Student Awards

This award is designed to honor a student who has worked to improve issues related to gender, equity, and diversity on any of MSU's four campuses. There can be up to one undergraduate winner and one graduate winner and each award carries a $500 scholarship. 

2020 Danielle (Dani) Daley

Danielle (Dani) Daley

Dani Daley will graduate in May with a degree in Economics and Political Science. Throughout her time at MSU, Dani has served as a Senior Associate at the MSU Leadership Institute. Through this, she organized MSU’s first Gender Equality Conference.  Her work with the Leadership Institute helped to provide over 3,000 MSU students with leadership development opportunities.  Dani served as the Executive Assistant at the Montana Racial Equity Project, and has been very involved with the Bozeman for CEDAW Initiative to bring the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women treaty to Bozeman. Through her research, Dani has shed light on gender wage inequities, and the importance of the involvement of women in economics. She is the recipient of a Forward Montana 25 Under 25 Award, an MSUAF Award for Excellence, an MSU Leadership Institute Above and Beyond Award, and the Initiative for Regulation and an Applied Economic Analysis Grant. Upon graduating, Dani plans to work for a local start up, My Village, as a data analyst in finance and operations. Her work will support the mission to solve the childcare crisis in Montana and Colorado by financing women who are starting their own childcare businesses.


2020 Emma Folkerts     

2020 Emma Folkerts     Emma Folkerts graduates in May with a degree in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies, combining Political Science, Economics and Sociology. Emma has led the HEART Initiative Student organization as the President and Chief Editor. She volunteers as a Peer Educator, Peer Advocate and Peer Educator Mentor with MSU’s VOICE center. In addition to being involved in countless MSU organizations, Emma advocates for the greater Gallatin County community through her work as an HRDC Warming Center volunteer and is a founding member of the Gallatin County Human Trafficking Task Force. Human rights are obviously a priority for Emma, she serves as a board member with the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Project and did research with Public History Lab’s Project Solidarity to collect information about refugees during El Salvador’s civil war. She is a recipient of Forward Montana’s 25 under 25 award, the MSU Award for Excellence in 2020, and the MSU Day of Student Recognition Outstanding Freshman and Sophomore Service Award. After graduation, Emma hopes to establish a position at MSU to examine exploitation within MSU’s supply chains. She also plans to volunteer in El Salvador and attend graduate school to focus on refugees, forced migration and exploitation.



Read about the previous awardees

President's Commission on the Status of University Women Award

This award is designed to honor an individual (faculty or staff leader) who has established a record of working to improve issues related to gender, equity, and diversity on any of MSU’s four campuses. 

2020 Alanna Sherstad

Chatanika StoopIn 2020, Alanna Sherstad, director of the VOICE Center, has been named the recipient of the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women Award, which honors a member of the faculty or staff who has established a record of working to improve issues related to gender, equity and diversity on any of MSU’s four campuses. The award comes with a $2,000 honorarium.

In a pivotal role in the VOICE Center, Sherstad has spent her time advocating for survivors of interpersonal violence and marginalized communities, as well as helping empower and shape future leaders of diversity. In an office of more than 60 student volunteers, Sherstad has proven herself to be a compassionate leader and mentor and, in one volunteer’s words, helped them “grow into responsible, conscientious adults on campus.”

Sherstad goes above and beyond the requirements of her position and has helped the VOICE Center reach new heights of success by re-establishing its 24-hour support and information line, training and managing record numbers of volunteers, and gaining statewide recognition for the creation of the Not In Our House campaign and Not In Our State summit.

Read about the previous awardees