Kansas women recognized in honor of 19th amendment centennial

Capitol Bureau

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Tuesday, August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, or a women’s right to vote. In honor of the centennial, the Kansas 19th Amendment Centennial committee was formed.

In honor of the anniversary, the committee created an award to honor four Kansas women who have made an impact in one of four categories: service, civics and community, education and business. Nominations were accepted and third-party judges chose the four winners.

The winners are: for business Michelle White “Miki” Bowman, for education Aryn L. McCoy, for civics and community Honorable Marla Luckert and for service Lori Boyajian-O’Neill. Read more about the winners below.

“When I read each of their bios I said, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to meet each one of these women in person,'” said Catherine Linaweaver, President of the Kansas 19th Amendment Centennial. “They’ve done amazing things in their field that have had an impact on other people. That’s the type of legacy we want our younger girls to model after and want to become that woman.”

The women will be honored in a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon where they will hear a message from Governor Laura Kelly as well as receive a trophy, pin and sash.

The Kansas 19th Amendment Centennial committee originally had four days worth of events planned, that were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. Catherine Linaweaver hopes people will still celebrate and remember the legacy of the women who fought for the 19th Amendment.

“We really want to get this out to the public because I’m afraid the anniversary will come and go and people will forget and it’s just so important,” said Linaweaver.

Read more about the four winners below:

BUSINESS: Michelle White “Miki” Bowman

Michelle White “Miki” Bowman is a University of Kansas and Washburn University of Law-educated attorney who serves as Governor on the Federal Reserve Board. In April 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Bowman to fill the 14-year term of Stanley Fischer on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors as well as to occupy the seat on the Board that represents community banks. She is the first person and the first woman to fill the community bank seat created in 2015.

Bowman has a long list of achievements: she served as the first woman  commissioner to the Kansas Banking Commission and has held senior staff positions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”)  and Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) during the George W. Bush administration as Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (FEMA) and  Deputy Assistant Secretary and Policy Advisor to Secretary Tom Ridge (DHS). In addition, she was an intern for Senator Bob Dole, served as counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and later was appointed to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

In 2004 Bowman started her own public affairs and consulting business, the Bowman Group, and chaired Republicans Abroad UK. She also joined her family’s bank, Farmers & Drovers Bank, as Vice President, before being tapped by then Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to become the Kansas banking commissioner.

The four were selected to represent the spirit of the Suffragists who fought long and hard for the women’s right to vote.  These four women have served their communities well. The categories are:  Service, Civics and Community, Education and Business.

EDUCATION: Aryn L. McCoy

Aryn L. McCoy is the Principal of Capital City Schools where she has shown unwavering passion and commitment to her students, providing emotional support and guidance to her young charges as well as to staff and parents. Her motto has always been “First, Do What’s Best for the Kids!”

Her colleagues are touched by the inspiration and support she provides to her students to strive for success.  Before coming to Capital City Schools, McCoy served as head softball coach at Topeka High School for 17 years and ingrained in her student athletes to carry that zest for hard work, self-improvement, and winning into the classroom. In her last five years of coaching 100% of her senior students attended college on softball scholarships.

Beyond assisting and encouraging others, McCoy has delivered a true impact on education. She is a strong advocate for equity in at-risk, educational settings. She has provided opportunities for deficient students to obtain additional credits for on-time graduation and has made possible additional opportunities for students to obtain elective credits through courses that interest them, thus removing the stigma of “falling behind.”

CIVICS & COMMUNITY: The Honorable Marla Luckert

The Honorable Marla Luckert serves as Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. She was selected for her extraordinary commitment to justice and the rule of law.

Chief Justice Luckert is the second woman appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court and she has served in her position tirelessly. Chief Justice Luckert organized and created the Kansas Women Attorneys’ Association annual conference in 1989 which is held yearly on the Bethany College campus in Lindsborg, KS and provides networking opportunities for legal professionals throughout the state. On the Associations’ 30th anniversary, Chief Justice Luckert, who is a regular presenter, presented alongside her daughter, also a lawyer, to the applause of many who revere her as a friend and colleague.

Her colleagues laud her “…for helping to develop our state-wide legal and professional connections which has deeply benefited all of us as we pursue our careers. When the conference first began, women were not elected into leadership positions in our bar organizations. Now, there are women leaders aplenty in our local and statewide bar associations. The conference has attracted nationally known speakers and the programs held every year contribute to the professionalism of the lawyers in this state.”

SERVICE: Lori A. Boyajian-O’Neill, D.O., F.A.O.S.M, F.A.C.O.F.P

Lori Boyajian-O’Neill is the Director of West Sports Medicine Physicians where she specializes in care of athletes and individuals of all ages with musculoskeletal conditions. She is particularly involved in the all-over health of her patients with life-long exercise as a goal to optimum health.

Boyajian-O’Neill is known as a “physicians’ physician” but is better known as a “compassionate doctor who treats her patients with the upmost kindness, is sympathetic to her clients’ time and works around their schedules and has a great bedside manner.”

A member of the American College of Sports Medicine Team Physician Consensus Conference, Boyajian-O’Neill is a founder of Global Event Medicine which oversees medical care of mass participation events such as USA Cycling, USA Triathlon, USA Volleyball and USA Amateur Softball. She has served as a physician at the Ironman (TM) Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, and has provided medical care at the LPGA Northwest Arkansas Gold and USA Senior PGA. She has written scientific articles for the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, the Journal of American Medical Association among others.

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