March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates the vital role women have played in American history. Generally speaking, when it comes to history, the contributions of women have been largely excluded.
Learn more about a history degree at the university.
Women’s History Month helps shed light on our female history makers. Part of this event is International Women’s Day (March 8), a global event commemorating women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements.
Both events are a good way to commemorate women’s achievements that have benefited our society. They are also a good time to reflect on the vital, often-overlooked contributions of women throughout history and contemporary society.
Two Student Organizations Devoted to Women: AWIS and wSTEM
To celebrate Women’s History Month, AWIS and wSTEM will be hosting guest speaker Dr. Michele Nishiguchi. Dr. Nishiguchi will be speaking about her professional field working as a marine biologist and how she’s overcome adversity and challenges in her field of study. For more information regarding this event, please visit the wSTEM website.
Dr. Shelli Carter, faculty director for the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) says, “I think AWIS and wSTEM provide one of the most valuable services that we know humans need: an opportunity to see others like ‘themselves’ in a particular role or embracing a particular passion.
“The lived experience of a woman is different from that of a man. AWIS and wSTEM, both at the national level and at our university’s chapter level, allow women to see other women as scientists, as thought leaders, and other women who have juggled education, family needs, and life in general in order to obtain a particular title or position.
“Those are powerful examples. By creating an open and welcoming environment, we hope that members will reach out with questions and concerns so that we can continue to offer support.”
Dr. Kristen Drexler, an assistant professor for the School of STEM, adds, “It’s important for AWIS and wSTEM members to have community so they can share valuable information, resources and support for each other in these fields.”
Dr. Drexler says that she draws inspiration from Deb Haaland, New Mexico’s Congresswoman. She noted, “Deb Haaland is from the Laguna Pueblo and was recently nominated as the first American Indian woman to head the Department of the Interior under the Biden-Harris administration.
“Haaland once said, ‘I see it as my duty to leave the ladder down behind me so young women and girls of color know they can be anything they want to be, and I will be here to help them climb that ladder.’ I would say Deb Haaland — and of course, young Greta Thunberg of climate change advocacy fame — are my top two leadership heroes.”
These student organizations are involved in virtual field trips, guest lectures and volunteer service activities. Both organizations are open to all students and alumni in good standing! If you are interested or have questions regarding AWIS or wSTEM, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Student and Alumni Affairs!
Also, be sure to take a moment to celebrate Women’s History Month this March and learn something new! Whether you draw inspiration from a local congresswoman, scholars, pioneering scientists, civil rights activists or women’s suffrage leaders, there are so many powerful and influential women to learn about.