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University of Pikeville celebrates Women's History Month

March 20, 2012 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
Humanitarian, civic leader and perhaps one of the most influential women of the 20th Century, Eleanor Roosevelt was a role model for generations, leaving behind this and other pearls of wisdom that still inspire today.
Celebrate Women’s History Month and the achievements of women with the University of Pikeville. The campus and community are invited to a roundtable discussion, “Balancing Career, Family and Dual Success,” on Tuesday, March 27. Distinguished panelists include Carrie Cinnamond-Rose, Judge Sara Combs, Cindy May Johnson, Gerri Kinder, Former Kentucky First Lady Judi Patton and Josephine Richardson. The discussion will be moderated by Brigitte LaPresto, Ph.D., professor of English and chair of the division of humanities at UPIKE. The community will have an opportunity to talk with participants during a pre-ception at 4:30 p.m. The roundtable will begin at 5 p.m. with a question-and-answer session following.
            Judi Patton spent her eight-year tenure as first lady fighting issues important to women and children: their safety, health and welfare. She established the Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence and worked tirelessly with state agencies, judges, law enforcement officers, health officials and legislators to ensure proper treatment of sexual assault victims as well as physically and mentally abused women and children. Patton serves on the board of Judi’s Place for Kids in Pikeville, one of the 15 children’s advocacy centers enacted into law during her tenure. “I am the daughter of a social worker,” she often says as she attributes her work with women and children as a continuance of her mother’s legacy.
            Cindy May Johnson is the vice president of East Kentucky Broadcasting and also serves as the director of public relations and the Medical Leader at Pikeville Medical Center. She began working in radio at the age of 14 and currently co-hosts Day Break, a live, unscripted talk show that airs weekday mornings. Johnson also co-founded and is president of the Appalachian SPCA.
            Gerri Kinder retired in 2009 after an extensive career in the classroom and the boardroom. Kinder worked in various roles relating to education from serving as head start director in the Pike County School System to representing her alma mater, Pikeville College, as vice president for development/public affairs. Kinder served as executive director of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. A long-time community leader, she now devotes much of her time to community service.
            Carrie Cinnamond-Rose is the president and principal operator of Economy Drug Co., Inc. in Pikeville and has been on the front lines of retail sales for the past 45 years. She is a volunteer and advocate for community service and is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of America and a member of the Juliet Lowe Society.
            Judge Sara W. Combs was the first woman and the first judge from Eastern Kentucky counties of the 7th Appellate District to serve as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Combs also made history by being the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Kentucky when then Gov. Brereton Jones appointed her to service on the state’s highest court. She currently serves on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, representing District 7, Division 1.
            When President Johnson declared the War on Poverty, Josephine Richardson, along with her husband, Bill, heeded the call and moved to Eastern Kentucky where they founded Appalshop, a multi-media collective designed as a training program in film/video for young people from the mountains to teach them crucial media skills. Today, according to Appalashop’s website, it has “grown into a nationally recognized media center working film, video, recordings, literature, theater, presentation of live performance and radio.”
            Brigitte LaPresto shares her panelist friends’ passion for gender equality and their pride in the region. Beyond the classroom, she spends much of her time and energy on globalizing the campus community and on offering cultural opportunities.
            The Women’s History Month celebration at UPIKE will also feature a women’s health fair on Wednesday, March 28, from 1-4 p.m., hosted by the Social Work in Medical Settings class. Basic health screenings and health information will be provided free of charge. The health fair will be held in the second floor lobby of the Armington Learning Center. Participating agencies include Pikeville YMCA, Studio 29, Pike County Health Department, the University’s Elizabeth Akers Elliott nursing program, Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center and UPIKE fraternities and sororities. In addition to screenings, yoga and Zumba demonstrations and mini massages will be provided. The Social Work in Medical Settings class is taught by Genesia Kilgore-Bowling, assistant professor of social work. Everyone is welcome.
            A poster presentation featuring the works of students from various classes, including art and communication, will honor pioneering women throughout history. Posters will be on exhibit from March 28-30 on the first floor of the Administration Building. A reception will be held on Thursday, March 29, at 11 a.m., to celebrate the students’ work and their exploration into women and their role in our history.
The Women’s History Month celebration at the University of Pikeville is sponsored by the Division of Humanities and the special events committee. All events are free and the community is cordially invited. For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 218-5270.
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