Kira Hudson Banks
Sept. 29, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Kira Hudson Banks, assistant professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University, has received the Athena Award, which recognizes high levels of professional excellence, efforts to open leadership to other women and commitment of time and energy to the community.
The award, sponsored by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division, was announced Thursday, Sept. 28, at an event with Martha Mertz, founder of Athena International, as the keynote speaker. Banks was among 12 nominees for the award from the community.
Banks also was among the “20 Under 40” young community leaders recognized by the Pantagraph in a Sept. 20 issue.
Banks partnered with the McLean County Urban League to bring a pilot math and science program for middle-school girls to the Twin Cities. The GO-GIRL (Gaining Options: Girls Exploring Real Life) program encourages girls to remain involved in math and science classes throughout high school and college. For the Bloomington-Normal pilot program, 11 junior high girls met with mentors and supervisors twice weekly for after-school tutoring sessions at the local branch of the McLean County Urban League.
Banks joined the Illinois Wesleyan faculty in 2004. Her involvement in the local community has included mentoring and tutoring elementary school children through the Discovery Learning Program at the Western Avenue Community Center. Banks also has been involved as a volunteer with Special Olympics, Walk for Life and the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis.
Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181