The University of Maine School of Law presented the 2018 Courage is Contagious Award to Dr. Joyce Taylor Gibson during the seventh annual Justice For Women Lecture on March 29. The award is presented annually at the Justice For Women Lecture to an outstanding woman leader who demonstrates a commitment to the mission of the Justice For Women Lecture Series which is to raise awareness in Maine about the injustices women and girls face globally and locally.
Dr. Gibson is Dean of the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Florida, Gainesville, her M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University, and her B,S. in Psychology from Howard University. She is a leader in student affairs, community-university partnerships, and organizational change, with social justice as her lens. Her writing focuses on access and support for underrepresented and first generation students in higher education.
Gibson was chosen as this year’s recipient because of her community-building efforts in Lewiston, said Catherine Lee, founder and manager of Lee International, who helped establish the Justice For Women Lecture Series with the University of Maine School of Law.
“As Dean, Gibson has worked tirelessly to build the college as a resource for the community and for the region,” Lee said. “She has a deep commitment to Maine and has been a bold and effective advocate for social justice. She is a woman of courage whose activism has inspired others in our community to stand up for fairness and equal opportunity.”
Dean Gibson is the third recipient of the Courage is Contagious Award. The 2016 award was presented to Catherine Lee of Lee International, and the 2017 award was presented to Westbrook Chief of Police Janine L. Roberts.