Associate Professor Ilene Benz (VaPA) received the 2013 Women for Women Award at the Women for Women conference hosted by WDKX on April 27, 2013 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. MCC student Betty Brewer Johnson nominated Benz for the award. WDKX General Manager Marietta G. Avery presented Benz with the award.
The following was submitted to the MCC Daily Tribune by Brewer Johnson:
As a student at Monroe Community College, I felt compelled to nominate Professor Benz for the Women for Women award because of her desire to inspire and equip her students with the knowledge to communicate effectively beyond the walls of the college campus. She set high standards for her students while providing a safe environment for growth and she also helped them to see the best in themselves.
After the award ceremony, I had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with Professor Benz.
Brewer Johnson: How did you feel when you were first told that you were nominated for the Women for Women Award?
Professor Benz: It was an honor because the source was authentic. A former student who I had helped coming back to recognize me; that was award enough for me. When you came to my class and told me about being chosen for the award that was the ideal setting because it was in the beginning of the honors class and it demonstrated that this was one example of how when you do something and put your entire being into it great things happen. I never expected anything to come back to me; my recognition comes from watching you shine. I really, truly love that.
So when someone goes over and above which causes people throughout the week to contact me saying, “Wow, I heard your name on the radio that was very inspiring and it encourages me to keep go back to work every day.”
Brewer Johnson: How will this affect your performance moving forward?
Professor Benz: I will continue to do the same thing I have always done. I will display my award at my desk as a reminder of why I do what I do and what really matters. This will encourage me when I think I‘m not getting through to a student to redouble my efforts and give me strength because I know it’s making a difference.
It was a joy to see my role model and professor receive this prestigious award. She deserves the accolades and as a former student, I was proud of her and proud to be a part of the learning institution, Monroe Community College that she represented.
Betty Brewer Johnson