It’s Official, SC Graduate Makes History in Kansas

Southwestern College graduate Carmen Doramus-Kinley is living proof that good things come to those who work hard.

Carmen Doramus-Kinley - HeadshotIn October, Doramus-Kinley became the first female in Kansas to wear the white hat and officiate a high school football game in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League.  She followed that up by being on the first KCAC playoff crew selected and the first female to officiate the NAIA National Football Championship in December held in Durham, N.C. She was also recognized as the first female to officiate a National Football Championship at any level.

Doramus-Kinley graduated from Southwestern College in 1998 with a bachelor of science degree.  While at SC, she excelled in the classroom as well as on the volleyball and basketball court.  She then earned her postgraduate degree at West Virginia University.  She knew she couldn’t play sports forever but still wanted to be a part of the game.  So she took up officiating.

Volleyball officiating came first followed by basketball.  Four years ago, she decided to take up officiating football.  She attended many camps and clinics to perfect her craft.  She started as a back judge, then moved to line judge before getting the opportunity to be the referee, otherwise known as the “white hat" this past high school season. 

“There were some nerves for sure, especially with the TV cameras for that game as well as working a National Championship game on ESPN3" she says.  “I hope little girls see me out there and know that they can do it too.  I tell my son that he can do, and be, anything he wants to be if he puts in the work and keeps striving to achieve his dreams.”

Doramus-Kinley points out that the support and love that she received from her parents has led her to her successes.

“My parents have been so dedicated and supportive,” she says.  “When I was playing at Southwestern, they never missed a game; they were always in the stands.”

She also credits the faculty at SC.

“Claudia Geer and Phil Schmidt stick out to me,” Doramus-Kinley says.  "They were my advisors and placed me in spots to succeed.”

Carmen Doramus-Kinley officiating a gameDoramus-Kinley and her husband, Keith, also a Southwestern graduate, live in Wichita.  Her schedule is hectic with her job as a CARE consultant for UMR, currently officiating high school and college basketball games, and is an adjunct professor at Southwestern this semester teaching game rules and officiating. In that class, she is focused on teaching more than just rules of the game.  She is educating students about the importance of goal setting, mental training and conflict management. She says that with all of that, family comes first for her.

“Sleep is probably the one thing that gets the least attention right now,” she says.  “But my family always comes first.  I make sure that I'm the first person my son sees in the morning. Especially with officiating, my days can be challenging, but the athletes deserve the best, and that is what I am trying to do every time I step on the court or the field.”

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