2012 Women to Watch Awards

The 2012 Women to Watch Awards Ceremony was a huge success. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to honor such amazing women. Check out photos from the event on our facebook!

  • Representative Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2012 (AZ-08)
  • Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol of the United States
  • Representative Martha Roby, U.S. House of Representatives (AL-02)
  • Taryn Davis, Founder and Executive Director, American Widow Project
  • Natalie Randolph, Varsity Football Coach, Coolidge High School
  • Rocio Ortega, Student Activist

and alumnae tribute

  • Jacqueline Emerson, Actress, The Hunger Games

View a video about the 2012 Award Ceremony



More about the 2012 Award honorees:


Representative Gabrielle Giffords

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords began her career in public service in 2001 when she was elected to the Arizona State House. Two years later, at age 30, she became the youngest woman ever elected to the State Senate. In 2006, she was elected to serve Arizona’s 8th Congressional District in Congress, where her work on border security, renewable energy and rights for military families led her to win three terms in office. On Jan. 8, 2011, Congresswoman Giffords was the victim of an assassination attempt, in which she sustained life-threatening injuries. Congresswoman Giffords has pursued her recovery with extraordinary strength and determination. Her resilience inspired the nation. Although she has left Congress to concentrate on her recovery, Congresswoman Giffords continues to, in the words of President Obama, “embody the very best of what public service should be.


Ambassador Capricia Marshall

Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall was sworn in as Chief of Protocol of the United States on August 3, 2009.  As the Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Marshall leads the Office of Protocol in its mission to advance the foreign policy of the Obama Administration by creating and fostering an environment for successful diplomacy.  As the first hand that welcomes Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers to the United States, Ambassador Marshall serves on the front lines of diplomatic engagement building bridges and fostering understanding between people and governments.  She serves as the primary liaison for visiting dignitaries meeting with the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and other Administration officials, and manages and implements protocol arrangements for Presidential travel abroad.  Since assuming her post, Ambassador Marshall has executed several State Visits, multiple major international conferences, and hundreds of bilateral meetings.  Ambassador Marshall has worked in a variety of capacities for President and Secretary Clinton including Special Assistant to the First Lady and as the youngest White House Social Secretary in recent history.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ambassador Marshall is a first-generation American born to a father of Croatian descent and a mother of Mexican heritage. She graduated from Purdue University in 1986, and received a law degree in 1990 from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where she served as Student Bar Association President.  Ambassador Marshall is married to Dr. Robert Marshall, a private practice cardiologist in Washington, DC. They have one son.


Representative Martha Roby

Representative Martha Roby In November 2010, the people of Alabama’s Second Congressional District elected Martha Roby to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she now sits on the prestigious House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Education and the Workforce Committee.  Prior to her swearing in, Republican leaders selected Roby as one of only four freshman members to serve on the GOP Transition Team, a 22-member panel tasked with reforming House rules to provide greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the 112th Congress. On the Committee, Roby was a strong advocate for commonsense reforms. Among other changes, she supported a mandatory 72-hour public review period for legislation prior to House votes, and a restructured House calendar that increases the amount of time members spend in their home districts, where they are accessible by—and accountable to—the people they represent. Many of the Transition Team’s proposed reforms were enacted in recently approved changes to the rules of the House of Representatives.  Roby is married to Riley Roby and they have two children, Margaret and George. They are members of Trinity Presbyterian Church, where they are involved in various ministries.


Taryn Davis

Taryn Davis is Founder and Executive Director of the American Widow Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing military widows with the opportunity to heal together, “Military Widow to Military Widow.” After losing her husband when she was 21 years old, Taryn connected with women across the country to share their stories of love and loss and survival. The connections she made led her to create a documentary, website, and non-profit organization to provide support for women like herself. Today, Taryn’s American Widow Project has served over 1,100 women. Taryn was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World”, a Top 10 CNN Hero, L’Oreal’s National Woman of Worth, and is a VH1’s Do Something Award Recipient.


Natalie Randolph

Natalie Randolph became the first female football varsity coach in Washington, D.C. and the third woman ever to serve as head coach of a high school football team in the nation. After assistant coaching at H.D. Woodson High School, Natalie was hired as the head football coach of the Coolidge High School Colts. Under Natalie’s leadership for two seasons, the Colts have improved their overall grade-point average and have twice made the DCIAA playoffs. Outside of her roles as a coach and a science teacher, Natalie is an athlete in her own right having been a hurdler at the University of Virginia and a wide receiver for the DC Divas, a professional team in the Independent Women’s Football League. Former Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty noted Natalie’s pioneering spirit when he declared a “Natalie Randolph Day” in her honor.


Rocio Ortega

Rocio Ortega, at 17 years old, serves as the Student Body Secretary and Battalion Commander for the Army JROTC at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Rocio is a Teen Advisor for Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign to involve American girls in the global problems girls face throughout the world. She also serves as a Financial Literacy Ambassador for the Pan-American Bank and is a teen broadcast citizen journalist for Global Girl Media. Rocio interned for Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and received the Congresswoman’s recognition as a 2011 Woman of the Year.  Rocio heard her calling to politics when she was the last US House of Representative Page sponsored for 38th Congressional District to work in Capitol Hill for the 111th Congress.  She is a proud graduate of Running Start’s Young Women’s Political Leadership Program.