Professor Deirdre Yates is this year's recipient of Seton Hall's Woman of the Year Award.
According to Senior Associate Provost Joan Guetti, Ph.D., the Office of the Provost seeks nominations from the University community.
"Nominations praised professor Yates as cultivator of substantial roles for women, both on the stage and in the community," Guetti said. "She also received accolades for her work in the department of communication and the arts, where she is the first female chairperson."
A committee composed of previous winners of the award reviews the nominations and makes a recommendation to the Provost's Office, which makes the final selection.
Yates said the award is very meaningful to her, especially because the nomination came from the faculty in her department.
"To me that was a statement of their confidence in my work I am doing as their chair," Yates said. "It's a wonderful sense of appreciation."
In addition to her leadership in the department, Yates is active in the creative aspects of the theater program.
"The theater program is my heart," Yates said. "I thoroughly enjoy advising the Theatre Council because it enables students to produce and direct their own productions."
Yates directs and performs professionally herself. Her experience includes directing for the Women's Theatre Company on many occasions.
Expanding her love for theater overseas, Yates has taken students on a study abroad program to London every other summer since 2004. This trip gives students the opportunity to have many exciting experiences including watching plays in London's West End, visiting Shakespeare's birthplace and taking workshops at the Globe Theatre.
Yates said she tries to bring productions to Seton Hall's theater program that reinforce themes of female empowerment.
"I would like women to see their strength and their potential," Yates said. "Women can bring about change; they can support and empower themselves and each other."