Girl Scouts announces 2022 Western Slope Women of Distinction
3 Extraordinary Women Honored
Each year, Girl Scouts of Colorado selects and honors three outstanding women in our community to induct as the new class of Women of Distinction. These women have displayed exemplary leadership and a commitment to advancing the profile of women and girls in our community. They serve as inspirations to our girls and exemplify the courage, confidence, and character that girls gain through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This year’s honorees were selected by a committee of their peers and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. These women join a network of more than 500 alums. They are shining examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders, who serve as role models for our female leaders of tomorrow.
Class of 2022, Women of Distinction
Heidi Ragsdale, CEO, STEM is My Future – After nearly 20 years teaching eighth-grade science, Heidi now runs STEM is My Future, LLC, where she provides professional development for teachers with geographic information systems technologies, problem-based learning, National Geographic Education resources, and Maker Ed. Currently, Heidi provides virtual training via Grand Junction MakerSpace, a community makerspace in western Colorado. She serves as a Space Exploration Educator Crew Orion member with Space Center Houston, a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison and Mentor Educator, and on the board of the Latin Anglo Alliance Foundation. She is the founder of the Geo Maker Institute and #GJSpaceLadies, a group of like-minded space-loving educators who get it done! Heidi’s favorite things to make are beautiful digital maps, geo-jewelry with her group, Colorado Space Crafts, and a difference on Earth.
Morgan Bridge, PhD, associate vice president Academic Affairs, Colorado Mesa University –Beginning as an assistant professor at CMU, Morgan is now a full professor of business and associate vice president of Academic Affairs. She has also served as the department chair and head of the Business Department. Her passion remains teaching and her favorite part of any day is walking into the classroom and working with students. Morgan specializes in the areas of economics and finance, both fields in which women are underrepresented, and has worked to demonstrate that women can and should be represented in these disciplines. Since 2015, she has also had the opportunity to work with students on the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program, providing ethics education and ethics opportunities to the CMU campus. When not on campus, she is spending time with her two sons, working on her yard, traveling, playing the piano, and spending time at the family farm in Nebraska with her nieces.
JoAnne Virgilio, DO, medical oncologist, Community Hospital’s Grand Valley Oncology – Dr. Virgilio founded Grand Valley Oncology in 2014 and served as the medical director from 2014 to 2021. She has been practicing oncology for more than 30 years, and her practice philosophy has changed over time, but the recurring theme is that she feels privileged to take care of people at the most intense time of their life. Dr. Virgilio was a guest participant in the Moon Shot Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute and is a participant in the oncology clinical trial program at Grand Valley Oncology. Growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island, Dr. Virgilio decided to study oncology when her mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She feels it is important to find the balance between being honest and providing hope. Dr. Virgilio has been instrumental in assisting Holy Family Catholic School in their science education program. She is an active participant in Colorado Discover Ability and Special Olympics and worked with Colorado Mesa University Girl’s Lacrosse for four years as a team mom.
Girl Scouts of Colorado will welcome the Class of 2022 honorees at a breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., Nov. 4, at the Grand Junction Convention Center.
“I am honored to welcome this year’s class of Women of Distinction. They are strong, bold, empowered women who represent the leadership and excellence that powers today’s world, and they are outstanding role models for our girls,” said Leanna Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Colorado.
Proceeds from the event will support Girl Scouts of Colorado’s crucial leadership development programs in entrepreneurship, outdoors, STEM, and life skills for more than 15,000 members across Colorado.
Event chairs are Jannie VanWinkle, Woman of Distinction ‘14, and Stacey Mascarenas, Woman of Distinction ’17.