ALTOONA, Pa. — Harriett Gaston has been named the 2023 honoree for the WISE Women of Blair County Tribute in Education.
The WISE (Women Involved in Scholarship and Education) Tribute honors local women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in the categories of arts, business, community service, education, non-profit, and lifetime achievement.
Gaston is the coordinator of minority programs at Penn State Altoona. As the honoree for the Tribute in Education, she is recognized for her work as a community historian and with the county’s African American Heritage Festival.
“I am humbled to be recognized for my efforts in researching, documenting and sharing local Black history,” Gaston said. “It is quite personal to me. I’m passionate about sharing the lives and times of past Blair County Black residents, and I’m grateful that there are others who want to hear their stories and learn about them. My desire is that this adventure of mine is shared with future generations, and the Tribute recognition will assist in making that come true.”
Donna Gority, who sits on the WISE board of directors, said the Tribute committee is pleased that Gaston was selected as the education honoree.
“Harriett is a past board member of WISE, so we know very well what a valuable resource she is as a community historian,” Gority said. “Her work with the African American Heritage Festival is very much in synch with our mission.”
Alicia Williams, a graduate of Penn State Altoona’s Human Development and Family Studies program, was selected as the WISE 2023 Rising Star Tribute for her work as a sexual assault and family violence awareness advocate. The criteria for this award include providing self-initiated community service that has both significant and positive impact.