Southern Utah University senior Sarah Webber was honored with the national Undergraduate Social Action Award from the Sociologist for Women in Society (SWS) for her activism related to gender equality for women.
A Payson, Utah native, Webber is majoring in sociology with an emphasis in gender studies. During her time at SUU, Webber has dedicated her studies to exploring social structures through internships, research and student organizations.
“Studying gender equality provides an opportunity to better understand the ways gender, as a social structure, influences the perceptions and actions of myself and others,” stated Webber about her academic path. “Understanding gender inequalities is important in stopping gender-based violence.”
Webber was chosen for this prestigious award because of her dedication to finding gender equality, including an internship with the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center and the founder and president of the SUU’s Feminist Club.
The Undergraduate Social Action Award is designed to carry on SWS’ tradition of acknowledging, affirming and inviting students to improve women’s lives through advancing and supporting feminist sociological research, activism and scholars.
SWS awards three students annually with the Undergraduate Social Action Award, and Webber is the first Thunderbird to be given this distinguished recognition.
Shobha Gurung, SUU assistant professor of sociology, recommended Webber for this award and stated of her student’s accomplishment, “Sarah’s activism and outstanding scholarship truly made her a most deserving award recipient. The award has enhanced her confidence, validated her efforts, rewarded her initiatives, and empowered her personally and professionally.”
Webber has been a vigorous activist toward women equality in Iron County, one of her many service projects was organizing a drive for hygiene supplies for refugees within the state of Utah. She has also dedicated countless hours to other experiential learning opportunities such as traveling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for Insight Dubai.
She said of this honor, “This award shows that education and activism are linked, my education gives me the knowledge to be a more effective citizen, and my experiences inform my academic theories and methodologies.”
In addition to the Social Action Award, Webber has been elected to serve as a SWS Youth Representative for the United Nations Department of Public Information for two years, allowing her to attend the UN Committee on Status of Women meeting in New York City later in the year.