Recognizing our award-winning team

Photos of Christy, Baron and Brenda

As she stepped to the podium to accept her YWCA-Madison Woman of Distinction award last month, Odyssey teacher and Friends of Odyssey board member Professor Christy Clark-Pujara said, “I would like to thank Emily Auerbach for nominating me and serving as a role model for a community-serving, community-engaged scholar.” Wiping away tears, she called Odyssey “one of the most innovative, impactful programs in our community” and reflected on her own journey to academia despite having a hardworking father who couldn’t read.

Fellow Friends of Odyssey board member Brenda Gonzalez also felt moved as she was similarly honored, praised for her work providing greater access for community members and for bridging campus and community through her role as UW’s director of community engagement. She remarked, “I’m already crying because I’m extremely honored to join the 245 YWCA Women of Distinction winners since it began in 1974.” Past winners include Odyssey’s Director of Development and Community Partnerships Jenny Pressman (2021), Co-Director Emily Auerbach (2014), and Odyssey alumna Teresa Tellez-Giron, a Latina activist (2014).

The month of May brought more recognition for Odyssey staff as Professor Baron Kelly garnered the prestigious 2022 Bartell Award in the Arts (Baron is featured at 1 hour and 8 minutes into the video), the Edna Weichers Arts in Wisconsin award, and a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship.