Buffalo Magazine has included Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner in its cover story about high-profile women leaders in Western New York. President Conway-Turner, along with the nine other women featured in the story, has been named a finalist for an ATHENA Leadership award. The award is given to individuals who have “achieved professional and personal success, given back to their communities, and supported women professionals in the region.”
When asked what the biggest obstacle she had to overcome in life and how it changed her, President Conway-Turner responded, “Probably launching to college. My generation is the first to go to college and we were extremely poor. So it took grit to even think of going to college and even more grit to navigate how to fund it. In my town, few students and even fewer African Americans thought of college in the 1970s. I did not have family who understood how to achieve higher education and my high school counselor did not think African American students should aspire to college. I believe my initial hurdle was the highest and the hardest. Since then, obstacles have been scaled using the grit and determination I learned early.”
An addition question was “How do you feel this region either promotes or inhibits growth as a career woman?”
“The region has many amazing women that are in leadership and in the pipeline. However, I stress with my communities the importance of representative leadership," said President Conway-Turner. "We need to continue to open opportunities for more women and girls of all backgrounds so that leaders moving forward are representative of our community.”
The 27th annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Convention Center.
Pictured (left to right): Yvonne Minor-Ragan, president and CEO of YMRagan Consulting; President Conway-Turner; Anne Constantino, president and CEO of Horizon; Ellen Grant, senior vice president of chapter programming at Say Yes to Education.