Dr. Kabes Honored with Cowan Award

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For nine years, Dr. Sharon Kabes has been a member of the Southwest Minnesota State University family. She is a professor of education at the school and has worked hard to help the development and process of many committees and programs at this school and the community.
For her achievements and her work ethic over the many years, she is the ninth recipient to receive the Cathy Cowan Award.
“I feel very honored to receive an award in her name. Just who she was and how people have described, I feel highly honored. It was a great surprise,” she said.
Catharine Cowan was a former psychology professor at SMSU, who passed away in 2001. The Cathy Cowan Award rewards those who have worked for the University and have helped SMSU move forward with new, innovative ideas and contributions.
In her nine years at SMSU, Dr. Kabes has worked with a number of committees in the school. In her early years here, she worked on the development of graduate-level programs. In her second year, she was the chair of the Graduate Counsel committee.
“There was no policy for graduate-level programs, so I helped in leading a committee that worked to approve one. The Graduate Counsel worked to approve faculty for graduate classes. Now there is a Graduate Faculty Committee which has a broader responsibility,” Dr. Kabes said.
Another major project that Dr. Kabes has been a part of is the development of the Thailand International program. This program gives students from Thailand – in Educational Administration and Curriculum & Instruction – the opportunity to come to SMSU for a 3-week stay in Minn. It was initiated by Bob Larsen, coordinator of personal development and director of counseling at SMSU.
Next fall will be the fifth year of the International Thailand program. In the first year, there were around 12 doctoral students; this past year there were around 36 visitors and next year there will be around thirty-five.
Another committee that Dr. Kabes has been a part of is the Graduate Curriculum committee.
Committees like this one are helping in the process of building up graduate programs at SMSU. Master degrees are being offered at SMSU in the departments of Business, Education and, most recently, P.E. Coaching.
One of the most recent committees Dr. Kabes has contributed to is the Administrative Licensure Program. It is a program that will help train K-12 principals, special education directors and superintendents. It will be an opportunity to receive a degree in Education Specialist, which is in between a Master’s and a Doctorate.
“It was reviewed last year and the program review was approved. We are now in the process of rewriting and we will go to the board for approval and if approved, we will be able to offer those courses around June 2013,” Dr. Kabes said.
Other committees that Dr. Kabes has been a part of include the Indigenous Studies committee, the Multicultural Diversity committee and the recent Winston Gittens Anti-Racism Committee.
“We need to be supportive of diversity of all kinds and find that each person has uniqueness and give themselves the best that they can and recognize that in all students…they can make a difference,” Dr. Kabes said.
“My goal is to be a servant leader in whatever role I play – high school principal or SMSU professor – that’s who I am,” Dr. Kabes said.
The Spur wishes to bestow sincere congratulations to Dr. Sharon Kabes for receiving the prestigious Cathy Cowan award.

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