Council Member Won and LaGuardia Community College co-hosts ‘Celebrating the Women of Queens’

From left: Kenneth Adams, Rhonda Mouton, Melissa Orlando, Corrine Haynes, Laura Rothrock, Preethi Radhakrishnan, Cory Rowe, Katherine Zink, Fanny Chang and Julie Won pose for a photo during an event honoring women of Queens at LaGuardia Community College on Friday, Mar. 22, 2024.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

Council Member Julie Won, who represents western Queens, and LaGuardia Community College/CUNY President Kenneth Adams co-hosted the “Celebrating the Women of Queens” event on Mar. 22, where nine women were recognized for their dedication and contributions to the Queens community.

The ceremony, held during Women’s History Month at the Long Island City-based college, celebrated the women’s commitment to community service. Some women were recognized for enhancing public housing, while others for supporting local businesses or fostering educational excellence.

“Today’s celebration is a testament to the remarkable efforts of nine incredible women who have selflessly dedicated their time to uplifting our communities,” Won said. She highlighted the significant impact these women have made in enhancing their communities, by bringing essential resources, tools and support to those in need.

Adams said he was honored to participate in the event and commended Won for her advocacy and dedication to the community and LaGuardia Community College. Adams outlined Won’s achievements, including her advocacy for public spaces and her support for LaGuardia’s ‘3,000 Heroes’ initiative, which trains future healthcare professionals.

From left: Kenneth Adams, Cory Rowe and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane
From left: Kenneth Adams, Rhonda Mouton and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane

The nine women who were recognized featured three from LaGuardia Community College, including Dr. Rhonda Mouton, Director of LaGuardia CARES and Dr. Cory Rowe, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the LaGuardia–Rikers college credit program. They were celebrated for their support and commitment to student success and rehabilitation through education.

From left: Kenneth Adams, Preethi Radhakrishnan and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Meanwhile, special recognition was also given to Dr. Preethi Radhakrishnan, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of LaGuardia’s Environmental Science program and Hydroponic Research Lab. Dr. Radhakrishnan, an immigrant who has become a leading figure in environmental science education, has secured substantial grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to advance urban agricultural education and create an Animal Science track, positioning LaGuardia as a pioneer in sustainable urban agriculture education.

Additionally, community members such as Laura Rothrock, President of the Long Island City Partnership; Corrine Haynes, President of the NYCHA Queensbridge Houses Resident Association; and Melissa Orlando, community organizer for the victims of the December 2023 Sunnyside fire, were honored for their significant contributions to the community.

From left: Kenneth Adams, Corrine Haynes and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane
From left: Kenneth Adams, Melissa Orlando and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane
From left: Kenneth Adams, Laura Rothrock and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane

The event also paid tribute to Katherine Zink and Fanny Chang, both of whom were recognized for their volunteer efforts in supporting the victims of the Sunnyside fire, showcasing the power of community solidarity and selflessness in times of need.

From left: Kenneth Adams, Fanny Chang and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane
From left: Kenneth Adams, Katherine Zink and Julie Won. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Won also acknowledged Julie Broad, who, despite being unable to attend, was celebrated for her vital support to residents affected by the Sunnyside fire, epitomizing the spirit of community assistance and compassion.

The “Celebrating the Women of Queens” event was first initiated in 2010 by former Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and continues to be a pivotal tradition in recognizing and honoring the women who work to empower and enrich their communities.

“It should not just be once a year where we celebrate women … the ways that women are so strong and the way that women support each other and the ways that we have raised this community, we deserve to be celebrated every single day,” Won said.