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In the 1960s and ‘70s, women were “breaking glass ceilings” in the federal workplace, overcoming prejudices and gaining leadership positions. Among those women was Priscilla Ransohoff, who, as an Equal Employment Opportunity officer, was instrumental in building the “female bench” at the Army’s then Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and throughout the federal workforce.

In recognition of her achievements and nearly three decades of federal service, Ransohoff is being inducted posthumously Sept. 20 into the Army Materiel Command’s Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

She began her career at ECOM in 1964 (later the Communications-Electronics Command) as an education adviser in its Research and Development Directorate and in 1967 was appointed assistant deputy equal employment officer. Named the Electronics Command’s first coordinator of the Federal Women’s Program in 1968, Ransohoff became an early champion of the advancement of Equal Employment Opportunity, developing programs supporting a Presidential Executive Order and directives from the secretary of the Army to emphasize and reinforce existing programs for women in federal service.

“It is important to recognize Dr. Ransohoff for her pioneering efforts in fostering equality and diversity in the workforce, and her actions to encourage women to have a strong voice and role in the federal workforce,” CECOM Historian Susan Thompson, who nominated Ransohoff posthumously, said. Ransohoff died in 1992.

Ransohoff used her position at ECOM to affect change for women throughout the federal workforce and in all walks of life. In 1969, she established the Molly Pitcher Toastmistress Club in Monmouth County to assist women with gaining experience in leadership and speaking roles. She went on to be the founding member of a local chapter of Federally Employed Women, and then serving as the organization’s national president for two terms in 1972 and 1973.

Her achievements did not go unrecognized. In 1975, Ransohoff became the first recipient of AMC’s Action Award for her role in championing equality in the federal workplace and for promoting AMC’s EEO goals. That same year, she was awarded the Department of the Army’s Equal Employment Opportunity Award for her work on behalf of women in the Army. In presenting the award during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Secretary of the Army Howard Callaway said, “There is no award that means more to the progress of the Army than the Equal Employment Opportunity Award.”

Ransohoff was also recognized in her local community, including being named “Woman of the Year” in 1970 by the Business and Professional Women’s Organization of Monmouth County, and “Woman of the Year” in 1984 and 1990 by the Zonta Club of Monmouth County.

“Dr. Ransohoff was long considered a leader with vision and was the namesake for the CECOM Priscilla B. Ransohoff Memorial Award, to recognize outstanding personnel who extend themselves to ‘clear the path’ for others,” Thompson said. “The award was discontinued after 2005 BRAC, and Dr. Ransohoff’s early efforts are no longer widely known across the command and AMC. Her efforts are well worth recognizing today, and hopefully her selection to the AMC Hall of Fame will help to continue her legacy to the next generation of leaders.”

A graduate of Columbia University where she received her master’s and doctorate in education administration and psychology, Ransohoff retired after 28 years advocating for the advancement of women in government, but not from her commitment to help improve the status of women in all career fields.

“I hope Dr. Ransohoff’s award will inspire other employees to recognize their ability to make a positive difference within their workplace and for their co-workers, regardless of their position within their organization,” Thompson said. “Dr. Ransohoff believed in the idea of lifelong learning and working to make the workforce better for everyone, concepts which are still important to foster today.”

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