Summers, Hodgesmith named KU Women of Distinction

Summers, Hodgesmith named KU Women of Distinction

Karen Salisbury Henry

Martha Hodgesmith, associate director, and Jean Ann Summers, research director, of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, have been named KU Women of Distinction by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. The women were nominated by KU faculty and staff and are selected for their outstanding contributions to the university and community and beyond.

Hodgesmith and Summers were nominated as part of a group of four KU alumnae who advocate on behalf of people with disabilities. The other two members of the group are KU graduates Ranita Wilks and Katerina Birge.

Hodgesmith received her B.A. and J.D. from KU and has been recognized by the Kansas Women Attorneys Association with the Jenny Mitchell Kellogg Achievement Award (2005); by the Women Attorneys Association of Topeka with the Chief Justice Kay McFarland Award (2012); and by the Kansas Bar Association’s Distinguished Government Service Award.

Summers received her B.G.S. and Ph.D. from KU. She has taken a leadership role in generating over $20 million in grants to develop supports for people with disabilities and their families and enhance training to professionals during 40-year tenure at KU at the Beach Center on Disability and the RTCIL. Summers has also volunteered to help develop funding for various family support organizations, including those serving diverse and low-income communities. She has nearly 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters on families and disability, young children, fatherhood, self-determination, and other research areas.

Each year the Women of Distinction are featured on a calendar and honored at a reception which will be held on August 31 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.