Empowerment for Excellence

E4E Primary Purpose:

Empowerment for Excellence has as its primary purpose the active engagement of faculty and staff in education, networking and mentoring processes leading to enhanced awareness, empowerment and transformation of women.

In 2013, Empowerment for Excellence was established when a small group of UCO women gathered in infrequent meetings to develop a purpose, core values, and outcomes that would sustain the support of faculty and staff women at UCO. Many of the women in this inaugural group had met previously in an informal book club group. The fall, spring, and summer book clubs continue to be routine components of E4E programming.

All UCO faculty and staff women are automatically members of Empowerment for Excellence upon their employment at UCO; no membership dues are required.

How can you get involved?

  • Contribute to the E4E General Fund
  • Attend the spring event!
  • Join a book club hosted by E4E

E4E General Fund

The Empowerment for Excellence General Fund has been established at the UCO Foundation to advance E4E programming and to support the professional development of UCO faculty and staff women. All contributions can be made to the UCO Foundation and designated as an E4E General Fund donation. All E4E contributions from UCO employees count towards UCO’s annual faculty/staff campaign; payroll deduction forms for ongoing E4E General Fund contributions can be provided upon request by contacting the E4E president.

Spring Event

“How Women Lead by Serving”

Hosted by E4E and the Women’s Outreach Center and facilitated by Ms. Marnie Taylor, Executive Director of the Center for Nonprofits.

February 27, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

The event will focus on women’s leadership in nonprofit management.

E4E Spring Book Clubs


Earning It
by Joann S. Lublin
Facilitated by: Brittany Carson



Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
by Thomas L. Friedman
Facilitated by: Marty Ludlum



Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Facilitated by: Kristy Farris and Kim Pennington


E4E Summer Book Clubs


Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar



Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
By Kim Scott


Women Who Inspire Award

Picture of Jeanetta Sims and Katrina Shaklee

Each fall, Empowerment for Excellence honors a UCO faculty or staff woman who has made a significant, indelible campus impact that often extends beyond the campus community. The Women Who Inspire honoree is recognized during an afternoon event (typically in October) where she serves as a speaker and facilitator with the entire campus community invited to attend. Nominations for each year’s honoree are submitted to the E4E Board, which votes to select the annual recipient.

UCO Empowerment for Excellence (E4E) hosted its fifth-annual "Women Who Inspire" event on October 31st to recognize the 2017 recipient, Ms. Katrina Shaklee, senior director of the UCO Wellness Center.  Congratulations, Katrina!

Women Who Inspire Award Recipients

2017 – Katrina Shaklee

2016 – Charlotte Simmons, Ph.D.

2015 – Beth Kerr, J.D.

2014 – Donna Cobb, Ed.D.

2013 – Patricia LaGrow, Ph.D., R.N.

2018 E4E Executive Board

Dr. Tyler Weldon, President,tweldon2@uco.edu

Dr. Jeanetta D. Sims, Past-President,jsims7@uco.edu

Ms. Tracy Fairless, President-Elect,tfairless@uco.edu

Dr. Kimberly Pennington, Secretary,kpennington8@uco.edu

Ms. Sarah Moore, Marketing-Public Relations Director,smoore53@uco.edu

Ms. Tracey Romano, Events Director/Treasurer,tromano@uco.edu

Dr. Darla Fent-Kelly, Book Club Chair,dfent@uco.edu

Dr. Linda Banks, Academic Affairs Liaison,lbanks5@uco.edu

Ms. Katrina Shaklee, Member at Large,kshaklee1@uco.edu

Ms. Rachel Fairchild, Member at Large,rfairchild@uco.edu

Ms. Kristy Farris, Member at Large,kfarris2@uco.edu

Dr. Beth Kerr, Member at Large,ekerr@uco.edu

Dr. Jeff King, Ad Hoc Member,jking47@uco.edu