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The Women of OU strive to help make a difference in the lives of people looking to rekindle their plans for a more successful future or to create a whole new future. The organization hopes to assist deserving individuals pursue exciting opportunities made possible by obtaining a quality college education. Listed below are some of the stories of how the realization of this goal has taken shape.

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Spring 2013 Fashion Show and Luncheon raises funds for scholarships

The Women of OU Scholarship Committee's Fashion Show luncheon and fundraiser was held on Wednesday, April 15, 2013, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. The theme was “Glitz and Glamour” and the show featured a diverse group of models ranging from former Critical Difference Scholarship recipients to university vice presidents, all of whom modeled outfits from Carson's of The Village of Rochester Hills. Event proceeds will be used to fund future Critical Difference Scholarships.

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Women of OU Scholarship Committee event fills O'rena
The Women of Oakland University organization filled the O'rena this December, as they hosted a special "Golden Grizzlies Girls Night Out" event at the women's basketball game. The event featured a reception with refreshments and provided a great number of giveaways, special entertainment and more. Since its creation, the Women of Oakland University organization has supported the university by building community spirit and providing service. One of its most important contributions is the Critical Difference Scholarship. The wife of former OU President Joseph Champagne and other colleagues established the scholarship more than 30 years ago, with the goal of providing funds to help students experiencing financial difficulties achieve their educational goals. 

“I am a single mom who has had several interruptions in my pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree due to life circumstances over the years,” said Karen Blair, Critical Difference Scholarship recipient. “The Women of OU Critical Difference Scholarship Committee has forever impacted my life. Their assistance has provided me the opportunity to graduate, obtain my degree and provide a better life for my son and I.” Blair is in her final year at Oakland studying Occupational Safety and Health. She currently works as an intern on campus in the Environmental Health and Safety office. “It truly is a labor of love,” said Rhonda Saunders, committee chair. “It is rewarding for the committee to see these students blossom and achieve success in their career endeavors through their education at Oakland.”

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Spring 2012 Fashion Show and Luncheon raises funds for scholarships

The Women of OU Scholarship Committee's Fashion Show luncheon and fundraiser was held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. The theme was “Escape to the Tropics” and the show featured a diverse group of models ranging from former Critical Difference Scholarship recipients to university vice presidents, all of whom modeled outfits from Parisian of The Village of Rochester Hills. Event proceeds will be used to fund future Critical Difference Scholarships.

Volunteer models for this year's event included:
Eric Barritt
Vice President, 
Development, Alumni and Community Engagement

Rochelle Black
Vice President, Government and Community Relations

Karen Blair
2011 Critical Difference
Scholarship Recipient

Dan Bodene
Unit Marketing Coordinator,
Communications & Marketing

Bryan Cain
Director, Integrated Marketing,
Communications & Marketing

Georjeana Dillard-Parker
2010 & 2011 Critical Difference
Scholarship Recipient

Ben Eveslage
President, Student Body

Claudia Fall
Office Assistant I, Office of Admissions

Luke Fleer
Associate Director Alumni Engagement,
Development, Alumni and Community Engagement

Bonnie Frizzell
Production Coordinator,
Communications & Marketing

Anthony Gallina
Admissions Advisor, Office of Admissions

Peggy Gamble
Accounting Clerk III,
Accounts Payable 
Christina Grabowski
Assistant Dean Medical
School Admissions,
School of Medicine

Susan Hartman
Helpdesk Coordinator,
University Technology Services

Alysa Hunton
Development Officer,
Development, Alumni and Community Engagement

Sandy Kern
Office Assistant III, Payroll

Carol Ann Ketelsen
Career Consultant, Career Services

Erika Kindlimann
Helpdesk Technician,
University Technology Services

Karen Kukuk
Executive Assistant to the President

Bernie Lopata
Assistant Vice President
and Campaign Director,
Development, Alumni and Community Engagement

Glenn McIntosh
Assistant Vice President for
Student Affairs & Dean Student Life

Torres McLean
Graduate Student Employee,
Alumni Engagement

Elisa Malile
Vice President, Student Body

Deborah Middlebrook
Assistant Director Finance and
Operations, University Housing
Chef John Miller
Chartwells Food Service

Callie Moss
2008 Critical Difference
Scholarship Recipient

Emily Orlando

2011 Critical Difference
Scholarship Recipient

Adam Panchenko
Admissions Advisor,
Office of Admissions

Angelica Proffett
Office Assistant III,
Academic Affairs

Valerie Schultz
Assistant Director,
President Events

Ben Schutz
Undergraduate Recruitment
Graphics Specialist,
Office of Admissions

Steve Shablin
Registrar

Mike Stromayer
Employer Relations Consultant,
Career Services

Jenny Swiatowy
Legal Secretary,
Office of Legal Affairs

Terry White
Custodian, University Housing

Three outstanding students selected as scholarships winners
Emily Orlando, a communications major, received the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship for 2011-2012.
Karen S. Blair, an occupational safety and health major, received the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship for 2011-2012.
Natalie Bogojevski, an environmental science major, received the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship for 2011-2012.

This award is handed out annually to students who are single head of household who have had their education interrupted for at least one year. Applicants must have earned at least 16 credits at the university level with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.  Congratulations ladies!

Social work major wins Critical Difference Scholarship for two years running
Georjeana Dillard-Parker, a social work major, received the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.  This award is handed out annually to students who are single head of household who have had their education interrupted for at least one year. Applicants must have earned at least 16 credits at the university level with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Congratulations Georjeana!

Committed employees help make fund drive a success

For Oakland University staff members Mel and Jenny Gilroy, supporting Oakland's All-University Fund Drive (AUFD) has special meaning. "In addition to working here, Mel and I are both alums of the university," said Jenny, senior associate registrar. "I like to support, even in a small way, projects I believe in like athletics, the Women of OU Critical Difference Scholarship and my department, English. I also support the Woodcock Legacy, as Mel was instrumental in getting that project off the ground. And, of course, I like getting a refund on my state income tax!"

The Gilroys also supported the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Programs Fund. "I think, most fundamentally, I donate to support programs that enhance the Oakland University experience," said Mel, lieutenant with the Oakland University Police Department. "All of us need to step up to the plate to make these contributions."

Women and gender studies major benefits from Critical Difference Scholarship
Callie L. Moss, a women and gender studies major, received the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship for 2008-2009. This award is handed out annually to students who are single head of household who have had their education interrupted for at least one year. Applicants must have earned at least 16 credits at the university level with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Congratulations Callie!