Island University Celebrates Visionary Women in March

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – According to the Women’s History Alliance web site, the origins of Women’s History Month can be traced back to the introduction of a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978 by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County, California, Commission on the Status of Women. The success of the initial event in California inspired a wave of similar celebrations across the U.S., and in 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.

At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, co-chairs of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and Minor, Dr. Lisa Comparini (Associate Professor of Psychology), Dr. Beth Robinson, (Professional Assistant Professor of History), Dr. Sandrine Sanos (Associate Professor of Modern European History), and Dr. Jennifer Sorensen (Assistant Professor of English) have for the last three years organized activities for Women’s History Month. Organization of the monthlong calendar of events as well as two key events themselves, the Feminist Zine Panel & Workshop kickoff event on March 1 and the keynote address on March 21, are funded by the Dr. Miriam Wagenschein Endowment. This year’s keynote address features world-renowned historian Joan Scott, who is Harold F. Linder Professor Emerita at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She  will speak to students, faculty, and community about "Gender and Politics" in the University Center, Anchor Room AB, at 5 p.m. Another notable event will be the interdisciplinary graduate conference with plenary address by Professor Sarah Allison of Loyola University. She will talk about “Personal Narrative and Public Advocacy in Hannah Gadsby’s nth performance of Nanette” in the Oso room of the University Center at 5:30 p.m. on March 28.

On International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8), The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Presents Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales from 10 to 10:30 a.m. in University Center Jetty 123. Project GRAD will present an exhibit called “Forgotten Women: Female Powerhouses History Forgot” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in University Center Anchor Ballroom C.

As the first woman to lead the Island University, President Kelly Quintanilla noted some of the obstacles that women have overcome thus far as well as some of the hurdles that remain in her keynote address at the University Center Anchor Ballroom on Tuesday, March 5. Women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and women earn 60 percent of all undergraduate and 60 percent of all master’s degrees, Dr. Quintanilla said, adding that women are 47 percent of the workforce and women hold 42 percent of all professional-level jobs.

“However, we are only 14.6 percent of executive officers; we are only 8.6 percent of top earners and we are only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs,” Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla encouraged the audience to see opportunity where others might see barriers.

“Let the barriers become the fuel that make you work harder, that make you work faster, make you work stronger,” she said.

Click on the link to see a full schedule of Women’s History Month events at the Island University.