Student receives Ruby Award for showing strength in adversity

Eighth awards ceremony highlights women who impact their communities.

Christian Leonard, News Editor

As the end of Women’s History Month nears, a student joins two other Biola women in accepting her Ruby Award for exhibiting accomplishments and godly values.


This year’s Ruby Awards, held Tuesday afternoon, centered around the slogan “Empowering Each Other.” Keeping in theme with the slogan, award recipients delivered an acceptance speech on the importance of supporting and helping others thrive in the Biola community. The recipients included junior biological science major Emma Newman, professor of public relations Carolyn Kim and director of international admissions Fitsum Mulat.

Newman’s basketball coach Alan Nakamura presented her with the Esther Ruby Award, titled after the biblical woman of bravery. Newman served as her team’s captain despite receiving an injury which kept her on the bench, impressing all with her courageous obedience, according to Nakamura. Following her team’s motto, “What can I give?”, she decided to act as a servant leader by passing out water bottles and helping her teammates stretch.

“As a female leader, a big lesson I’ve learned… was that empowered women empower women,” Newman said during the event.

Anna Belle Cook, wife of former president Clyde Cook and 2008 Esther Ruby Award recipient, also attended the event. She believes Biola provides a unique opportunity for students to empower each other.

“Biola has such a wonderful fellowship of people that… helps you to grow in your life,”Anna Belle Cook said. “I was a Biola girl one day, when Biola was at Sixth and Hope Street, but when I look back I think of all the blessings I have received, having been associated with Biola.”


Other speakers also recognized Biola as a place where women empower each other. Mulat, who received this year’s Deborah Ruby Award for leadership and wisdom, spent much of her speech thanking those who had encouraged and mentored her, including her advisor, who helped her realize her passion for communication.

“I stand on the shoulders of so many men and women. Some in this room, some across the world, in different continents, and some who have entered glory, some who have retired. I don’t stand here alone,” Mulat said during the event.

Kim could not attend the event to accept the Priscilla Ruby Award for teaching and mentoring, but two public relations students read her acceptance letter to the audience. She encouraged attendees to encourage each other in truth.

“To authentically empower others, we have to be committed to knowing each other. This is the foundation we need in order to advocate for opportunities, wisely speak into each others’ journeys and consistently hold up what is true, good, noble and beautiful about the incredible women around us,” Kim said in her letter.

For Newman, this charge does not only go to award recipients. She believes all women at Biola can empower each other simply through speaking.

“Whatever your role, you’re always able to encourage, you’re always able to uplift, or edify. And I think that’s how we can empower each other,” Newman said. “Not just by complementing each other, but giving words of encouragement, of life.”

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