March 17, 2016

Three Vanderbilt faculty, staff nominated for 2016 ATHENA Award

Bonnie Dow, Michele Johnson and Kristy Sinkfield are among the nominees for the 2016 ATHENA Award from Nashville Cable.

Three Vanderbilt faculty and staff members are among the nominees for the 2016 ATHENA Award, which each year recognizes women from Nashville and Middle Tennessee who exemplify leadership, superior performance, commitment to community and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues.

The award will be announced at the Nashville ATHENA Award and Scholarship Program to be held at the Parthenon in Centennial Park March 31. The ATHENA Award is a program of Nashville Cable, a professional networking organization with more than 500 members focused on helping women reach their full potential. The ATHENA Award program is in its 26th year.

The 2016 Vanderbilt nominees are:

Bonnie Dow (Vanderbilt)
Bonnie Dow (Vanderbilt)

Bonnie Dow, professor and chair of communication studies and professor of women’s and gender studies. She is the author of Watching Women’s Liberation, 1970: Feminism’s Pivotal Year on the Network News and Prime-Time Feminism: Television, Media Culture, and the Women’s Movement Since 1970. She is a co-founder and treasurer of Women for Tennessee’s Future, a political action committee dedicated to the election of progressive women to local and state offices in Tennessee. She is also co-vice president for membership for the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee.


Michele Johnson

Michele Johnson, adjunct professor of law and co-founder and executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center. Johnson teaches poverty law at Vanderbilt. The focus of her nationally recognized legal work at TJC has been children with special health care needs. In that role, she lobbied successfully to extend health care coverage to uninsured children in working families and participated in a landmark case establishing appeal rights for TennCare patients who are denied care by their HMO. As lead counsel, she negotiated a class action settlement requiring comprehensive reform of health care for 665,000 Tennessee children enrolled in TennCare.

Kristy Sinkfield

Kristy Sinkfield, director for strategy and innovation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Sinkfield provides leadership and facilitative services that assist customers in achieving their strategic goals. She is dedicated to teaching, training and advocacy, especially for at-risk youth and women’s causes. As a leader in statewide religious organizations, she works to develop partnerships with other members of the faith community to build relationships and community. She worked closely with Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam and other community leaders to organize the nonpartisan program First Ladies for Healthy Babies, which brought together first ladies of Nashville-area churches to encourage pre- and post-natal care and healthy children.

The March 31 awards program is from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are required and are available for purchase on the Nashville Cable website.