Rising Star faculty award recipient Tim Piehler, Department of Family Social Science, and graduate student award recipient Christina Zdawczyk,From left to right: Rising Star faculty award recipient Tim Piehler, Department of Family Social Science, and graduate student award recipient Christina Zdawczyk, Department of Educational Psychology. Graduate student award recipient Fatima Tufail of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development addressed the circle in a video recording.

Circle of power

The Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle is positioned for the future

An enthusiastic group of attendees, including many founding members, attended the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) Awards Celebration on June 11. Two CEHD doctoral candidates were recognized—Fatima Tufail from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development and Christina Zdawczyk from the Department of Educational Psychology. Timothy Piehler from the Department of Family Social Science received the Rising Star Faculty Award.

This award reminds me of the values with which I entered my program, those same values that WPLC supports, and who I want to become in the future—a compassionate, strong, inspirational leader and philanthropist with a commitment to empowering women.

Christina Zdawczyk


Tufail thanked the circle by video from Pakistan, where she is conducting research on educational policies that advance socio-economic and gender equity. Zdawczyk studies common scientific misconceptions and gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classroom teaching. Piehler focuses on preventing conduct problems and substance use in youth through more targeted and tailored intervention programs.


WPLC has a strong legacy dating back to 2002, when a dedicated team built a robust foundation that has provided recognition for more than 140 scholars. As we look toward its 20th anniversary, CEHD remains committed to WPLC. The partnership of circle friends, both longtime and new donors, remains critical to its mission of helping women and encouraging philanthropy.