Sponsored by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Club (NJSFWC) of GFWC and Douglas Residential College of Rutgers, The State University, the Women of Achievement awards were created to recognize outstanding women in various fields throughout New Jersey. 

Winners will be honored at the awards ceremony, to be held at the 117th NJSFWC Annual Convention, at the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City on Monday, May 2nd, 2011

To be eligible for this honor, each nominee must be a woman who has gained visibility in New Jersey for her contributions, including professional/personal accomplishments, activities and achievements. 

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Winners include:

Dr. Laura C. Morana, the Superintendent of the Red Bank School District and is a resident of New Providence.  

She emigrated from Ecuador as a teenager and taught herself English from her school lessons, watching television, and listening to her classmates at Irvington High School.    She taught Bilingual/ESL classes in Elizabeth and then moved on to various administrative positions such as Director of Special Services, principal, and assistant superintendent, culminating with her present one as superintendent. 

Sylvia Axelrod resides in Monroe Township and has served as the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-NJ (NAMI-NJ) since 1992.  During her tenure she has initiated a wide range of programs focusing on providing education, support, and advocacy for families and consumers. Sylvia has served in the mental health field for 25 years.

Ms. Carol A. Wolfe of Brick is the founder and administrator of Dottie House Inc., which provides shelter and other services for battered women and their children and is the President/Chairman and General Partner of Homes Now Chambers Bridge Project, Inc., and Homes Now, Inc.  Dottie House was founded in 1999 in memory of her mother who was a battered woman. 

Dr. Mary E. Norton of North Arlington is an Associate Dean and Professor of Global Initiatives at Felician College.  She began her medical career as a nurse and received a Masters of Arts and Doctor of Education from Columbia University.   She has been the recipient of five Fulbright Awards and several USAID Grants.  Dr. Norton has developed baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in Iran, Pakistan and Jordan. 

Dr. Laura McKirdy and Ms. Gail Dunlap Reuben are the co-founders of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing which was founded in 1977. Dr. McKirdy resides in Mendham Township and  has served as a consultant to The Lake Drive Programs since 2005. 

Dr. McKirdy was also the founding director of the Department of Speech Pathology at the Morristown Memorial Hospital where Ms. Reuben was the hospital audiologist. 

The New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) of GFWC, was founded in 1894 and has been headquartered on the Douglass Residential Campus, formerly Douglass College in New Brunswick since 1966.  The Federation is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the oldest and largest nonpartisan, nondenominational women’s volunteer service organization in the world.  Opportunities are provided to women in education, leadership training and community service through participation in local clubs, enabling members to make a difference in the lives of others, one project at a time. For more information, please visit our website at www.njsfwc.org or call (732) 249-5474.