The University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women (CEW+) will be honoring a UM-Flint School of Management student at the 2021 Center for the Education of Women Virtual Awards Celebration. The event will be acknowledging 85 scholarship recipients and 10 graduate fellows from the three UM campuses including Reva Spikener, who is receiving the Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship.
The 2021-22 cohort being recognized are student parents and primary caregivers, students who are returning to the classroom after a prolonged interruption, students who are underrepresented in STEM fields, first-generation, international students, and students who have overcome great obstacles in order to achieve their dream of earning a degree in higher education.
Margaret Dow Towsley, one of the named scholarships being awarded at CEW+, has opened countless doors for women and children by paving the way for equality for women. She was the first woman elected to the Ann Arbor City Council, one of the first persons in Ann Arbor to acknowledge the special needs of children and working mothers, a major force in creating a gender-integrated Ann Arbor YMCA, and helped establish the Women’s City Club.
Spikener is widely known as a committed servant leader on the UM-Flint campus, in her church, and as part of her sorority. She consistently inspires others and demonstrates “strong will, determination, and follow-through.”
Spikener became pregnant with her fourth child while completing her bachelor’s degree. She also took on additional caregiving responsibilities during this time. Despite these life changes, she persisted with her education and would frequently bring her daughters with her to class and exams to make it work. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in mathematics from Marygrove College.
Over the next 10 years, Spikener worked several jobs to independently support her children. She attempted to return to school in 2015, but lacked the necessary childcare support to complete the program.
Spikener has such determination and persistence at her current employer that she earned four promotions within six years. She one day aspires to reach a director-level position. While working full-time as a human resources manager, Spikener is earning her master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Dynamics (MSLOD) at the University of Michigan – Flint and is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“I believe with God all things are possible no matter the odds, no matter the circumstances, no matter what others believe. Our lives have a great purpose,” said Spikener reflecting on her experiences.
Recently, Spikener was approached to be a board member of the Black Defense Force. This organization aims to provide legal services for black individuals in the community with low socioeconomic status. She is proud to lead by example for her children as a lifelong learner and difference-maker in her community.
CEW+ is proud to name Reva Spikener a Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar. The Margaret Dow Towsley Scholars will be recognized on Thursday, November 11, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Zoom. The ceremony will include readings of short excerpts describing scholars’ academic or personal journeys, and break-out rooms to celebrate each scholarship.