UArizona honors Women of Impact and Young Women of Impact at awards celebration

While honoring 30 of the most notable women across the university, the Office of Research, Innovation & Impact expanded its program for the second annual event to include the next generation of high-achieving young women.

Oct. 25, 2023

WOI2023 Group Photo.jpg

The 2023 Women of Impact and Young Women of Impact cohorts pose for a picture after the awards celebration.
Ryan Hunt The 2023 Women of Impact and Young Women of Impact cohorts pose for a picture after the awards celebration at Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on campus

Thirty accomplished women took center stage at Stevie Eller Dance Theater on Friday, Oct. 20 to be recognized as Women of Impact by the University of Arizona Office of Research, Innovation & Impact (RII). The awardees, representing a wide range of colleges, units and disciplines across campus, were chosen by committee for their commitment to UArizona values as well as their professional achievements, community impact, unique skills in driving discovery and innovation, and their passion for empowering others.

Although the impact of an individual can be difficult to measure, the descriptive statements of each honoree show a unique depth of investment in the university and community as evidenced through actions and impact that resonates far beyond UArizona’s campus. Each finalist also invited a mentee to join them at the event.

In video remarks during the event, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs acknowledged the awardees’ devotion to elevating those around them.

“It is obvious that you care deeply about our state – from the students who benefit from your dedication and passion to the people across Arizona who are impacted by your truly incredible research, innovation, scholarship, leadership, and mentorship,” she said. “We are stronger when we have a state that empowers and works for everyone, so please join me in continuing to support and uplift one another, and in blazing trails for all those that come after us.”

The next generation of women making a difference in their schools and communities were honored as well, as RII invited principals of public high schools in Pima County to each nominate Young Women of Impact. The inaugural cohort from 20 public schools across seven Pima County districts was selected based on similar criteria to the university awardees and integrated into the event.

Lisa Romero, associate vice president of marketing and communications for RII, created the young women of impact campaign because she felt it was important to strengthen bonds between UArizona and its surrounding community by connecting motivated young women with university role models and cultivating a pipeline of potential future Wildcat Women of Impact.

“Our university awardees are creating large-scale, long-term impact, and we need to reinforce to our young women that there is an incredible wealth of talent and opportunity right here in Tucson,” said Romero, a 2023 Women of Impact awardee herself. “We want these Young Women of Impact to know UArizona is here to support them as they grow into the leaders they aspire to be.”

UArizona President Robert C. Robbins via video commended the awardees for their leadership in research and societal impact while encouraging the high school students to return to campus as official Wildcats.

“We couldn’t be a top 20 research university without our incredible researchers, innovators, tech transfer experts, communicators and outreach professionals who make it all happen,” he said. “You are leading the way while empowering those around you.”

The Office of Research, Innovation and Impact led the Women of Impact campaign and celebration event with the support and advocacy of units across UArizona including Arizona Athletics, the BIO5 Institute, College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Eller College of Management, Graduate College, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Office of the Provost, School of Information, Tech Launch Arizona, and Tech Parks Arizona.

A complete list of Women of Impact awardees and Young Women of Impact honorees can be found here. Nominations for the next cohort will open in late spring of 2024.


Subscribe to the UArizona Impact in Action newsletter to receive featured stories and event info to connect you with UArizona's research, innovation, entrepreneurial ventures, and societal impacts.

Subscribe now