Phenomenal Women Awards

This award recognizes women for their accomplishments and contributions to the Wichita State community and society. Individuals are encouraged to nominate women who have made a difference in their lives. To be eligible, the Phenomenal Women nominees are employees, students, faculty and/or staff of Wichita State University.


To be considered for the award the nominee must be:

  • A woman who has distinguished herself in academic work, career, leadership, public service, or any combination thereof.
  • A woman who has contributed to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research, or public or volunteer service above and beyond her expected job responsibilities.
  • A woman whose achievements create positive social change, increase equality for all, and build community through service.
» Nominations are now closed.


View the 2018 Phenomenal Women nominees here!

Phenomenal Women Recipients of 2018

Phenomenal Women Awards

Ricki Ellison is the Diversity Recruitment Manager for Wichita State University Office of Admissions, overseeing Wichita State’s interaction with thousands of local Wichita students and serving as the key facilitator for recruitment strategies of students from diverse backgrounds. She also manages – from the selection to training to deployment – the work of our diversity recruitment interns, current WSU students who are working with local schools to foster a college-going message and share success strategies. A bright, motivated and energetic personality allow her to follow her passion in higher education. Ricki’s passion is access through higher education.

Sandra Peer's greatest joy in teaching is when students realize the power of understanding concepts versus memorizing procedures. She helps students analyze their work and determine whether errors are due to misconceptions or mistakes. "Yet" is a word heard frequently in her classes; students know they can say, "I don't understand," but they need to add the word "yet" in order to provide the growth mindset they need to persevere. Because she believes that each student shines in their own way, she dismisses most classes with the admonition to "Go and Be Brilliant!"

Kavya Natesan is currently a Senior pursuing a degree in Biology with a Biomedical concentration and pre-medical emphasis while minoring in Chemistry and Philosophy. She is an aspiring physician hoping to practice intersectional medicine, incorporating community advancement and advocacy to better the standards of healthcare in our communities.

Throughout her collegiate career, Kavya has been invested in social advocacy, cultivating her leadership, and serving the student body to advance Shocker Nation. She has been involved with Student Government Association, Student Ambassador Society, the Pre-medical Student Association, served as Miss Black and Gold for the Delta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, and currently serves as President of the Ambassadors for Diversity and Inclusion.

She additionally had the opportunity to serve as the Wichita State representative for the national Up to Us movement to increase awareness of our national fiscal policy on campus. In our community, Kavya enjoys volunteering for the JayDoc Community Clinic, Via Christi Hospitals, and the Wichita Cultural Association of India amongst other organizations. Kavya hopes to spend the remainder of her time giving back to the campus community prior to her graduation.

View past Phenomenal Women recipients here.