Debra Prichard, chair of the USU Eastern Cosmetology Department, expresses complete surprise as she learns she has been named Southeastern Utah Woman of the Year at the 32nd Annual Women"s Conference. She was honored for decades of service to students, community and her church. Her story and a wrapup of the event are on page 3B.
Debra Prichard, head of the cosmetology department at USU Eastern and whose community activities fill a long list, has been named the Southeastern Utah Woman of the Year.
The news left her visibly surprised when the announcement came at the 32nd Annual Women"s Conference at the USU Eastern Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. However, the list of services and achievements in the nomination letter showed what judges considered in bestowing the honor.
"Debbie"s focus has always been on service, whether at church, at work, or in the community. Her concern for others comes first,"said the letter nominating her for the award.
Judges were impressed by the diversity of her efforts. While she is devoted to her students, she has gone beyond classroom and lab activities and involved the department in community service events. For example, she is deeply involved in the "Look Good, Feel Better"program for cancer patients. This involves make-up, buying wigs, spa services and encouragement, the nomination states.
She has also spearheaded the "Locks of Love"event, where people with hair to spare can donate their locks to make wigs for cancer victims who have lost their own hair.
Prichard has also been involved in the annual Relay for Life, organizing fund-raising teams and providing spa services for the participants.
She also cooks and bakes for shut-ins who need food and support.
At church, she volunteers for functions, helps with holiday decorations and has taught religious classes for kindergarten-age children. She ministers at services regularly.
As a member of the Life Line committee (pro-life), she has helped raise funds to buy pregnancy tests, diapers and baby clothes to help with life choices made by women.
At USU Eastern, she has used cosmetology to help with a variety of college fund-raising events. For instance, Prichard has offered hair cut days where proceeds go toward supporting sports and activities at the college. She also encourages her students to help out with such things as prom make-overs for Castle Valley Center students.
Prichard was chairwoman of the Utah State Vocational workshops and the Utah State Skills USA conferences. Many students were trained under her and won state and national Skills USA competitions, the nomination notes.
In addition to her teaching and administrative work at the college, the nomination letter states that she serves or has served on ten different committees at USU Eastern.