A Gannon University student was granted the Young Professional Leadership Award for her involvement and service to the community by Erie’s ATHENA organization at its recent Women’s Leadership Luncheon.
Katlyn Walters, a senior psychology major, was chosen by the members of ATHENA as the 2017 recipient of the award.
ATHENA is an organization of Erie men and women who share interest in supporting and inspiring the leadership of women. They encourage and recognize women in achieving their full business and professional potential.
ATHENA asked the four local universities — Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Penn State Erie, the Behrend College and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania — to each nominate empowering female students for the organization’s leadership awards.
Walters was nominated for the Young Professional Leadership award by her academic adviser, Ryan Leonard, Ph. D., an assistant professor in Gannon’s psychology department.
In his nomination form, Leonard wrote that since Walters arrived at Gannon, her mission has been to “empower women to feel safe and heard.”
“She has spent countless hours organizing events and planning service trips,” Leonard wrote. “She has a passion for educating members about the reality of sexual and power-based violence.”
Leonard said in his nomination form that Walters feels “privileged to teach young women that they have a voice. All along, Katlyn’s motivation has not been driven by accolades, but rather by what she believes is her duty.”
Leonard had nominated Walters for the award during the 2017 spring semester and provided her with information about ATHENA.
“I was thrilled to be recognized for strong female leadership at the undergraduate level,” Walters said.
“It always feels wonderful to be recognized for the incredible work I am a part of at Gannon University.”
Walters was recognized at the luncheon for her involvement at Gannon, having served as president of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), and her efforts to create a program to fund 10 students studying human trafficking and law enforcement in Tampa, Fla.
Walters is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a sorority dedicated to serving the community, as well as Ichthi, a Catholic faith-sharing group. She will begin her professional career at Sarah Reed Children’s Center following her graduation in December.
“I am thrilled to be part of this incredible female leadership organization in the Erie area,” Walters said.
“I hope to continue to represent the organization well in my professional career. I am encouraged by all of the strong, confident, and successful women who surround me in ATHENA.”