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TWU announces 2008 distinguished alumni


DENTON — Three women with distinctive careers in higher education have been named as the 2008 Distinguished Alumni by Texas Woman’s University and the TWU Former Students Association.

Dr. Anita Cowan, TWU associate professor emerita in sociology and social work; Dr. Darlene A. Kluka, professor in the Department of Biokinetics, Sports and Leisure Sciences at the University of Pretoria in South Africa; and Dr. Sally A. Roden, associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies for the University of Central Arkansas, will be recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon on April 26.

The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Southeast Ballroom of Hubbard Hall. Tickets are $25. For more information or tickets, call the TWU Office of Alumni Relations at (940) 898-2586 or visit www.twu.edu/alum.

Dr. Anita Cowan

Dr. Cowan taught in TWU’s Department of Sociology and Social Work for more than 30 years before retiring as an associate professor emerita in 2003. She graduated from TWU in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She received her MSW from Columbia University and a master’s in anthropology and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Southern Methodist University.

During her tenure at TWU, Dr. Cowan served as the director of the TWU social work program in addition to her varied teaching duties. She taught summer international courses in Mexico and led more than 70 class-related field trips to sites in Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico. Dr. Cowan’s research conducted in Mexico led to the creation of a team-taught course on societies in development and a weekend course on the anthropology of immigration. Her study of and interaction with Native Americans and volunteer activities with the Dallas Intertribal Clinic provided experiential support for a course on Native Americans in Contemporary Society at TWU, which Dr. Cowan developed and taught for 30 years.

Dr. Cowan is a leader in the development of undergraduate social work education and has served as a consultant to other social work programs including as a site visitor for re-accreditation. She served two terms as the president of the Texas Association of Social Work Educators and was an officer in the national Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors for 12 years. She also has been recognized by the Denton chapter of the National Association of Social Workers with the Social Worker of the Year Award and with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Being named a Distinguished Alumni of TWU is a culmination of the good fortune I have received from the university, including a legacy of family loyalty to the school, the skills of the outstanding teachers and administrators who entrusted an education to me during my undergraduate years, and, finally, the opportunity to be among the faculty for more than three decades,” Dr. Cowan said. “I dedicate this honor to my family, former teachers and classmates, and to the generations of students who shared with me the belief that graduation from this great university is a process that goes on until the last days of our lives.”

Dr. Darlene A. Kluka

Dr. Kluka is recognized as an international scholar who has devoted her life to advancing the role of women in sport and promoting women’s empowerment through sport. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University in health and physical education/athletic administration and her Ph.D. in physical education-motor learning from TWU in 1985.

Dr. Kluka currently is completing work on a second doctorate in sport management at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She also is a professor in UP’s Department of Biokinetics, Sports and Leisure Sciences, where she is the first woman to be named as an “Extraordinary Professor.” She has been professor and director of the Global Center for Social Change through Women’s Leadership and Sport at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has held teaching positions at Grambling State University and the University of Central Oklahoma.

Dr. Kluka is active in many professional associations at the state, regional, national and international levels. She currently serves as the president of the International Association of Sport and Physical Education for Girls and Women, as the editorial board chair of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education and as the editor of Women, Sport, and Physical Activity Journal.

A prolific writer, Dr. Kluka has written two textbooks, edited or co-edited five books and written chapters in eight textbooks. She also has published more than 100 articles in reference journals and has presented more than 300 professional papers on five continents.
Her many accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards nationally and internationally, including being named the first recipient of the Distinguished Scholar in Sport and Olympic Movement Award given by the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance. She also has received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Association of University Professors and an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Illinois State University Alumnae Association.

“I have been blessed with receiving several awards during my career, but this one touches me most deeply,” Dr. Kluka said. “Texas Woman’s University played a large role in my professional development. The caliber of its faculty, staff and graduates is extraordinary. The professors in the Department of Kinesiology, in particular, demanded only the best from their doctoral students. As a result, graduates are in leadership positions across the world.”

Dr. Sally A. Roden

Dr. Roden has been involved in teaching and administration at the junior high and university levels for nearly 50 years. Since 1969, she has been at the University of Central Arkansas, where she currently serves as associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies and director of the living and learning communities program. She graduated from TWU in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in speech and drama/history. She received her master’s and an Ed.D. degree from the University of North Texas.

At UCA, Dr. Roden has been honored with the Diversity Award by the African American Alumni Association; with the Outstanding and Devoted Professor Award by the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority; and as the Faculty Favorite of UCA Students. Under her leadership as the director of forensics, her students captured 160 trophies.

Dr. Roden has been a leader in her professional associations and has been the recipient of many honors, including the Arkansas Speech Teacher of the Year, the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award and the Noel-Levitz Excellence Retention Award. She also has received the Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award — a national award given to the 10 American higher educators who have done the most outstanding work in improving the success of new students on their respective campuses by the National Center for the Freshman Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Dr. Roden is credited with being the guiding force at her institution for three decades for all major institution-wide initiatives to improve student success. As an expert in the area of retention, she serves on the Task Force on Higher Education Remediation, Retention and Graduation Rates for the State of Arkansas.

“My years at TWU gave me the foundation and background which have supported my career achievements and successes,” Dr. Roden said. “I am honored to have been named a Distinguished Alumni by the institution that has given me so much.”



Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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