Dedicated and hardworking, Anne L. Ayers parlays more than five decades of professional excellence into her position in probate administration for the Court of Appeals for the states of California, Washington, and Maryland. She started her journey as a staff consultant in student development at Central Washington University, and continued on to become the director of the aerospace defense command resident education centers for North Dakota and Montana at Chapman University, instructor of psychology at Hampton University, and education service specialist for the General Education Development Center in Fort Monroe, Va. Ms. Ayers proceeded to join the U.S. Army Transportation school as an education specialist in 1977, the National Mine Health and Safety Academy (MSHA) as an education specialist in 1979, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters as an education services specialist in 1989. She retired from that post in 1996.
Over the years, Ms. Ayers participated in a number of creative endeavors as well. She was a photographer for the International Library of Photography from 1992 to 2010, a featured actor in the Mine Safety Color Video in 1988, and the author of “Educational Feasibility Study of Computer Uses in MSHA” in 1987. Further, she wrote “Developing Criterion-Referenced Instruction Based on Valid Job Performance Analysis” for II International Symposium for the Prevention of Risks in the Mining Industry, “Educational Cost-Effectiveness of Two Methods of U.S. Army Training,” and 29 on-the-job training books.
A pioneering woman in law, Marion R. Fremont-Smith has been excited to see women’s effective presence in the field grow through the years. She initially became interested in law after studying political science at Wellesley College, which she believes was an excellent foundation. With the support of her husband, she earned an honorary Bachelor of Arts form the school in 1948, and went on to obtain an LLB, cum laude, from Boston University in 1951. After being admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, Ms. Fremont-Smith was set to make a difference and change the field for the better. She furthered her education by being admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1979.
Ms. Fremont-Smith’s connection to nonprofit organizations sparked in the 1960s, when she served as assistant attorney general and director of the Division of Public Charities for the commonwealth of Massachusetts and as a project director for the Russell Sage Foundation. In 1964, she joined Choate, Hall and Stewart so she could specialize in tax and nonprofit law, and in 1971, she was promoted to partner. She served in that role until 1996, when she became senior counsel. She retired in 2005.
Focusing on personal injury, medical malpractice and social security and disability, Gayle Gerling Pettinga has served as the owner and managing attorney of Gerling Law since 1994. The firm operates under a set of core values, including integrity, civility, and respect, that ensure the client comes first. Under that mindset, Ms. Pettinga has become a well-respected figure in both her personal and professional lives. She is lauded as engaged, empathetic, and compassionate, all assets in her endeavors.
One of the things Ms. Pettinga is most proud of is her community involvement. She believes it’s important to use her abilities to give back in whatever way she can, and her firm does too. Thus, she has founded programs like the Gerling Law Great Helmet Giveaway, which has collected more than 7,000 bicycle helmets for children, and the Gerling Law Recycle Bag Initiative, which has offered more than 23,000 recycle bags to individuals and civic organizations. Outside of the firm, Ms. Pettinga has supported the charitable missions of organizations like the United Way of Indianapolis, Race for the Cure, the Indiana Governor’s Art Awards, and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. She has also participated as a volunteer with the Evansville Christian Life Center, co-chair of the Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County, board member of Holly’s House, founding member of the Juvenile Guidance Foundation, and board president of Evansville School Day, among others.
Health Care | Education
As Marie E. Dunstan goes through life, she becomes more confident and content with who she is and where she is in life. She has been in a position she loves, laboratory coordinator for the York College of Pennsylvania, since 1981, and she relishes the opportunity to teach future health care professionals. Some of her responsibilities include acting as a clinical liaison between York College and hospital clinical program coordinators, teaching chemistry and intro to allied health courses, and serving as an academic adviser. The highlight of Ms. Dunstan’s time with the institution, however, has been promoting the growth of the medical science lab major. She believes that scientists are underappreciated, and feels privileged to work with the people who make medicine possible.
Initially, Ms. Dunstan preferred being in the lab. She spent the first three years of her career as a research technologist at the Hershey Medical Center, and always enjoyed educating the students that came in. When the chance to join the staff at York came up, she jumped at it and found her niche. She is a nurturer; she listens to her students and, as a lifetime learner, values the contributions of everyone she meets. Ms. Dunstan tries to live a life of respect, value and support, and has grown over the years in her appreciation for diversity and the understanding of her fellow man. Her ultimate goal is guide others to reach their highest potential. She even wrote a lab manual for the nurses to help them and contributed articles to professional journals.
According to the Boca Raton Magazine, Patricia Nix’s art is “the right kind of crazy.” A Texas native with roots in New York City and France, Ms. Nix draws from the rich cultures and styles she has encountered to create her masterpieces. Her extraordinary collection includes paintings and sculptures full of beauty, mystery, and magic unlike anything else in the art world; it challenges viewers to respond. Ms. Nix’s first taste of the field came while growing up as an only child, and, loving it, she devoted herself to developing her skills. After completing first solo exhibition in New York in 1977, she knew she was in it for life.
Now, at 80, Ms. Nix shows no signs of slowing down. She told the Palm Beach Daily News that she thinks that the art she’s producing now may be some of her best, and that there’s nothing else she’d rather do. Most recently, in 2017, Ms. Nix enjoyed a major gallery showing at the Boca Raton Museum of Art called, “American Baroque.” She previously exhibited works at venues like the National Academy Museum, Dillon Gallery, Hudson River Museum, and the Ann Norton Museum Sculptor Garden, among others. Ms. Nix also designed sets and costumes for Petrushka, Pulcinella, and Jeu de Cartes, and participated in international shows at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Slovenia and Namibia, as well as at the Gallerie Mary Claude Goinnard in Paris, France. Notably, her pieces are included in public, corporate, university and private collections such as at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art, and have been used as cover art on books and journals like Reader’s Digest. The Miami Papers raves that she “dances at the intersection of surrealism and madness.”
Passionate about literature, Elizabeth Carroll Foster has long worked to make her mark on the field. She started as a feature writer and editor for Southern Maryland newspapers, like The Maryland Independent and The St. Mary’s Beacon. She really loved the opportunity journalism brought to produce articles of importance. Ms. Foster also wrote for regional magazines like Chesapeake and Maryland Magazine, where she wrote profile articles and met a variety of interesting people. She is most proud of this accomplishment.
After her journalistic endeavors, Ms. Foster turned to focus more on books and novels. Notably, she authored “Southern Winds A’ Changing” in 2008, “Follow Me: The Life and Adventures of a Military Family,” in 2010, and “Musings, Mutterings, and Aw Shucks: A Collection of Short Stories, Essays, and Features,” in 2011. Further, she produced works like “North Carolina Carrolls, 1600s-1850” and “Virginia Carrolls and Their Neighbors 1618-1800s.”
Always willing to listen, S. Kay Rockwell really cared about others and strove to help them achieve their best. She spent the majority of her career in academia, first as an instructor at Lincoln General Hospital and then as the acting assistant director for nursing education for the institution. Dr. Rockwell proceeded to join the University of Nebraska, where she stayed until she retired in 2003. Her positions there included evaluation technologist, member of the advisory board for the Department of Adult Education and Social Foundation, assistant professor in the cooperative extension division, evaluation specialist, and associate professor. From 1987 to 1990, she was the researcher-in-brief and editor of Journal Extension.
When Dr. Rockwell wasn’t working, she was using her skills to help her community. She was a member and chairman of the Social Ministry Committee of the Nebraska Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a board member in the advocacy office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a consultant to extension specialists and agents on program evaluation and a trainer on program evaluation for Nebraska Extension, and a presenter of workshops and symposia in the field. In recognition of her success, Dr. Rockwell earned a certificate of achievement from Epsilon Sigma Phi in 1991 and inclusion in the 4th edition of Who’s Who in American Education.
Government | Social Services
With expertise in government, academics, social welfare, and mental health, Delores L. Parron-Ragland was a highly-regarded figure in her communities. She championed the concerns of the underrepresented, fought for the rights of those who couldn’t fight for themselves, and was genuinely devoted to using her position to help others. Initially in child welfare as a social worker for the Spence-Chapin Adoption service and an adoption selection social worker for the Child Welfare Division of the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources, Dr. Parron transitioned to the role of psychiatric social worker with the Hillcrest Children’s Center in 1969.
The hands-on experiences gave Dr. Parron a wealth of new knowledge, which she sought to share with her peers as an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the Hoard University College of Medicine from 1971 to 1978. At that time, she joined the Presidential Commission on Mental Health as a social science analyst and the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences as a senior program officer. The opportunity led her to help start a new Division of Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine, which influenced new initiatives in medicine.
Endowed with a knack for mentoring, Paula Henderson Setters has always loved helping people understand difficult concepts. She decided to pursue her interest professionally, and after considering her options, broke into the education field as a teacher at the Warren Central High School in Kentucky 1970. A year later, she transferred to Homewood High School in Alabama, and four years after that, she joined the staff of LaRue County High School in Kentucky. Ms. Henderson Setters remained with the institution for 23 years before advancing to the collegiate level, with positions as an adjunct instructor and physics instructor at Campbellsville University.
To enhance her knowledge and standing in academia, Ms. Henderson Setters obtained a Bachelor of Science in physics from Western Kentucky University in 1970, a Master of Arts in science education from the University of Alabama in 1974. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Western Kentucky University and became a certified teacher in the state of Kentucky.
Nursing | Law
Determined to spend her life helping others, Jan Klosterman set her sights on being a nurse at a young age. She worked hard to achieve her goal, earning a nursing diploma from the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in 1979 and eventually becoming a certified nurse life care planner. After decades of clinical experience, her journey brought her to a new niche: medical and legal consulting. She fell in love with the work, and to bolster the knowledge gained from hands-on experience, obtained certification in life care planning in 1999 and Medicare set-aside consulting in 2005, and became a certified brain injury specialist in 2014.
Ms. Klosterman used her unique background to open Klosterman & Associates in 2006, and is currently working to provide litigation and expert witness services. One of her main responsibilities with the firm is life care planning, which includes determining future care needs for someone who has a catastrophic injury or illness and consulting on related issues.