Women of Achievement Nominations

2020 Women of Achievement

Nominations for the 2020 Women of Achievement Award are now closed. 

2020 Women of Achievement Honorees

Sue M. Wilson Brown Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa.jpg

Sue M. Wilson Brown
Author Sue M. Wilson Brown was a leader in the suffrage movement advocating for African-American women on the local, state and national level. Brown served as president of the Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs from 1915-1917. In 1919, Brown founded The Des Moines League of Colored Women Voters and was also its first president. She became the first female president of the Des Moines NAACP chapter in 1925. 

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Zada Mary Cooper
Born, raised and educated in Iowa, Zada Mary Cooper was a pharmacist, educator and champion for women in science. She graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 1897, then became the only female educator at the school and the first female tenured faculty member in a college of pharmacy in the U.S.. In 1921, Cooper supported the creation of a national sorority for women in pharmacy, Kappa Epsilon, and the next year formed a second national society, The Rho Chi Society. 


Joy Cole Corning
Iowa public servant and politician, Joy Cole Corning served as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1991-1999. She also served in the Iowa Senate, University of Northern Iowa Foundation Board, Cedar Falls school board, and multiple non-profit boards throughout her career. While serving as Lt. Governor, Corning led the Family Foster Care Program, increasing the number of foster homes and adoptions of children with special needs. She also formed the Iowa Committee on Diversity.   

The Women of Achievement Award recognizes the contributions of historical (deceased) Iowa women who made outstanding and lasting contributions to the citizens of Iowa or have advanced the well-being of others throughout world.

This award will be a visible reminder to all crossing the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge of their contributions to their work, communities, and the status of women.

Nomination Criteria
Nominees will be historical (deceased) women who fall in at least one of the following:

  • Were born in Iowa
  • Achieved prominence within Iowa
  • Had been a resident of Iowa for an extended period after achieving prominence elsewhere

When choosing someone to honor, consider these questions:

  • What lasting contributions have been made by the nominee?
  • Are people better because of the contributions of the nominee?
  • Is the state, nation or world better because of the contributions of the nominee?
  • Did the nominee serve as a role model or change agent?