Flowers Receives ATHENA – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Flowers Receives ATHENA

During the Geneva Athena Award ceremony on Thursday, Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Katie Flowers was honored with the Athena Geneva Young Professional Leadership Award, the first time such an award has been presented.

According to award guidelines, “To be eligible, an individual needs to serve as a role model for young women personally and professionally.”

In accepting the award, Flowers thanked her mother: “Mom, you have always been my Athena.”

While serving through AmeriCorps VISTA at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Flowers discovered her passion for community engagement at the collegiate level. She now leads students and community partners in creating sustained, engaged relationships that promote positive community change and enhanced learning.

Beyond the HWS campus and Geneva community, Flowers is often asked by colleagues from around the state for input regarding community engagement with specific regard to K-12 outreach for higher education and the impact that service-learning has on college students. As an advisory board member for New York Campus Compact, the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Flowers plays an important role in influencing policies and practices that impact college students around the state and nation.

“Katie is always enthusiastic and supportive every time a student comes to her with a new idea. She knows exactly how to give you that extra push to ensure that your ideas become a reality,” says Anna Dorman ’14.

Aly McKnight ’13 has worked in CCESL and with Flowers since her first year at William Smith. She says, “Katie has a level of emotional intelligence that is rare in any young professional. She can sense when the students that work with her are being personally impacted by a particular issue, and she will call you into her office to see what she can do. She takes on the well-being of the students and colleagues that she works with as a personal responsibility, understanding that the first step to building successful community organizations is building understanding and honest team spaces for innovation.”

The full article from the Finger Lakes Times follows.

Finger Lakes Times
Adriene Emmo of Seneca Falls named 2013 Athena Geneva Award recipient

Julie Anderson • September 13, 2013

FAYETTE – In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena is well known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment. In contemporary times, those characteristics, along with excellence, creativity, initiative, service and leadership, are celebrated each year in the name of this ancient deity.

Last night, a Seneca Falls businesswoman joined an elite group of Athena Geneva Award recipients.

Adriene Emmo was honored as the ninth Athena Geneva Award recipient in front of a packed banquet room at Ventosa Vineyards. Emmo was selected from a group of three finalists that included Kathleen Crelot, president and CEO of the Finger Lakes Credit Union, and Barbara Pierce-Morrow, executive director of the Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes.

Emmo owns Seneca Falls-based Emmo Consulting. She is a semi-retired Chapter 11 bankruptcy specialist.

Former village of Seneca Falls Mayor Diana Smith, who nominated Emmo, introduced her as the busiest semi-retired person she has ever met.

“Someday, when I grow up, I want to be just like you,” Smith said to a roomful of applause and laughter.

Smith lauded Emmo for not only providing her expertise to a number of professional associates, but bringing her qualities as a mentor and guide into her volunteer work. Emmo has worked extensively in Seneca Falls with a number of organizations celebrating women’s rights and education.

“Many of you don’t know me, but my name is Adriene Emmo and I just won the ATHENA Award,” a smiling Emmo said after stepping to the podium. After taking a moment to thank her family and friends, Emmo commented that most people in the room probably didn’t know her because she preferred to do her work behind the scenes. She said her volunteer efforts never have been about awards, and her work was born out of a love for her community.

Before last night’s ceremony, Emmo underscored the importance of knowing how many important women influenced where we are today.

“Many young women need to have a mentor to help them learn the importance and value of women’s history in this area,” she said.

Emmo became one of roughly 6,200 Athena winners worldwide since the award was created in 1982.

This year, for the first time, an Athena Geneva Young Professional Leadership Award was handed out. Hobart and William Smith Colleges employee Katie Flowers was chosen from a pool of finalists that included Tiffany Collinsworth, Abigail Linsner and Tara Rago.

To be eligible, an individual needs to serve as a role model for young women personally and professionally. Women younger than 40 can be nominated. Flowers, the director for the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at the Colleges, took time to thank her mom, who drove several hours to see her daughter accept the award.

“Mom, you have always been my Athena,” Flowers said.

The other nominees were Collinsworth, an on-air personality and promotion director for the Finger Lakes Radio Group and an anchor on; Linsner, accounting supervisor for the Wayne County Department of Social Services; and Rago, assistant vice president and branch manager at Lyons National Bank’s Geneva outlet.

Patricia Pierson received the first award given last night, the Athena Award for Continuing Education.

State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette, attended the ceremony.

To nominate someone for the 2014 Athena Geneva Award, or to get more information on deadlines and applications, visit the Geneva Chamber of Commerce website at