Miranda Named President/CEO of Center for Women and Families in Louisville

Photo of Marta Miranda

A national search that attracted more than 1,300 candidates ended with the selection of an Eastern Kentucky University official as the new President and CEO of the Center for Women and Families in Louisville.

Marta Miranda, who has been honored many times for her efforts to raise awareness of and eradicate sexual violence, was officially introduced during ceremonies on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Her last day at EKU is Feb. 15, and she will assume her new responsibilities Feb. 21.

“Marta’s contagious energy, insight and vision are a perfect for the Center,” said Laurie Kemp, chair of the Center’s Board of Directors, who chaired the search committee.

Miranda, who joined EKU in 1994, is an associate professor of social work and has directed the University’s Women and Gender Studies Program for the past five years. This past year, she was co-investigator for a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women that funded EKU-SAFE, a campus violence prevention program focused on bystander training.

A licensed social worker, Miranda has been actively engaged in ending sexual violence in Kentucky since 1996, when she joined the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center as a psychotherapist.

“It’s an incredible challenge, and I’m thrilled, honored and humbled,” Miranda said of her new position. “This will be the capstone, the crown jewel of my 30-year career.”

Dr. Sarah Zeigler, interim dean of university programs, said: “EKU was very fortunate to have the benefit of Marta’s passion for social justice, her dedication to her students, and her willingness to devote her abilities and energy to making Women and Gender Studies a strong and vibrant program. While I will miss her greatly, her new position offers an unparalleled opportunity to continue her work in violence prevention and to change lives. Hers is a powerful voice, and she will make a difference at the Center as she has at EKU.”

Zeigler added that Dr. Linda Frost, director of EKU’s Honors Program and a member of the Women and Gender Studies Advisory Board, will chair the search committee to find Miranda’s successor. The committee will begin its work immediately.

The Center for Women and Families, founded in 1912, offers a variety of services to all survivors of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence. The Center boasts a $4.9 million annual budget, more than 80 staff members and seven regional offices serving 10 counties in the Louisville area: Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana.

While looking forward to her new challenge, Miranda said she is “sad” to leave EKU.

“I love Eastern, and I really have incredible respect and appreciation for what Eastern is about,” she said. “I’m a teacher at heart, and EKU values, respects and supports teaching. That’s where we shine above any university.

“I’ve never been anywhere where there was this strong a commitment to a mission,” she added. “We walk our talk with respect to students being first. That commitment is at the core of why I’ve given my heart and soul to EKU, and I’m proud to have it as part of my life.”

 Looking back at her EKU tenure, Miranda said that, in addition to the EKU-SAFE initiative, she is proud of the growth and success of the Women and Gender Studies Program, particularly:

·         Curriculum expansion from 2 courses to 15.

·         Recruitment of more males into the program.

·         The program’s inclusion in general education.

·         Outreach to academic programs.

·         Funding that allows WGS students to take trips.

·         The addition of the first tenure-track position this coming fall.

·         The engagement of students in applied learning service and scholarship nationally and internationally.

·         The development of a cycle-of-violence video related to intimate partner violence that was distributed nationally for training of front-line staff.

Published on January 13, 2011