Feb. 1-7, 2002
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Menaker to receive Zintl award
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Menaker to receive Zintl award

Shirley Menaker
Photo by Rebecca Arrington
Shirley Menaker

will be presented the
Women’s Center
’s

Elizabeth Zintl
Leadership Award

at a reception
Feb. 8 at 4:30 p.m.
in the
McGregor Room
of Alderman Library.

Call 982-2361 to
make a reservation.

By Anne Bromley

Considering all the responsibilities that are part of Shirley Menaker’s job as associate provost for academic support, it’s hard to believe that one person could accomplish them with such proficiency, thoroughness and willingness to go beyond what’s on paper. In recognition of her tireless efforts, the Women’s Center will honor Menaker with the 2002 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award Feb. 8.

Menaker’s duties include overseeing offices that support the University’s academic mission, such as the Registrar, the Women’s Center, the University Art Museum and the University Press. She also acts as liaison to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, working on matters such as space utilization, new degree programs and annual reviews. Related to that role, she monitors the use of classrooms and helps several schools plan their capital outlay needs.

And she participates in faculty promotion and tenure reviews.

The leadership award annually recognizes women working at U.Va. whose high degree of professionalism, creativity and commitment mirror the extraordinary service that the late Elizabeth Zintl gave to the University as the president’s chief of staff until her death in 1997. The prize is supported by David A. Harrison III, one of the University’s longtime benefactors. Past recipients include Claire Cronmiller and Louise Dudley (2000), Dr. Sharon Hostler (1999) and Patricia Lampkin and Sylvia Terry (1998).

“It is very satisfying to receive this honor and look back at the others who have won it and be in their company,” Menaker said. “If I’m getting recognized, I have to recognize the people who make me look good — outstanding directors.”

Unintentionally, she said, she has ended up hiring women in all the directorships reporting to her, including Sharon Davie, Jill Hartz, Carol Stanley and Penelope Kaiserlian.

The colleagues who nominated Menaker, whose academic career spans 35 years, describe her as someone who has a keen grasp of facts and figures, a fair-minded approach to confronting difficult issues and finding solutions to problems, a deep understanding of University life and faithful dedication to her duties.

“She has had a major impact on the core academic enterprise and has rendered an unusually high degree of service to the University,” wrote law professor Peter W. Low, former vice president and provost, to whom Menaker reported from 1994 to 2001. “She is unfailingly upbeat and always ready to help in whatever way she can — no problem is too big for her to tackle and no problem too small to command her enthusiastic attention.”

Altogether, she has worked for five provosts. Since Kathrine Reed retired as associate provost for management last year, Menaker stands alone as the collective memory of the office, where “you feel as if you’re at the center of everything happening at the University,” she said. Reed, who now lives in Oregon, plans to attend the reception next week.

Menaker has been an inspiration to her colleagues, especially women, according to E. Clorisa Phillips, who has been at U.Va. since 1978 and began working for the provost’s office as special projects director two years ago.

“She has paved the way and set an example for many women in many places. She has demonstrated daily that a woman can be smart, tenacious, incredibly accomplished at her work, zealous about her professional and personal causes, and passionate about her family.”

Menaker has a son and daughter, and her three grandchildren all live in Charlottesville.

“My family and my extended family will be there” for the award ceremony, she said. “I consider the University [members] my extended family.”

Patricia M. Lampkin, interim vice president for student affairs, credits Menaker’s creative budgeting, management and supervision for making possible the growth in the number of residential colleges from one to three thus far.

“Shirley has been, and will remain, a voice of reason, integrity and intellect. She has been an unwavering support for academics at the state level,” Lampkin added. Menaker has advocated changes in the state’s guidelines to more accurately reflect the quantity and quality of space required to carry out research and doctoral-level instruction, she said.

Before coming to U.Va. in 1987, Menaker held various positions at the University of Oregon for 8 years, becoming dean of the Graduate School and professor of counseling and educational psychology for the last three-and-a-half years. Before that she was on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin for 10 years. She received a B.A. from Swarthmore College, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston University.


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