Skip to main content

Burke honored by YWCA for improving lives of young women

February 04, 2009

Joining a distinguished list of women, Janet Burke, associate dean of Barrett, the ASU Honors College, will be honored at the 2009 YWCA Tribute to Women luncheon on Feb. 19 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Burke is being recognized as this year’s leader in education, for her devotion to improving the lives of women and girls through her leadership, advocacy and community service. As director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement, Burke has mentored and advised hundreds of ASU students who apply for national awards.

Due in part to her efforts, ASU is one of the leading universities in the nation for USA Today All-USA Academic Team awards and for study-abroad awards such as Fulbrights and National Security Education Program grants. ASU leads the Pac-10 in prestigious scholarships such as the Marshall, Goldwater and Udall Scholarships.

"Janet Burke has been an especially successful director of the office that advises students about the ins and outs of applying for, and obtaining, nationally-competed scholarships,” says Mark Jacobs, Barrett dean. “Her success comes directly from her dedication, her meticulous preparation and her approachability from the student point of view."

Burke is an historian whose research focuses on Latin American intellectual history, as well as the effects of the Enlightenment on women in 18th century France. This semester she is teaching an honors internship seminar and a course on “Philosophers, Poets and Revolutionaries in Latin America.”

For 16 years, the YWCA Maricopa County has celebrated and honored more than 150 outstanding women whose lives and accomplishments reflect the YWCA’s mission of education and empowering women

In addition to Burke, this year’s honorees are Barbara Ralston, president of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation; Cyd West, director of research for Maricopa Partnership for Arts & Culture; Laya Gavin, vice president of investment for Chase Bank, Saundra Johnson, executive vice president of the Flinn Foundation; Marie Sullivan, president of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment; Debra Williams, vice president of technologies for American Express; Deb Moore, teacher at Sunrise Mountain High School; and Karen Zalesky, project director, Avnet Technology Solutions.

For more information about the awards luncheon, go to