Year-Round Partners

OWN IT is proud to partner with these organizations year-round through fundraising, days of service, and in-kind donations.

The Gwendolyn Mikell Award for Women's Empowerment 

Gwendolyn Mikell,  Professor of Anthropology and Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Gwendolyn Mikell, Professor of Anthropology and Foreign Service at Georgetown University

The Gwendolyn Mikell Award for Women's Empowerment was conceived as a collaborative effort between the SIPS Fund and Georgetown University’s OWN IT Summit to address the inequities and barriers to success that women face by institutionalizing support for an undergraduate student or alumni non-profit project that facilitates the advancement of women. The Gwendolyn Mikell Award winner receives $1,000 to support their project benefitting women, and speaks on a breakout session at the OWN IT Summit. The award is open to all undergraduates and recent alumni of Georgetown University.

Past Gwendolyn Mikell Award Recipients

Ghipsel Cibrian, 2019


Ghipsel Cibrian, a 2016 Georgetown graduate, currently works with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps; she is the 2019 recipient of the Gwendolyn Mikell Award for Women's Empowerment. Her Sonqoymi Wiñan project is an adjunct of the Ocongate Summer Camp at the Saint Paul de Ocongate Parish in Ocongate Perú. In completing her project, she will work with the Jesuits to channel resources in strengthening the math and communication skills of rural Peruvian girls as well as offer career resources to them during the four weeks of summer camp. In addition, Ghipsel will extend career resources to the girls who have participated in the summer camp for the past two years. Through her project, she will strengthen girls’ math and communication skills, provide accompaniment and educational resources for girls in secondary education, and provide vocational and career options to the girls in secondary education. By accomplishing these objectives, Ghipsel plans to combat summer learning loss in girls from economically vulnerable families.

Rachel Mucha, 2018


Rachel Mucha, the recipient of the inaugural Gwendolyn Mikell Award for Women's Empowerment, used her award to work with female farmers in the Indian states of Assam, Telangana, and Maharashtra in several different ways. A Georgetown graduate of the class of 2018, she had the opportunity to attend an agricultural data conference in Hyderabad, Telangana, where she spent time at a major agricultural institute (ICAR-NAARM) speaking to professors and agritech experts about empowerment initiatives for female farmers. Another component of Rachel's project is her involvement with the US-India Business council, an initiative focused on bringing financial and business training to young female entrepreneurs in India. Finally, she conducted research with women on Majuli, the world’s largest river island, in the Northeast state of Assam. Rachel's goal was to assist female farmers in better understanding how microfinance and business training programs have empowered them and improved their financial standing. Through this project, Rachel has gained a much larger understanding of what financial literacy and business management mean in a rural context, and she feels even more positive about the ways that increasing women’s income impacts their confidence and overall community well being.