March is nationally recognized as Women’s History Month. Throughout the country, influential women are recognized for their extraordinary talents and contributions to society. Locally, the Black Men’s Organization observed the week of March 17th as Women’s Appreciation Week. They exhibited their gratitude to the women of Northern Kentucky University by holding special events each night pertaining towards the needs of women.
“The Black Men’s Organization wanted to show our appreciation for the women of NKU by providing highly educational, encouraging, and motivational programs for women on campus and in the community,” said Jemar Mack, president of the BMO.
The opening event for Appreciation Week was the Health and Wellness Workshop. Michelle Kay, a representative from the Health Center, spoke about the importance of maintaining a healthy life balance.
Her key topics included how to practice safe sexual habits, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and stress management.
“I thought the workshop went well,” Kay said. “The group was small and very comfortable asking questions,”
Mary Walker, a freshman on campus, said,”The speaker was engaging. She interacted with our group so that the workshop was more of a discussion rather than a lecture.”
On day two of Women’s Appreciation Week, three professional massage therapists worked their magi.
Massage therapist Beth Coshorn explained that a therapeutic massage could drastically change how a woman completes her daily chores.
Freshman Devin Streeter appeared to be on cloud nine after her massage.
“I thought the massage was extravagant,” she said.
Along with the massages, BMO provided pizza and drinks and showed the newly released movie Brown Sugar, starring Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs.
“The night was a wonderful way to relax. It is really nice of the Black Men’s Organization to do this for us,” said freshman Ashlee Sims.
The third event was a Breast Cancer Awareness Workshop.
Jodi Issenmann, the director of Breast and Cervical Health Network of YWCA, presented a small group of women with statistics on breast cancer.
At the age of 20, there is a 1-in- 25,000 chance that a woman can get breast cancer; however, by the time a woman reaches the age of 40, there is a 1-in-217 chance.
Also, every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and every thirteen minutes a woman dies from breast cancer.
Issenmann explained that it is imperative that women do self-breasts examinations once a month and schedule regular mammograms.
“80 percent of cancerous lumps are found by women that perform monthly self breast exams,” Issenmann said.
She brought artificial breast models that contained lumps to show the group how to successfully perform the exams.
The final contribution that BMO had for Women’s History Month was the recognition of three influential women on campus. Diana Ford, Rensha Reeder, and Jerhmel Holt were rewarded the distinguished title of Woman of the Year.
Diana Ford serves as the media coordinator for the Media Productions and Distributions division of Information Technology. She started as a student employee in 1996 but by 2000 she was officially media coordinator. In her nomination, she was described as “the most technically savvy female on NKU’s campus.”
“It is an incredible honor to be the recipient of this award,” Ford said. “It is great that women are being appreciated for something.”
Ford is also recognized for her involvement with Northern Cable Television. She also works with students who want to become involved in the media communications.
Rensha Reeder is a sophomore Business Marketing/ Management major at Northern. She is involved in several on campus activities including serving as the President of Black United Students, a mentor for NKU Rocks, Student Alumni Association, African American Recruit Team, and Black Women’s Organization.
“This award is truly a privilege,” said Reeder. “I am [flattered] that black men’s organization chose me for this award. It’s great to be recognized for all the hard work that I do.”
Jerhmel Holt is a sophomore Mental Health and Human Services major. She has also received the Dr. Rose Morgan Scholarship; the Most Dedicated Service Award from the Black Women’s Organization..
Holt serves as a Student Government Senator, a Norse Leadership Society member, a Psychology Club member, the Social and Public Relations Chair for the Anointed Gospel Choir, and a mentor for the NKU Rocks program.
She works as a Resident Assistant for the Woodcrest Apartment and part time in the psychology department. Additionally, she volunteers her time for Big Brother/ Big Sister, Redwood Rehabilitation Center, Ronald McDonald House, and Habitat for Humanity.