileges and opportunities.
Castellanos said she believes everyone can make an impact.
“I truly believe that your ability to make a difference in the life of one other person has a ripple effect that can travel throughout your community, throughout your state, throughout our nation and our world,” she said.
The Women of Promise Dinner is sponsored by the provost and vice provost for diversity.