PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University's longtime Associate Athletic Director and ski coach Kim Bownes has been named the 2014 Theo Kalikow Award winner for her efforts in advancing women's issues.
Bownes has been an administrator in the Athletics Department since 2008 and served as the men's and women's varsity ski coach for 21 years. She is the past recipient of the Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference MacConnell Division Coach of the Year award and the Walter Smith Coaches Award. She earned a bachelor's from McGill University and a master's from Plymouth State. Plymouth State President Sara Jayne Steen presented the award to Bownes at an April 10 ceremony.
"Kim is a fabulous role model," said PSU President Sara Jayne Steen. "She is someone who has helped female students in the pursuit of excellence in the classroom, and in their respective sports. Her coaching record is legendary, and her involvement with Title IX has helped women athletes. She makes sure Plymouth State University's athletic program fully supports our students."
"I would like to thank the many strong, caring leaders on our campus that have helped me recognize the need to advocate for women," Bownes said. "Although I didn't grow up with much, I never thought about inequity or prejudice. It never mattered to anyone in my family what your gender was, your race, religion or sexual orientation...people are people and everyone deserves to be treated equally. It's about people respecting people for who they are and what they can bring to the table."
The Theo Kalikow Award is named after a former PSU Dean and interim President who has been an effective advocate for improving the status of women. The award honors a faculty or staff member who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women's issues and is presented annually by the PSU President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW). Theo Kalikow, currently the President of the University of Southern Maine, was in attendance and delivered the keynote address, noting women are often thrust into nurturing roles in life even if they aren't expecting it, and it takes courage to follow through on that responsibility.
The event also featured the PCSW honoring two other POWA awardees. Tegan Donnelly was named the Student POWA (Powerful Outstanding Women's Advocate), which honors a Plymouth State University student who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women's issues while a student at PSU. Tegan will graduate next month with a bachelor's in history; she currently is a legislative intern at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and a volunteer at NARAL Pro-Choice in Concord.
The POWA Community Member Award winner, Jeannette Bilodeau, is a 1999 graduate of Plymouth State and has been involved in domestic violence prevention efforts since her undergraduate years. She currently works for the State of New Hampshire's Judicial branch, analyzing data in managing and resolving family, criminal, civil, and probate legal matters. Her first job after graduating from Plymouth State was at the local crisis center, Voices Against Violence, where she provided guidance and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Jeannette was the recipient of the student POWA award in 1999.