Dr. Rachelle Karstens, Briar Cliff University President, has received the Inspiring Advocate for Women Award at the 2020 Inspiring Women of Iowa event. This annual event, hosted by the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, recognizes women of courage, confidence, and character who are making the world a better place.
“A first-generation college student from a family of nine children, Rachelle knew early on that education would greatly influence her future,” her nomination reads. “Rachelle’s professional career and volunteer focus has consistently supported women. Her experience and success in a male-dominated field speaks for itself.
Dr. Karstens spearheaded “The 1930,” a movement on behalf of women to increase leadership development and empowerment opportunities for women of all ages. Last fall, female community members and area college students had the opportunity to attend the inaugural “The 1930 Women’s Leadership Summit,” learning from female leaders’ stories of professional and personal growth.
“Women are social engineers, constructing new trails as needed. Young people deserve to see role models of both genders everywhere,” Karstens says. “As the leader of a university originally founded by women for women, I pledge to continue to advance the cause of women until gender no longer matters.”
A new category this year, Dr. Karstens is the inaugural recipient of the Inspiring Advocate for Women award. Given to a person of any gender who advocates for women’s equality, the Inspiring Advocate may demonstrate commitment to the development of women leaders, stand up for women in the workplace or community, show leadership to enhance gender diversity, or remove barriers women commonly face.
Dr. Karstens also serves on the local Girls Inc. Board of Directors and is a former Girl Scout.