YWCA Women of the Year Include Several Concordia Connects

Concordia alumni and employees represent half of the 2019 YWCA Cass Clay Women of Year recipients. Image credit: Britta the Photographer

The YWCA Cass Clay honored women whose work and passion benefit our community at the 2019 Women of the Year event. Concordia had eight alumni and faculty nominated for the awards and six won in their respective categories.

The following are those recipients:

  • Dr. Dawn Duncan, professor of English, in the Advocating for Equality category
  • Laura (Espedal) Caroon ’06, Office of Communications and Marketing, and Danyel (Schneider) Moe ’16, in the  category of Leader in Women’s Empowerment for their startup organization for women called Ladyboss FM
  • Maureen (Munt) Bartelt ’08, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties, in the category of Community & Volunteer Service
  • Kirsten (Gilbertson) Jensen ’97, MSUM, in the Communication category
  • Sara (Hodsdon) Stallman ’01, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, in the category of Youth Advocacy

In its 46th year of the event, the YWCA Cass Clay selects awardees in various categories to honor women in the region who stand out.

Duncan’s award in Advocating for Equality stems from her work with the international organization Narrative 4, a storytelling exchange program designed to build empathy and understanding among people who are different from one another. Duncan has used as her mantra both personally and professionally that “words have the power to harm or to heal; they are never neutral.” That’s one of the reasons she was drawn to Narrative 4 as an organization that relies on words to lead to healing.

“My work in the classroom, with Narrative 4 in our college community and far beyond, in Northern Ireland and through Irish studies, in Anti-Racism Training, and in diversity action on many levels is natural to me and necessary,” Duncan says. “As I listened to the bios of all the other nominees, I heard of other women who work daily to make our world better. I was honored simply to be among them.”

Caroon and Moe’s Ladyboss organization is a women’s empowerment model that is also used as a networking and mentoring platform for women primarily in the Fargo-Moorhead region. The duo started the organization when they both worked in the Communications and Marketing Office at Concordia. Moe has since moved to new opportunities but both are moving the Ladyboss platform forward.

“Danyel and I were so honored for Ladybosses of Fargo-Moorhead to be nominated for YWCA Women of the Year and totally blown away to leave with an award,” Caroon says. “This community is full of amazing women and we’re humbled to be recognized in this way.”


Photo of all 2019 recipients:
Front row: Cyndy Skorick, Sara Stallman, Katie Mastel, Kirsten Jensen
Back row: Susan Jarvis, Taya Spelhaug, Jana Bruhschwein, Britt Selbo, Danyel Moe, Laura Caroon, Dawn Duncan, Maureen Bartelt