Two young Seton Hall females recognized by 2013 Women’s Conference

The On the Shoulders We Stand Award will be presented to two female students at the 2013 Women’s Conference on Friday.

Sophomore diplomacy and international relations major Amanda Gagne and graduate student and candidate for the master of science in nursing Samantha Singh are being honored for their commitment to being women leaders in the Seton Hall community.

Associate Dean of Community Development Programs Rosario Reyes-Urbina said Gagne and Singh stood out from 28 nominations.

According to Reyes-Urbina, the two recipients were chosen based on their commitment to serving the needs of women and being strong female leaders in the community.

“They are a strong force in our clubs and organizations on campus,” Reyes-Urbina said, “whether this is reflected in their professional organizations, Samantha, or the personal interest and advocacy groups they join or bring to campus, Amanda.”

Singh said she is a clinical nurse leader-MSN student (graduating in August 2013), a member of the committee with faculty and students to address student concerns and has done and presented extensive research in health care.

“I feel so blessed to be a part of Seton Hall University College of Nursing,” Singh said. “I am surrounded by scholars who encourage me every day to make my dreams a reality and educated with a cohort of leaders. And with a family strength that has supported me all throughout my life, it has just been a dream.”

Gagne is the president of Women for Women International, the secretary of Amnesty International, a Servant Leader Scholar through which she participates in DOVE and went on the El Salvador spring break trip, is involved as much as possible in the Undergraduate Diplomacy Student Association, ONE and SHUMUN and a Half the Sky Campus Ambassador.

According to Gagne, Half the Sky Campus is a program created from the book “Half the Sky,” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

“This book literally changed my life as it taught me the majority of what I know about the oppression women face around the world,” Gagne said. “A movement was created from this book and as a campus ambassador I am responsible for spreading Half the Sky’s message on campus with my fellow ambassadors.”

Gagne’s biggest inspiration and hero is Somaly Mam, a survivor of sex trafficking from Cambodia, who has now started her own organization to help trafficking victims, and whom she said she has had the honor of meeting twice.

“Learning with my clubs, friends, family and peers is so personally inspiring because it encourages me and instills hope within me that together we can make a difference,” Gagne said. “This is why winning this award has made me feel incredibly grateful and humble that I have been able to influence those around me and give a voice to those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

Reyes-Urbina said, “By doing what they do with passion and commitment, and serving others, they inspire and influence others to follow them.”

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at

Author: Lindsay Rittenhouse

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