2007 Graduate Dean's Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sponsored Programs

Ms. Malinda Cowles
Associate Director,Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement
Project Title: The Haven Project

Ms. Malinda Cowles, currently the Associate Director for Student Life at IUP, has spent much of her professional career here. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, with a minor in Psychology in 1980. She received her Master of Arts Degree in Adult and Community Education in 1987 while working as a critical care nurse educator. She returned to IUP as the Coordinator of Health Education at the University Health Services and in 1998 was promoted to the Associate Director for Health Education. In 2001, she moved to her current position when Health Education was included into the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement. In addition to her experience in higher education, Ms. Cowles is certified as a licensed RN, as a Health Education Specialist, and as an HIV Antibody Testing Counselor.

Ms. Cowles is active within the IUP community as well. She serves on the Diversity Council, the Rules Committee of the University Senate, the President's Commission on the Status of Women, the Safe Zone Training Committee, and the University Judicial Board. She also serves as chairperson of the University HIV Committee and co-chairperson of the IUP/Indiana Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention.. She uses her extensive knowledge of student issues on campus to develop programs to encourage safety and participation, including the Bella Program, a women's leadership program for IUP undergraduate women, and the Just and Caring Community Initiative, which implemented a student leader initiative to involve student organizations in participating with programs and discussions about campus climate and issues of diversity. She has also presented on these issues at several professional conferences.

Ms. Cowles has been working for four years with consecutive funding on the Haven Project, a comprehensive project to address violence against women. With funding from the US Department of Justice, the project is designed to provide personnel training, technical assistance, and data collection in order to increase apprehension, investigation, and adjudication of persons committing violent crimes against women. It also is used to expand victim services, increase prevention education, and train both law enforcement and judicial board members. She works collaboratively with the Alice Paul House in Indiana (a women's abuse shelter & assistance agency) and many of the on-campus student organizations. Ms. Cowles has been recognized for her efforts by IUP student organizations including "Creating Sisterhood Award" in 2004 by the Women's Studies Dept, recognized for leadership, service and contributions to the Safe Zone committee 1999-2004, and recognized for her service and contributions toward creating a more inclusive and affirming campus community in April 2003 by the Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.