6 women recognized for influence, accomplishments at ceremony

Six different women were awarded with the title of ‘most influential woman of the year’ in five different categories during the eighth annual Women of Influence awards ceremony at Sacramento State on March 14.

A total of 28 women were nominated for the awards in the last two weeks by students and faculty. This year’s theme was ‘Embracing the Journey: Rising to Lead.’

Each nominee took home a certificate, but only six took home glass trophies.

Sindhura Kilaru won the award for university student leader, Kimberly Sanchez won for residential student leader, Bridie Carinci won for staff, Nassrine Noureddine won for faculty and Cheryl Boyes and Judith Dean won unsung hero awards.

“It means a lot. It’s more of a validation — validations that what we are doing is being appreciated and recognized,” Noureddine said. “The award itself is not what’s important … it’s how people see me.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Ching-Hua Wang, the keynote speaker, discussed her struggles growing up to illustrate the theme of the ceremony.

Wang said that she was at a boarding school in Beijing when Mao’s cultural revolution struck China. She said that all of the schools were shut down and 17 million kids in college, high school and middle school were sent away from their families to a village in Mongolia.

Wang said that she had one younger sister and two younger brothers who she was separated from.

“The families were all broken up and you just didn’t know if there was going to be any hope in the future or not,” Wang said.

Noureddine said she had similar challenges to Wang — she grew up in Lebanon during the civil war.

“We had to go to school not knowing when a bomb was going to blow up or when we were going to have a sniper shot on us,” Noureddine said.

She said that although times were tough, resilience and focus kept her going.

Among other things, Noureddine works in the degrees program as the college advisor and is an assistant nursing professor at Sac State.

“With hard work and with persistence life changes, and you can make miracles,” Noureddine said.

Sindhura Kilaru, winner of the award for university student leader, advises woman of all ages to go achieve their goals.

“I have completed my bachelor’s (degree) in India, I got three jobs after my bachelor’s but then I left those in order to pursue higher education,” Kilaru said.

Kilaru is the first woman to be an IT admin student assistant intern for housing and residential life at Sac State. She said she chose the right path for herself.

“Woman of the next generations will think that ‘being a woman I can do that too because she has done it,’ ” Kilaru said.