Two women with ties to the University of Arizona's athletic program were honored Tuesday with Vision Awards from the University's Commission on the Status of Women.
Becky Bell, associate athletic director, and former UA basketball player Leslie Porter, director of human resources consulting and talent management, were awarded trophies and certificates during a reception in the Student Union Memorial Center.
The CSW Vision Awards are given annually to up to three women in leadership positions at the UA, said Linda Breci, co-chairwoman of the commission. Winners are exemplary leaders who embrace diversity and inclusiveness and advance UA and CSW diversity goals in three key areas: campus climate, career and professional development, and compensation and equity.
A former all-American tennis player at UCLA, Bell coached tennis at the UA for 12 years before moving into her current role as associate athletic director.
She has directed the athletic department's C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program since 1997. C.A.T.S. stands for Commitment to an Athlete's Total Success, and the program focuses on developing student-athletes in five key areas: academics, athletics, personal development, career development and community service.
In 2006, with the help of an NCAA CHOICES grant, Bell developed the "STEP UP! Be a Leader Make a Difference" program, a bystander intervention training program that teaches student-athletes to be proactive in helping others in difficult situations. The nationally recognized program has been adopted by the NCAA and 40 other colleges across the nation. At the UA, it's used by Greek Life and the Dean of Students Office as well as the athletics department.
Bell said she works to help student-athletes get the most out of their University experience through extracurricular and leadership opportunities. She wants to help them recognize that their time at the UA is about more than just their sport and their degree.
Jim Livengood, director of athletics, and Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose, senior associate director of athletics, nominated Bell for the award.
LaRose said she considers Bell one of the most outstanding UA coaches of all time.
"She's one of the most inspirational people I know. She's so passionate and has so much fire about what she does," LaRose said.
Bell said she was humbled by the award and held in her hand a polished stone with the word "vision" engraved on it as she accepted her trophy.
A former UA basketball player, Porter uses her experiences on the court to help her in her professional life as she coaches human resources employees to be the best they can be.
"Leslie supervises the whole person," said Pam Jones, human resources consultant for the Arizona Health Sciences Center, and one of four HR employees who nominated Porter for the honor.
"Leslie's a coach. She's all about people learning and growing," said Jones, who was hired by Porter nine years ago.
Porter played UA basketball from 1980 to 1984 and worked as a YMCA program coordinator and coached high school basketball before coming to work for the University in 1990.
When she's not busy on campus in her role as director of human resources consulting and talent management, Porter gives career development presentations in local high schools and referees youth volleyball and basketball games. (She was the first woman in Tucson to referee boys' basketball.)
She also serves on the board of the Saguaro Girl Scouts Council and is a member and past president of the Society for Human Resources Management of Greater Tucson.
Porter serves on the UA's Threat Assessment and Management Team, which addresses severe cases of bullying, threatening behavior and incivility on campus involving UA employees and students.
Porter said she was humbled to be nominated by co-workers, including people she supervises.
"What's so great about this is I was nominated by my colleagues," she said. "It means I've done something right."