Baylor recognizes Women of Excellence

A group of women at Baylor College of Medicine were recognized as Women of Excellence for their outstanding contributions and accomplishments to their respective fields of study and to the mission of the college.

The virtual ceremony celebrated the recipients of the awards and honored the work and life of Dr. Margaret A. “Peg” Nosek, who passed away in 2020.

Nosek, former professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor, was a world-renowned activist, researcher, educator and advocate for women with disabilities. Despite her spinal muscular atrophy diagnosis at a young age, she made groundbreaking contributions for the rights of disabled women. She required the use of a wheelchair at age 10, and was told she would not live past the age of 20. She was 68 when she died. Nosek was the founder and executive director of the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD), which promotes, develops and disseminates information to improve the health and expand the life choices of women with disabilities.

Dr. Peg Nosek

Dr. Michael Lee, professor and chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor, introduced three keynote speakers who worked closely with Nosek. Each speaker emphasized her hard work and efforts to fight for healthcare as a right:

  • Dr. Susan Robinson-Whelen, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor and senior investigator of CROWD
  • Dr. Heather Taylor, director of spinal cord injury research at TIRR Memorial Hermann
  • Dr. Rosemary Hughes, senior research scientist at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana

Robinson-Whelen recounted a powerful quote from Nosek:

“It is our team working in collaboration with the community that makes us powerful. We don’t accomplish nearly as much as working individuals.”

Dr. Toi Harris, associate provost of institutional diversity and inclusion at Baylor, and Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs at Baylor, introduced the awards before the list of honorees was presented in a video.

The Women of Excellence Program was developed in 2018 by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as part of Women’s History Month. 38 women from across all areas at Baylor received Women of Excellence awards. See the full list of award recipients, and what this highlight video.

By Homa Shalchi