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Women's History

About Adria Werner and the Adria Award

Adria Werner calls herself a late bloomer. "As my mother would say," Adria recalls with a smile, "'She is a little slow with things.'" Apparently she stepped up her pace as a student at the St. Louis Community College at Flo Valley.  Here she received great positive feedback and support, even though she would argue for every point when she didn't score 100% on tests.  This would, as Adria says, "drive my instructors nuts."  Pretty soon, she found herself working for the College, starting at the Child Development Center as the food service manager, a part-time position that went full-time.  She expanded the program of student interns in food service doing rotations through the Center and then became a community consultant, assisting various day care facilities with menu planning.  Eventually, no doubt because of her work ethic and people skills, she found herself in a full time position in the President's Office at Flo Valley, first as Administrative Secretary and finally as Executive Assistant to the President.  Unofficially, however, the role for which we honor her with this award was that of "beloved colleague." Adria was quick to dispense a smile, a hug, a birthday greeting, a self-deprecating joke, or a friendly word of advice.  She cared about people--all people-- students, faculty, staff.  We were all part of her Flo Valley family.



The Adria Award, our annual award presented during Women's History Month is named after Adria Werner, and honors a woman on the campus at the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley who exemplifies dynamic service to our Flo Valley community and dedication to putting students first in their work, and consistently contributing to a vibrant FV culture.

Adria Award Recipients

Lonetta Oliver (2016) 

Lonetta M. Oliver, Ph.D. currently serves as the Lead Life Coach for the Excel Center in Missouri.  She was formerly an Associate Professor of English, (serving as Chair of the English Department for 3 years), and Professional Development Coordinator at the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. This East St. Louis native has earned a Masters degree in English with a focus in Rhetoric & Composition and a Ph.D. in English with a focus in African/African American and Post-Colonial Literature, both from Saint Louis University. Dr. Oliver is an active community member who has served on numerous boards and committees within and outside the St. Louis region.  She is currently completing requirements for a certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Janice Nesser-Chu (2017)

Janice Nesser-Chu has served as the Dean of Liberal Arts, St. Louis Community College--Florissant Valley since 2015.  She has over 18 years experience in higher education and has held positions of leadership throughout her career, including Chair of the Arts & Humanities Department, the Photography Program Coordinator, and the Gallery Director and Professor of Art.  Janice has received numerous awards for her teaching, her art and her activism including: the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the David L. Underwood Award, the Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Faculty of the Year Award and the Freedom of Human Spirit Award. Her art works have been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally for the last 30 years.  Her most recent exhibitions include:  On the Margin: Gender and Politics Identified, Sarah Doyle Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI and Water: A Universal Right, Robert Morris Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.

Gwen Nixon (2018) 

Gwen Nixon has inspired students, faculty and staff at St. Louis Community College for more than 30 years. She is currently the Manager of Campus Life and the Advisor for the Student Government Association advocating for students around campus, such as supporting the Student Government Association with their fight for all credit students to become eligible for free semester bus passes. She motivates and encourages students to see and utilize their potential by thinking outside the box while trying new and exciting things. Gwen is all about putting students first and offers awesome programming for the students. Also, she whole-heartedly and continually values the support of what the advisors of the clubs and organizations offer to the student body such as leadership conferences and various events.   She works tirelessly the year round for our students.  She sees our students--their interests, strengths, and potential – and helps them realize goals they may not know they have. Many of our students with success stories have been deeply connected to Ms. Nixon and the Campus Life office. She also recognizes our value inside & out of our roles on campus.

Rosita Lewis (2019)

Rosita Lewis has inspired students, faculty and staff at St. Louis Community College for more than 10 years, with Florissant Valley as her home campus.  She is the Director of the TRiO Student Support Services Program and the Advisor for the Veterans Club.  She advocates for students around campus making sure students receive the best student experience.  She motivates and encourages students to see and utilize their potential by thinking out of the box while trying new and exciting things.  Rosita often goes above and beyond her job responsibilities with the students she serves.  Her demonstration of leadership is shown through her move from TRiO Advisor to TRiO Director, her passion and enjoyment teaching Smart Start classes, and her desire to “see others win”.

Annie Wagganer (2020)

Annie Wagganer is an inspiration to to the Florissant Valley campus from the classroom and beyond. She rarely says no to participating on committees and taskforces even when her plate runs over—and her classes are ALWAYS at full capacity.  They close not only due to demand but because students are eager to take her specifically because of her teaching style.  As many will attest, she has a beautiful personality; she is kind, generous,  selfless, inclusive, thoughtful, and courageous. Professor Wagganer has served the college in a variety of ways:  Honors Coordinator; League of Innovation Fellow 2018-2019; Women’s History Month Committee Co-Chair; Committee member, College Strategic Initiative #5; SOAR Committee Co-Chair (2011-2015); District-wide Diversity Committee Co-Chair (2017-2019); Offers workshops and trainings for peers during opening week and Staff Development; Supportive of colleagues, students and campus events.

Karen Wade  (2021)

Karen brings nothing less than all of herself to any student, colleague, committee, or project that comes her way. [One] could count on her attention to detail, insight into other things happening on the campus, and her planning skills to assist in pulling all the details together... and... what was asked of her was not always easy. Karen persevered and made it look easy. Karen’s interests are varied which contributes to her successes in organizing the libraries’ Racial Justice Film Series Discussion team, the always wonderful campus holiday party, and being the touchstone to many on the campus. She knows what’s happening on campus at any given time and has averted many crises when conflicts arose in room bookings. She is attentive to reaching out to campus faculty and staff as well as the community when she recognizes that events are on the horizon to ensure that room reservations, housekeeping, and media needs are in place. She assists faculty, staff, and students in any way she can. Karen is dedicated to making the campus a showpiece and allowing it to shine in the community.

Rhonda Robinson (2022)

Rhonda is one to do her job with great attention to detail while always seeking to add more excitement to everything she does. As a club advisor to the Florissant Valley Student Leaders and Florissant Valley Creative Programmers, she inspires club members to take on roles that would stretch them out of their comfort zone. She conveys a demeanor of being professional, compassionate, caring and serving the best interests of everyone she encounters. She is passionate about finding ways to take the puzzle pieces of student life and weave memorable and valuable programs that include students, faculty and staff.

Emily Lasek (2023)

Emily Lasek is easily one of the most active and engaged women on our campus and at our college. She serves as the "curriculum queen" and is the person others go to whenever they need support in revising their programs, requesting new courses, or understanding our processes. While she is our campus's chair for curriculum, she frequently works with other campus faculty to support them, too, going far above and beyond the call of duty. She is so knowledgeable that she serves as STLCC's representative at the state level regarding all things Core 42.

Emily also supports our campus and college by serving on senate and on several other committees. She is a champion for making things better on campus and initiates her own campus events to create engaging events and spaces for our students.

Amy Brown-Marshall

Amy is a true leader and a great boss.  She leads by example and always considers who she leads.  She is a cheerleader, always greeting us daily with joy and enthusiasm.  She is supportive of our commitment to excellence.  She participates in many student events whether she is mentoring or just showing up.  She celebrates wins and figures out how to turn a problem into a plan to move forward.  

Photographs of Adria Award recipients and Women's History events at Flo Valley

Rosita LewisRhonda Robinson

Amy Brown-Marshall with big smile and holding a bouquet

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000