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FAU Professor Receives Achievement Award from the Florida Commission on the Status of Women

BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 3, 2012) – Josephine Beoku-Betts, Florida Atlantic University professor and director of the FAU Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CWGSS) in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, recently received the 2012 Florida Commission on the Status of Women Florida Achievement Award. Recognized for outstanding contributions and service to their communities in improving the lives of women, Beoku-Betts was one of eight Florida women who received the award during a ceremony in Tallahassee.

Beoku-Betts arrived at FAU in 1997 and appointed director of the CWGSS in 2008. Faced with a budget crisis in 2009 that would adversely affect the Center, Beoku-Betts formed an Advisory Council and a Friends of Women's Studies group to actively engage in fundraising. She also organized a Women's Leadership Forum in conjunction with the President's Diversity Committee which has since become an annual event. The Forum’s theme for next year is “Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)” and will be held on Friday, March 15, 2013.

Beoku-Betts is a 2004 recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Scholar Program and the 2012 recipient of the President’s Leadership Award at FAU. The importance of her scholarship and depth of her international reputation as a leading researcher and advocate for women is confirmed by her reception of the 2011-2012 Fulbright Scholars Award to conduct teaching and research in Sierra Leone where she participated in several women's movements and civil society programs during her stay.

The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is a nonpartisan board, statutorily created in 1991 consisting of 22 appointed members, administratively housed in the Office of the Attorney General. The Commission is dedicated to empowering women in achieving their fullest potential, to eliminating barriers to that achievement, and to recognizing women’s accomplishments.

The CWGSS is a strong interdisciplinary program with nationally and internationally known faculty from a variety of disciplines. The program prepares students to think critically about the political, social, economic, and historical forces that shape women's lives, along with women's responses through activism and advocacy.

For more information on the CWGSS, visit


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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