By Joseph Pratt
Shawnee State University’s (SSU) Women’s Center announced Kris Liles, executive secretary in the Office of the Provost is this year’s recipient of the James P. Chapman Distinguished Service Award.
“The day I accepted the award I counted my time here as a blessing to have been able to work with some remarkable people and maybe working with these remarkable people pushed me towards being a better person and I am grateful for that,” Liles said.
The award honors an SSU employee who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women at the university.
“I’ve had a long range of involvement with the Women’s Center, back when the Women’s Center first started. Tess Midkiff and I worked together for eleven years. She was the director of the library and was very involved with the women’s center. I think a lot of my work came from just supporting her,” Liles said. “There have also been various activities that I’ve supported throughout the years for the center.”
The requirements include increasing awareness of gender-related issues affecting the status of women within academia and the workplace, addressing the specific concerns of women within Appalachian culture and encouraging the establishment of academic programs concentrated in the study of women’s issues.
Recipients also support programming which will increase self-esteem and personal expectations of women, creating an atmosphere in which women are offered the same opportunities available to others within the university community. Liles also served as a key mover in actions that resulted in increased professional and academic development and accomplishment.
Recipients must be nominated through a letter of recommendation that explains how the candidate exhibits each of these traits to the effect of playing a noteworthy role in the advancement of women as the university and are selected by the Women’s Center Advisory Committee.
Liles began her career at SSU in 1989, working with the university for 25 years. Following time in the Financial Aid Office and the library, she worked in the Office of the Provost for 11 years, eventually rising to her current position as executive secretary. She plans to retire at the beginning of June.
“I’m proud of Shawnee State and I feel like it is the shining star of southern Ohio,” Liles said. “I have very mixed emotions about retiring, because when you’ve worked at a place for 25 years, it is more than an employer, you make friends and it is a big part of your life.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.