Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

Undergraduate Women's Leadership Award

The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, in conjunction with the Gannon Scholars Leadership Program, is pleased to announce the recipient of the ninth annual Undergraduate Women’s Leadership Award: Jennifer Kovalcik.

Jennifer graduates in May 2022 with a major in Biology and a minor in Bioethics. She plans to attend medical school, with the ultimate goal of providing compassionate and holistic medical care in disadvantaged communities. During college, Jennifer has been a long-time dedicated volunteer and leader at the Care for Real food pantry in Edgewater, while also spearheading collaborations between Loyola students and local non-profits, such as free blood pressure screenings and PPE distribution. During the COVID pandemic, Jennifer has worked as lab technician processing PCR tests and as a COVID symptom screener at local medical clinics. Jennifer’s leadership and service extends to her peer Scholars in Loyola’s Achieving College Excellence program. She co-founded and co-leads an organization supporting fellow first-generation and low-income students in their pathways to medical school. She has also worked as an ACE Ambassador, further serving the first-generation and low-income student community.

The selection committee was incredibly impressed with all of the amazing students who were nominated for this award. All are accomplished scholars and dedicated leaders for social justice. We invite you to view the full list of nominees here. Thank you to the many Loyola faculty, staff, and students who thoughtfully volunteered your time and effort to nominate these wonderful students.

Award Criteria & Selection Process 

This award recognizes women undergraduate students who exemplify Loyola’s Jesuit values and the Gannon Center’s mission of fostering a more just world through leadership, research, and service. The recipient is chosen from a pool of nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and students and is additionally based on an application submitted by the nominee. 

Award Details

  • The award is open to any currently enrolled woman-identified undergraduate student.
  • Nominees must first be nominated by a Loyola faculty or staff member or current Loyola undergraduate or graduate student.
  • After a nomination is received, the nominee will be notified and asked to submit an application that includes a résumé and a brief reflection on how they contribute to a more just world.
  • Nominees must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to be consider for the Award.
  • Nominees will be screened by Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution.
  • A student may not win the award more than once but may be nominated in multiple years.
  • Loyola faculty, staff, and students may nominate more than one student. 


  • Nominations for the spring 2023 award will open in late fall 2022.