2020 Graduate Awards Recipients

This year we awarded four different awards to graduates of  the Center for Human Sexuality Studies. The awards were the Carol Cobb-Nettleton Community Service Leadership Award, the Konstance McCaffree Community Service Leadership Award, the William R. Stayton Award for Applied Leadership in Human Sexuality, and the Distinguished Dissertation Award.

The Carol Cobb-Nettleton Community Service Leadership Award was given to Karen Washington.

Karen Washington is a graduating sex therapy track Master’s of Education student in the Human Sexuality Program at Widener University. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Adler University in Chicago, IL, where she introduced and assisted implementation of the AASECT certificate program in the Couple and Family Therapy Department. Karen is also a practicing sex therapist in Chicago, IL. A subset of her clients inspired the new research she co-authored and published in the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy.


The Konstance McCaffree Community Service Leadership Award was given to Indiana Rós Ægisdóttir.

Indiana Aegisdottir is a graduating Master’s in Education sexuality education track student.  She is the current president of Kynis, the Icelandic sexological association which was founded in 1985 and is the only current sexological association in Iceland. Through the association, since she became president, Indiana developed a website for the association, established a online group for all sexuality educators in Iceland and initiated events for those sexuality educators. In those events, Indiana seeks to add to their learning and aid them in developing more confidence and their capability to be sexuality educators as not all of them have a background or any education in the field of sexuality.

During the Covid-19 crisis, Indiana was contacted by the RÚV, the national TV station in Iceland, to have weekly sexuality education segments on live television, as all schools have shut down and are only online now. Indíana develops the segment discussion points and along with the hosts, discuss a new sexuality matter each week. Recently, Indiana started her work as a volunteer at the Red Cross in Iceland, on an outreach program designed to provide harm reduction for those who use drugs. Indiana, working with the programs supervisor, will develop a sexuality education curricula for the training of volunteers, as well as providing sexuality education during her shifts for individuals seek the assistance of the program. Finally, as schools are all closed and there are group gathering restrictions in Iceland, she can’t do her usual work, so she is developing and writing an e-book for teenagers in Iceland, as currently, there is no other book like that in Iceland that has been developed in the recent years.

Both the William R. Stayton Award for Applied Leadership in Human Sexuality and the Distinguished Dissertation awards were given to Lyndsay Mercier.

Dr. Lyndsay Mercier has been a sexual health educator with Planned Parenthood for the last 7 years, following her practicum there through Widener. She provides sex education with youth all over Philadelphia and the surrounding areas as well as coordinates two resource centers in North Philadelphia high schools where she provides students with reproductive health education, counseling, safer sex supplies, and access to healthcare services. As part of her work at Planned Parenthood, she is also a member of their Equity and Inclusion team in order to provide sex education within the communities she serves while keeping a commitment to racial justice at the forefront of her work.

Lyndsay has authored many sexual health articles over the last decade, wrote a weekly sexual health column for Northern Michigan University, presented at national sexuality-based conferences, contributed to several sexual health teaching manuals and other books, appeared on television and on the radio, edited sexuality textbook chapters, earned an award for a research presentation at Widener University, is the former Vice Chair of Widener University’s human sexuality student organization (HSEDSO), and is a member of Triota, a women and gender studies national honor society, and Gamma Eta Rho, a human sexuality national honor society. She has recently completed her doctoral research surrounding orgasm during sleep and the experiences of people assigned female at birth.

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