10 Middlesex County Women Honored For Achievements & Service

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EDISON — The newly-reactivated Middlesex County Commission on the Status of Women honored10 women who have made significant contributions to their chosen fields on Wednesday at a dinner at the Pines Manor in Edison.

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The honorees are:

  • Lian Farrer, Vice President of Education at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, whose efforts are largely the reason for the incredible growth of theater’s educational program, which now serves tens of thousands of students each year.
  • Sally Miller, creator of clothing lines specifically for girls ages 7 to 14 that have taken the fashion industry by storm.
  • Gloria Zastko, President and Founder of Gloria Zastko Realtors, whose passion for the real estate industry and high ethical standards keep her a step ahead of her competitors and as one of the area’s most successful and trusted realtors.
  • Vickie Albert, a teacher at Frost Elementary School in East Brunswick, whose zeal for teaching has left an indelible mark on her students and on the curriculum and physical space at the school.
  • State Senator Barbara Buono, who serves as the first woman Senate Majority Leader in New Jersey, and who has either authored or primarily sponsored legislation addressing education reform, child welfare, predatory lending and environmental issues.
  • Sunanda Gaur, M.D., professor of pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, whose investigation, experiments and educational programs about prenatal and pediatric infectious diseases have improved and saved countless lives.
  • Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott, New Jersey’s first African-American female Sheriff, who has broken down barriers since beginning her career in law enforcement.
  • Ingrid Diaz, a social worker and doctoral candidate, who fights tirelessly to help others overcome the stigma associated with mental illness, counsels juvenile offenders and who devotes her time to assisting the Hispanic community of central New Jersey through a myriad of programs, therapies, support groups, and meetings.
  • Marylynn Matacera, a volunteer, whose dedication and diligence have benefited a substance abuse treatment center in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, St. Peter’s University Hospital, the Elijah’s Promise soup kitchen in New Brunswick, the North Brunswick Meals-on-Wheels program and numerous recreational and civic organizations.
  • Anna M. Aschkenes, Executive Director of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, will receive a Special Recognition Award.

The Commission on the Status of Women is made up of Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, Paulette Crabiel Wahler (Chair), Nancy Nicola (Vice Chair), Andrea Mackaronis, Chanelle McCullum, North Brunswick Councilwoman Catherine Nicola, Elizabeth Raspa, Linda Van Derveer and Debbie Wisniewski.


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