By Jim Morrison
The Hotel Nelligan, in Old Montreal, Nov. 16, was the scene of the 85th anniversary celebrations of the Zonta Club of Montreal.
The Zonta Club was created on Nov. 8, 1919, in Buffalo, New York. Its premise was to work for the economic, social education, legal health, and political equality for women and campaigned for women’s rights. The Montreal chapter was founded in 1929, and remains one of the oldest clubs in the world outside the United States .
Dr. Dolly Pastoor, a Zonta member since 1970, and awards coordinator, presided over the event. The focus, for the evening, was to award the four Amelia Earhart Fellowship scholars.
The Amelia Earhart award was established in 1938, in honor of the famed pilot and Zontian. The tribute is awarded annually to women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. The US$10,000 fellowship, awarded to 35 fellows around the globe each year, may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.
“Being awarded the 2013 Amelia Earhart Fellowship means a lot to me, not only the financial support, but more importantly the feeling of being valued as a female who is pursuing her PhD in aerospace engineering,” 2013 recipient Zhao Zhan told The Suburban. “I’m so proud to be among the most talented women around the globe, and I will certainly do my best to deserve this honor. This award also provides me the opportunity to meet other Amelia Earhart fellows as well as Zonta Club members. The interaction and communication with them has broadened my horizon, made me realized that we can accomplish great things together and give back to the community.”
“Winning the award allowed me to care for my three young children, while I continued my studies” said Dr. Marie Jose Potvin, the 1997 and 1998 recipient, who earned her PhD in mechanical engineering from McGill University in 2001.
“What impresses me the most is the Zonta club is driven entirely by the efforts of its volunteers. It is an avenue that helps women go further.” added Dr. Potvin.
The Zonta Club of Montreal is focusing its energy on the Sixteen Days of Activism. It begins Nov. 25—the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women—and ends Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
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