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Page last updated on February 10, 2023 at 2:50 pm

For more information, please contact

Marissa Parr-Scott, Program Specialist, 

Community & Family Resources Department or 812-349-3468


Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director or 812-349-3406




City Commission on the Status of Women to Honor Local Women at Women’s Achievement Celebration

Bloomington, Ind. — The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women announces the 2023 Women’s Achievement Award winners. These winners will be honored and recognized at the 2023 Women’s History Month Luncheon on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the Monroe Convention Center. 


2023 Woman of the Year

The 2023 Woman of the Year is Jennifer Crossley. Jennifer currently serves as the Monroe County Councilor for District 4. She made history with her appointment to the council in December 2021 as the first Black person to serve on the County Council. Prior to this, she served as chair for the Monroe County Democratic Party (January 2019 through December 2021) and also made history as the first Black person to serve in this role. Jennifer now serves as the VP of Legislative Action for Monroe County NOW (National Organization for Women). Previously, she was on the Steering Committee of the Democratic Women’s Caucus in 2018. She also served as the Membership Chair and Vice President of the Monroe County NOW chapter in 2017.

At the height of the pandemic, Jennifer volunteered to serve community members at the Shalom Center and assisted with the Monroe County Food Train. She also is a part of the Bloomington Chapter of Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence, Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus, and the Bloomington Chapter of the NAACP. In addition, Jennifer is also a proud member of the Kappa Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the first Black sorority whose purpose is to be of "Service to All Mankind.”

Jennifer was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2005. Currently, Jennifer resides in Bloomington with her three children and Emmy-Award winning husband, Justin. Jennifer continues to use her voice and platform to push for more women of color to be involved in the political process; to not only have a seat at the table but to ensure that their voices are heard; as she lives by the great Angela Davis quote, "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I’m changing the things I cannot accept." 


Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award

The Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award winner is Jennifer (Jennie) Vaughan. Jennie was appointed Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus on May 1, 2014. She has been an employee of Ivy Tech Bloomington—the third largest campus in the Ivy Tech system—for over 25 years. Prior to being named Chancellor, Vaughan served in a variety of roles, including Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Human Resources. Jennie has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, beginning her career as Registrar and Director of Operations at the University of San Francisco.

Until recently, Jennie served on numerous boards, including the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Bloomington Health Foundation, and The Mill. She plans to continue serving on the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and Regional Opportunity Initiatives Board of Directors until she retires from Ivy Tech in May 2023.

Jennie earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from American Public University, as well as completed graduate coursework toward a Master of Arts in Education at the University of San Francisco. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco.


Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader award winner is Keyandra Whiteside. Keyandra is an alumna of Indiana University Bloomington, earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Public Health. Currently, she works at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business as the Assistant Director of Student Support, where she provides mental health and wellness support and programming. 

When she's not working, Keyandra is a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentors young girls in the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) school district, and serves her community through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Additionally, Keyandra holds the title, Mrs. Bloomington 2023, where she advocates for young girls to build their resiliency skills through her platform, Against All Odds.


Join the Commission on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the Monroe Convention Center in honoring these women for all their accomplishments and contributions to women and girls in our community.

Doors to the luncheon will open at 11:15 a.m. and the program begins at 12:15 p.m. The cost of tickets is $25.00 per seat or $275.00 for a reserved table for eight. Tickets must be reserved in advance through the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office located at 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. or online at The deadline to purchase tickets is March 13 at 5 p.m. Scholarships are available for individuals that need assistance purchasing a seat to attend the lunch.

For more information, please contact Marissa Parr-Scott, at or 812-349-3468.