LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College associate professor of history Amy Canfield and Clearwater Economic Development Association executive director Christine Frei are the two recipients of the college’s second annual Women Leadership Awards, which were announced Friday at the LCSC Women’s Leadership Conference held at the Center for Arts & History.
The LCSC Women’s Leadership Award honors an LCSC employee and a member of the community who exemplify leadership in their field of expertise or work place, serve as a role model to other women and girls, who give back to and are respected in the community, and who advocate for positive change to close the leadership gap for women. The winners are chosen by a selection committee consisting of community leaders and LCSC personnel.
Also on Friday, the inaugural Rising Women’s Leadership Award for LCSC students was presented and the co-winners were Vanessa Stedman and Meghan Castle. The award honors an LCSC student who is a role model to fellow students, a contributor to the community, and an advocate for gender equality and social justice.
Canfield has worked at LCSC since the fall of 2008. Her courses on U.S. history focus on women’s history, American Indian history, and public history. She is the advisor to the Women In Lasting Leadership Club, co-advisor of the Gender-Sexuality Alliance Club and co-organizer of Women’s History Month activities on campus.
Canfield encourages her students to be active in civic engagement and to get involved with issues they are passionate about. During the past three years, Canfield has facilitated or held re-enactments of historical significance on civil rights on the LCSC campus. The topics were researched and developed by her students.
Canfield is involved with many community organizations, serving on the board of directors of local non-profit organizations and state board and councils, including the Lewiston Civic Theater and Idaho Humanities Council. She is also a member of the Idaho Historic Sites Review Board.
Canfield holds a bachelor’s degree in history and women’s studies from Idaho State University and a master’s in U.S. history and a Ph.D. in U.S. and public history, both from Washington State University.
In January, Canfield was honored with the Idaho Brightest Stars Award for a Teacher/Professor in the state. The award is sponsored by Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, which is a division of the Idaho Department of Labor. The award honors those who actively volunteer in their communities.
Frei was nominated for her advocacy for communities, students, and businesses in north central Idaho. In her role as CEDA executive director, she helps drive regional economic development and works with community leaders to build community assets in Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, and Nez Perce counties. She is widely respected by local and state leaders for her work.
She is involved with the Northwest Intermountain Manufacturer’s Association and the Northwest Intermountain Metal Manufacturer’s Career Development Program, and is working to provide opportunities and training to local students and assist local manufacturers in meeting their workforce needs.
In one of the letters nominating Frei for the award, it was point out that “Frei rarely accepts recognition for the work she has put into providing opportunities for students to build careers. This spring, when she learned that students in a program were having difficulty with the courses because they lacked access to computers, she sought out and coordinated the donation of computers and deliver to every school in need. She is a role model for women in the community and in her profession and has broken gender barriers for women in leadership roles.”
Frei earned her bachelor’s degree in general interdisciplinary studies at LCSC in 1995 and a master’s degree in religious education at Loyola University in New Orleans in 2006. She was the community development specialist for CEDA in 2001-06 and then became the executive director. She is a member of the LCSC Business Division advisory council, LCSC information technology advisory council, the Lewiston School District career technical advisory working group, and is a board member and audit committee member for the National Association of Development Organizations.
Stedman is a senior from Lewiston who is majoring in business management with a minor in economics. She is also a member of the LCSC Ambassador Honor Society.
Stedman has served in the U.S. Army for 17 years and is a chief warrant officer and flies Kiowa helicopters. She has maintained a 3.5 GPA or better, while actively serving, and will graduate in May. She and her husband Jason are the parents of two girls, ages 5 and 2. Stedman was honored because “she exemplifies the ability to lead others in a profession where other’s lives depend on her expertise,” according to her nomination letter.
Castle is a junior majoring in history with an emphasis in public history and a minor in women’s and gender studies. She is a graduate of Asotin High School.
Following a health scare, Castle decided she wanted more out of life and returned to college as a non-traditional student in 2016. She has maintained a solid GPA during that time while also working at Walmart. She was on the Dean’s List during the Fall 2018 semester.
One of Castle’s first projects at LCSC was creating an exhibit at the LCSC Center for Arts & History about the impact of women during World War II. Her research and exhibit led to an internship where she helped with the fall 2018 exhibit “Town & Gown: 125 Years of LCSC Campus & Community,” which was a part of LCSC’s 125th anniversary.
In April, Castle will be one of three LCSC students who will present a paper on pop culture at a national convention in Washington, D.C.
The LCSC Women’s Leadership Conference is held in March as part of the Women’s History Month celebration at the college.