In celebration of the 27th Anniversary of Women on the Move, the YWCA announced that Dr. Cheryl Willman will be honored with the "La Estrella" award. The award was presented recently along with the other Women on the Move awards at an event held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Willman was recognized by the YWCA for her distinguished medical career and her leadership role in the field of cancer research. Willman is the Maurice & Marguerite Liberman Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, a University of New Mexico Professor of Pathology and Medicine, and director & CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. Under Willman's leadership, the UNM Cancer Center achieved National Cancer Institute Designation in 2005 and was re-designated in 2010. This makes the UNM Cancer Center the only NCI-designated cancer center in the state. Over the past 25 years, Willman has also contributed several seminal research efforts that have advanced our understanding and treatment of blood cancers.

Willman is truly "La Estrella" as she helps to improve the health of our state and chart the way for New Mexico women and girls to pursue a field that still has few women leaders. The La Estrella Award was presented for the first time in 2011 to Governor Susana Martinez and last year to Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes.

For the past 27 years, the YWCA has been celebrating women who have distinguished themselves in the areas of social and racial justice and/or devoted themselves and their work to the empowerment of women. The Women on the Move event was created by the YWCA as an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary women who are making significant contributions to their community. Award recipients have distinguished themselves not only through their chosen fields but also through their community leadership. To date, the YWCA has honored more than 1,000 exceptional women.