Enquirer: YWCA honors UC 'career women of achievement'

Eight from Greater Cincinnati honored in 42nd annual awards

The Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted two University of Cincinnati recipients of this year's 42nd annual YWCA Greater Cincinnati 2021 Career Women of Achievement awards.

Whitney Gaskins and Lisa Kelly, M.D., are among the eight honorees this year. The award recognizes Greater Cincinnati women for their leadership, vision, community service and professional success.

Gaskins, Kelly and the other honorees will be recognized April 22 in a virtual ceremony.

Whitney Gaskins poses with a PhD mug in a photo studio.

Whitney Gaskins is a recipient of the YWCA's 2021 Career Women of Achievement award. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

Gaskins is assistant dean of inclusive excellence and community engagement for UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

She was the first Black woman at UC to receive a doctorate in biomedical engineering. At UC, Gaskins leads recruitment, support and retention of marginalized or underrepresented student populations. 

"I think access is key. There are a lot of nuances in pursuing higher education or even understanding what you could possibly pursue," Gaskins told the Enquirer

Gaskins also created the nonprofit Gaskins Foundation, which introduces K-12 students in Ohio to science, technology, engineering and math.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Aa1mdJ6s6Hw?rel=0

Kelly is an associate professor of ophthalmology and medical director of the Hoxworth Eye Clinic in the UC College of Medicine. 

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kelly is the first Black woman to hold a positions in ophthalmology at UC. She completed a residency at Stanford Medical School before opening a private practice in Maryland, where she was recognized by her peers with an Outstanding Ophthalmologist award.

Lisa Kelly in a UC Health lab coat.

Lisa Kelly is a recipient of the YWCA's 2021 Career Women of Achievement award. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Kelly was named an outstanding teacher by the dean of the UC College of Medicine in 2017.

She led a national campaign to boost the number of underrepresented minorities practicing medicine.

"If nothing else, COVID has shown us there are great disparities that exist in the health care system," Kelly told the Enquirer. "And we know that underrepresented minority doctors tend to practice disproportionately in under-served areas."

This year's YWCA honorees also include Giovanna Alvarez of Su Casa Hispanic Center, Vanessa Freytag of 4C for Children, Kelly Kolar-Eyman of Kolar Experience Institute, Stephanie Smith of Fifth Third Bank, Amy Spiller of Duke Energy and Tashawna Thomas Otabil of TriHealth.

Read the Enquirer story.