Feb. 1, 2010
stephens college launches lecture series
to highlight women in civic leadership
COLUMBIA, Mo. – With support from the Stephens College Alumnae Association Board, Stephens College is launching the Women in Civic Leadership lecture series to highlight alumnae with careers in federal, state or local government, international relations or military service.
Stephens College has had a long history of training students for careers in civic leadership, and this lecture series is designed to give some of those alumnae an opportunity to share their experiences. The new lecture series, planned to last five years, is funded through a gift from Stephens alumna Mary Josie Cain Blanchard. Blanchard’s long involvement in civic leadership includes former positions in Texas state government, as well as several roles in the U.S. Department of the Interior, including her current position as deputy director, Environmental Policy and Compliance, Office of the Secretary.
The first lecture in the series, to be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, will feature Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Byrnes, D-Mich., and Rep. Kathy Hawken, R-N.D. The event will be held in the Recital Hall of Historic Senior Hall, 100 Waugh St., on the Stephens College campus.
Rep. Byrnes is serving her third term in the Michigan House of Representatives. As Chair of the House Transportation Committee, Byrnes focuses on the development of Michigan's mass transit systems and improvement of the state’s infrastructure. She is Chair of the Midwest Education Compact of which Missouri, North Dakota and Michigan are members. As a member of the House Committee on New Economy and Quality of Life, Byrnes is also working to attract high-tech businesses to Michigan. She was recently appointed to the Biosciences Subcommittee, which will focus on helping grow the bioscience industry in the state, and she also is a member of the Regulatory Reform and the Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security committees. Byrnes recently announced her candidacy for Michigan's 18th senate district.
Rep. Hawken was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1996 and currently serves on the Appropriations Committee. She also is on the Budget Section and Higher Education interim committees. She was appointed by the North Dakota Chief Justice to serve as the legislative member of the Judicial Standards Committee and was just named chair of the Women in Government 501(c)(4) Board. Her legislative focus has been on education, childcare and human/women’s rights. A lifelong Fargo, N.D., resident, Hawken was elected to four terms on the Fargo Board of Education. She is the founder of the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation and a state director of the Women’s Legislative Lobby. She sits on the board of directors of several organizations, including Women in Government, Union State Bank and the YMCA of North Dakota State University. Hawken also serves as a member of the advisory boards of several organizations, including Child Care Resource & Referral, ND Gaming, and ND KidsCount. Rep. Hawken credits the influence of former Stephens professor Gene Schmidtlein for her interest in politics and her commitment to public service.
Stephens College, established in 1833, is historically committed to meeting the changing needs of women. Stephens engages students in an innovative educational experience focused on pre-professional fields and the performing arts and grounded in the liberal arts.
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