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Attorney who works with Muslim women lawyers to present Sept. 23 lecture as part of Whitworth's Homecoming celebration

September 9, 2010

Whitworth University will kick off Homecoming 2010 with a lecture by Barbara Standal, a 1969 alumna who will share lessons from her four-decade-long career as a trial attorney, most recently working with disenfranchised women in Central Asia and mentoring Azerbaijani women lawyers. Standal's lecture, "Chapters and Choices: Reflections on a Road Less Traveled," will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m., in Room 111 of Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3732.

For a complete listing of Whitworth Homecoming events taking place Sept. 23-26, please visit

Throughout her career, Standal, who says she was deeply affected by the Civil Rights Movement, has championed the cause of those who have been marginalized in their societies. During her time as a supervisory trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she led several class action sex discrimination cases against large grocery store chains, all of which ended with a significant change to promotion practices in stores across the U.S. She mediated more than 50 employment discrimination cases, and trained businesses and state and federal agencies, as well as EEOC attorneys and investigators, on law and employee rights, and the rights of the disabled.

In 2004, Standal was selected to work as a legal education specialist in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for the American Bar Association. She then consulted for the Office for Civil Rights Enforcement, in Seattle, and in 2007, she was appointed once again by the ABA to go to Azerbaijan. Since then, she has served as advisor of the Women's Bar Association of Azerbaijan, mentoring and coaching a group of 100 women who had no previous experience in organizational development. They now have a board of directors and projects funded by the European Commission and an American foundation to help women who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking. Standal was awarded the first honorary membership in the WBA, which she considers one of her proudest accomplishments.

Homecoming also will include a panel discussion, "Vocation, Gender and Professional Life," with Standal and her fellow Whitworth Alumni Award winners Pricilla Small, '61, and Tracey King-Ortega, '95, on Friday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m., in Room 111 of Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. The discussion will be facilitated by Whitworth Professor of Political Science Julia Stronks.

Standal, Small, and King-Ortega will be among those recognized as recipients of the 2010 Alumni Awards at the Whitworth Alumni Banquet, on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 6:15 p.m., in the Hixson Union Building. Standal will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award for extraordinary service to the community and achievement in her field. Small will receive the Alumni Mind & Heart Award for exemplifying the Whitworth mission. King-Ortega will receive the Recent Alumni Award for achieving significant success in her career within 15 years of graduation. In addition, Dick Cole, '51, and Liz Cole, '53, will receive the Alumni Service to Whitworth Award for their significant support of the university.

Other Homecoming events will include:

• An alumni business networking event on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Lied Center.

• Women's and men's soccer, as well as the Homecoming football game and a women’s volleyball match, on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,900 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Aaron McMurray, director of alumni & parent relations and annual giving, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3730 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3730 or