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Northwest recognized six individuals as “Influential Womxn of Northwest” on Friday. The honorees included, left to right, Lauryn Lee, Carolyn Johnson, Dr. Jamie Hooyman and Terry Immel. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest recognized six individuals as “Influential Womxn of Northwest” on Friday. The honorees included, left to right, Lauryn Lee, Carolyn Johnson, Dr. Jamie Hooyman and Terry Immel. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

March 25, 2022

Annual event recognizes ‘Influential Womxn of Northwest’

Northwest Missouri State University concluded its commemoration of Womxn’s History Month on Friday by recognizing six individuals as “Influential Womxn of Northwest.”

The Northwest community is annually invited to nominate female students, faculty and staff at the University who have positively influenced lives and made outstanding contributions to the community.

This spring, Northwest’s Womxn’s History Month advisory board accepted nominations for three categories – faculty, staff and students – before selecting a recipient for each award. Additionally, the advisory board added two community-based awards.

Dr. Rebecca Moore received the faculty award, and Gina Smith received the staff award while Terry Immel was honored as an outstanding nominee for the staff award. Lauryn Lee received the Lonnae Young Influential Student Award, which is named in remembrance of Lonnae Young, a Northwest student who died unexpectedly in 2019. Carolyn Johnson received the Community Champion Award, and Dr. Jamie Hooyman received the Champion Award.

More information about each of the recipients, including excerpts from their nominators’ comments, is provided below.

Northwest celebrated Women’s History Month throughout March with activities aligned with the national theme of “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” in recognition of the women’s suffrage movement and the centennial of women securing the right to vote in 1920. National Women’s History Month was founded in 1987 when the U.S. Congress declared that it be celebrated each March. A presidential proclamation is issued annually to honor the achievements of American women.

Northwest named its on-campus celebration Womxn's History Month to encourage inclusivity and uphold inclusive excellence.


Faculty award: Dr. Rebecca Moore

Moore is an assistant professor of professional education in the School of Education. She joined Northwest in 2019 and teaches courses related to the ecology of teaching and learning, developmental foundations of early childhood and creative arts.

Her nominator comments included:

  • “Dr. Moore is a person you go to whenever you need a laugh, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or advice.”
  • “Throughout every class period, she never fails to make all of her students feel loved and included. She is one of those people who never leaves a student behind.”
  • “She is not afraid to be vulnerable and allows students to express themselves to her.”
  • “Dr. Moore is the most genuine, selfless and caring person you will ever meet. She will always make you feel loved and recognized.”


Staff awards

Gina Smith (award recipient)

Smith is the office manager in the School of Health Science and Wellness. She joined Northwest in 2007, and is a member of the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors and the Association of Black Employees. She also serves on the executive committee of Staff Council.

Her nominator comments included:

  • “I believe Gina Smith is the heart and soul of the School of Health Science and Wellness. She keeps us organized and running smoothly.”
  • “I feel Gina Smith deserves to be recognized as an influential woman at Northwest because she goes out of her way to help both faculty and students. Students often say Gina Smith helped me with ... fill in the blank. The list is long.”
  • “You want someone who provides healing and promotes hope, you will find that in Gina Smith.”

Terry Immel (outstanding nominee)

Immel joined Northwest in 1998 and is the office manager for the School of Computer Science and Information Systems. She is a member of the Northwest Ally Affinity Group, and served on Staff Council.

Her nominator comments included

  • “She is uplifting and positive in all of her interactions. She is also honest and real about her feelings and her life, showing that vulnerability is ok.”
  • “Terry has diligently served on the WHM Committee for several years and has provided valuable input when it comes to the programming and planning of events. She is very caring and assiduous, and will take time from her busy schedule to listen to you. She is a role model for many women, especially for those of us in Colden Hall.”

Lonnae Young Influential Student Award: Lauryn Lee

Lee is a senior human services major from Bennington, Nebraska. She is a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, Order of Omega, the Psi Chi international honor society in psychology and Active Minds.

She is passionate about mental health advocacy and serves as a peer wellness coach.

Her nominator comments included:

  • “Lauryn is one of the most caring, compassionate and selfless people you will ever meet and she embodies what it means to be a strong woman.”

Community Champion Award: Carolyn Johnson

Johnson is a research librarian at the B.D. Owens Library and has been employed Northwest for more than 30 years. She is a member of the Ally Affinity Group and WeGotchya in addition to leading the Community Connections Group for the last four years.

She also mentors faculty and staff at Northwest and was nominated as an influential woman of Northwest in 2021.

Champion Award: Dr. Jamie Hooyman

Hooyman was named Northwest’s first female provost in 2017 and previously had served as vice provost since 2016. As a member of the Northwest Leadership Team, she oversees learning operations, academic quality and student success. Additionally, she leads the development and assessment of academic programming.

In 2021, Hooyman was honored as one of North Central Missouri College’s Distinguished Alumni.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215