Six Anne Arundel County women were to receive Fannie Lou Hamer Awards yesterday during a ceremony at Annapolis's Banneker-Douglass Museum. The award, named after Mississippi civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, is given annually to women who have worked to make a difference in their communities. The following awardees were recognized during yesterday's ceremony for their professional accomplishments and social contributions to Anne Arundel County:
Lori Ann Bradford of Severna Park has served for two years on the county's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner committee. She is an outreach coordinator for the Howard County Health Department. She received a master's degree in science and public health from Meharry Medical College in 2000. As a graduate student, she studied intergenerational trauma among African Americans as a result of slavery and their "Middle Passage" voyage to America. She also spearheaded the development of a Middle Passage monument in Tennessee. In 2000, she worked as an Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she studied the differences in stress responses among varying ethnic populations.
Charlestine R. Fairley of Annapolis is the director of Sojourner-Douglass College's Annapolis campus and an adjunct business instructor at the School of Graduate Studies at Bowie State University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the National Council of Negro Women, the NAACP and the American Association of University Women. She has a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina. She has also worked as a consultant for the Fund for Improvement in Postsecondary Education in Washington and also worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Michele D. Jaklitsch of Annapolis has served as a judge of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court since June 2002. Before her judicial appointment, she was a senior assistant county attorney and chief of the county's litigation division. Jaklitsch worked for the county attorney's office for 15 years. Before that, she was in private practice and the associate house counsel for the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund. Jaklitsch earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. She serves on the Anne Arundel Community College's paralegal advisory board and is an active member of the state and county bar associations.
Linda M. Schuett of Crownsville has served as County Attorney for Anne Arundel County for five years and is the first woman to hold that position. Schuett obtained her law degree in 1980 from the University of Maryland School of Law. She served as vice chairperson of the Maryland Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. Schuett has also served as an adjunct professor of legal research and writing at the University of Maryland School of Law.
Cathleen Marie Vitale of Severna Park practices family and civil litigation with Glen Burnie's Henault & Sysko law firm and is a member of the Anne Arundel County Council representing District 5. She has served as chairperson of the Anne Arundel County Republican Party. Vitale earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland and a law degree in 1989 from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a member of the Severna Park Chamber of Commerce and a guest lecturer for Anne Arundel Community College's paralegal program.
Mamie Alethia Williams of Annapolis has served as the District Superintendent of the Annapolis District of the United Methodist Church since 1998. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in religion and philosophy from Claflin University in 1972. She graduated from Washington's Wesley Theological Seminary with a masters in divinity in 1978. She has served as pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church and Centennial United Methodist Church. She has also served as the third vice president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP, acting president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
-- EILEEN RIVERS