Hawkins, an Exeter resident, has served as the liaison between URI and the Special Olympics State Summer Games management team for the last fifteen years, donating countless hours to the Games’ success. She keeps the athletes, coaches, and family members in mind when making decisions on behalf of the University, and is known as the “unsung hero” who is committed and dedicated to the Special Olympics’ mission.
“ I make sure the set-up of all indoor events and activities, such as moving tables, chairs, putting protective tarps down on the gym floors, and opening up the sand pit for the long jump event are completed,” Hawkins said. “Basically, I work behind the scene to insure that the games run as smoothly as possible – whatever needs to be done – I do it,” she said.
Originally from Chicago, Hawkins received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University and two masters’ degrees in administration of parks and community and college student personnel from Southern Illinois University. She worked at Washington University in St. Louis for six years as its athletic facilities manager before taking the job at URI.
Hawkins says she always looks forward to the first weekend in June to volunteer her time. “I’ve met so many great people – athletes, coaches and other volunteers. We work well together as a team.”
URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno photography