Activities & Organizations

Women honored at CEO banquet

At this year's Counsel Ethnic Organizations banquet, accounting senior Ashley Dorsey won the Women of the World Award. | Abby Lee/The Daily Cougar

It was a colorful night as faculty and students celebrated UH’s diversity and strong women at the Women of the World Banquet organized by the Council of Ethnic Organizations on Tuesday.

The banquet, which was held in honor of Marquerite Ross Barnett, UH’s first black female president, embraced the theme of “Looking Through the Kaleidscope” by letting students represent their native countries through traditional music, dance and outfits.

The event included a fashion show in which students modeled their country’s native attire. The countries represented included India, Vietnam, China and Nigeria.

Scholarships, as well as the Women of the World Award winners, were announced.

Ashley Dorsey, president of the UH chapter of NAACP, won the Women of the World Award for her continued involvement in on-campus activities and activist projects with the NAACP and the National Association of Black Accountants.

“Being that it was in remembrance of the first African-American president, it was a big honor to be nominated among many other that are very active on campus,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey said she was inspired to work hard from another strong woman, her mother.

“Being the first one to graduate from college in the family, I just want her to be proud of me, so it motivates me to work harder,” she said.

Keynote speaker Katherine Gaehring, who founded the Parris Gaehring Memorial Scholarship in memory of her son, said people need to find their gifts and their inspirations to achieve greatness. She said her inspiration came from her son.

“His presence in my life challenged me, calmed me,” Gaehring said. “None of the extraordinary traits or accomplishments that are now attached to my name would have ever come to fruition if it were not for my greatest gift. A gift is extraordinary because of its extension. It goes beyond us.”

Melissa Jackson, who also lost her child, shared a clip from a documentary she made on the subject of domestic violence, the cause of her nephew’s death.

“Domestic violence affected my family for generations, but when it hit the fourth generation, my two-year-old nephew was killed,” she said.

Entertainment was provided by the Malayalee Students Organization, the Indian and Pakistani Students Association, the Vietnamese Students Association, the Nigerian Students Association and the Theta Nu Xi Sorority, which performed traditional dances from its members’ native countries.

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  • Wonderful event that was put together very well. MC was funny, Fashion show was great, Entertainment was awesome, the Keynote speaker gave a wonderful speech, and the women there were beau-T-FULL!!!

  • I am so very proud to read this article and to see just how far the university has come since I first entered the halls of the University of Houston in 1965. Being one of the first few African American students there was sometimes a very daunting task. I see that my alma mater has made great strides toward honoring women and women of all cultures and backgrounds.
    I am also very happpy that everyone got to “experience” Katherine as the keynote speaker. Katherine is an amazing woman. Everything that she has been able to accomplish in her life is a beacon for all women to see and emulate. If we all give just a portion of what she has, we will see a much better world. Congratulations to Katherine and to you all.

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