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Empowerment for Excellence

E4E Primary Purpose:

Empowerment for Excellence (E4E) is a group who seek the active engagement of faculty and staff in education, networking, and mentoring processes. This leading to enhanced awareness, empowerment and transformation of women.

In 2013, Empowerment for Excellence was established when a small group of UCO women gathered in infrequent meetings to develop a purpose, core values, and outcomes that would sustain the support of faculty and staff women at UCO. Many of the women in this inaugural group had met previously in an informal book club. Fall, Spring, and Summer Book Clubs continue to be routine components of E4E programming.   

All UCO faculty and staff women are automatically members of Empowerment for Excellence upon their employment at UCO; no membership dues are required.

Fall Event

Women Who Inspire Award

Each Fall, Empowerment for Excellence honors a UCO faculty or staff woman who has made a significant, indelible campus impact that often extends beyond the campus community. The Women Who Inspire honoree is recognized during an afternoon event (typically in October) where she serves as a speaker and facilitator with the entire campus community invited to attend. Nominations for each year’s honoree are submitted to the E4E Board, which votes to select the annual recipient.

Women Who Inspire Award Recipients

  • 2020—Hui Poos
  • 2019—MeShawn Green
  • 2018—Julia Reed, MSW, LCSW
  • 2017 – Katrina Shaklee
  • 2016 – Charlotte Simmons, Ph.D.
  • 2015 – Beth Kerr, J.D.
  • 2014 – Donna Cobb, Ed.D.
  • 2013 – Patricia LaGrow, Ph.D., R.N.

Online Networking Opportunities

We become better advocates, become more involved, and active in our communities when we hear one another’s story. Meet, share, and get to know your fellow UCO women on campus.  


E4E Spring Book Clubs

We offer 3 book clubs per semester. Books, book descriptions & registration links are e-mailed campus wide, and posted in Centralities. Please sign up with the link associated with your book of interest. The first eight registrants for each book club will receive a complimentary copy of the book. You may enroll in more than one club; however only one book will be provided per person.

We have read the following in the past.

  • Conflict is not Abuse by Sarah Schulman
  • Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff
  • Almost Everything, Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America by Thom Hartmann
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
  • No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene' Brown
  • Earning It by Joann S. Lublin
  • Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  • Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott


Contribute to the E4E General Fund

The Empowerment for Excellence General Fund has been established at the UCO Foundation to advance E4E programming and to support the professional development of UCO faculty and staff women. All contributions can be made to the UCO Foundation and designated as an E4E General Fund donation. All E4E contributions from UCO employees count towards UCO’s annual faculty/staff campaign; payroll deduction forms for ongoing E4E General Fund contributions can be provided upon request by contacting the E4E president.


E4E Executive Board (Present and Past)

Sarah Moore, M.Ed. (2021)

Tyler Weldon, Ph.D. (2021)

Kimberly Pennington, Ph.D. (2022)

Cheryl Evans, Ed.D.(2022)

Lisa Kern (2021)

Tina Kirk, MBA (2021)

Laura Butler (2021)

Tracy Fairless (2020)

Tracey Romano, M.Ed. (2020)

Steph Rogers, M.Ed. (2020)

Rachel Fairchild, M.Ed. (2020)

Darla Fent-Kelly, Ed.D. (2020)

Kristy Farris (2020)