The PSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women has acknowledged Professor Bonnie Epstein (English) and junior Maya Blanchette of Manchester for their contributions to the development of women on campus.
The Kalikow award, established in the mid-1990’s and named for Theodora Kalikow, who served as PSU’s interim president from 1992-1993, was awarded to Epstein for her commitment to developing the women’s studies program at PSU. Anne Kulig, chair of the commission, says, “Her nominators noted that she is excellent for bringing women authors into her teaching. Bonnie is one of the most collegial and congenial people you could meet.”
Epstein says, “When I was a student in the sixties I remember taking an English course that included no writings by women authors. We’ve made great strides but there’s still a lot more to do.” Epstein has served for 15 years on the Women’s Studies Council and says, “I worked with Theo when I first came to the University. She was a great inspiration for all of us and I wouldn’t be here as a faculty member if it weren’t for her. She really gave me the kick I needed and I’m grateful for her support.”
Blanchette received the Powerful Outstanding Women’s Advocate (POWA) award for her volunteer work with area domestic violence crisis agencies, development of a women’s focus group on the campus and her contributions to the Alliance for Women’s Awareness, Rights and Equality (AWARE) program.
Kulig says, “Blanchette was the right candidate for this award because it seems that whenever something needed to be done Maya was always there. She has been the backbone of so many things here and she is an inspiration to us all.” Blanchette holds the following positions on campus: Student Body Vice President, co-founder and former president of AWARE, representative on the President’s Commission for Diversity, a gender-based events coordinator at the Center for Women’s Services and a student representative on the Women’s Studies Council.
The President’s Commission on the Status of Women seeks to identify and address special concerns and issues for women, and to inform the University community of these issues through educational programming. For more information, please contact Anne Kulig at 603-535-2833.
by Sabrina Blanco