Women’s History Month at SMSU

Kim Watkins, News Editor

In honor of Women’s History Month, there are a number of events that have been planned at Southwest Minnesota State University. Many events have been happening around campus and are continuing throughout the month of March.
A panel discussion was held on Tuesday, March 13 presented by Joan Gittens, history professor at SMSU. “Mary Chestnut’s Diary: A Southern Women Views the War” was the title of the discussion, with a look at the history of the Civil War from a woman’s point of view. The diary was dated from early 1861 to mid-1865.
Other Women’s History Month events will include:
•March 21 – Poetry Reading from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in CH 217
-The poetry of Kay Ryan and Allison Joseph will be presented. Readers include: Elizabeth Blair, Pat Brace, Vicky Brockman, Elizabeth Brown, Jan Loft, Susan McLean, Sandy Mosch, Ashley Nyren, Hilary Rasmussen, Derick Schultz, Ruthe Thompson and Marianne Zarzana.
•March 27 – Panel Discussion on “Alice Hamilton: The Scientist As Social Reformer”  presented by Joan Gittens from 12-1:15 p.m. in CH 217
-Alice Hamilton had passion for both social reform and scientific research. She used Industrial Medicine as a way to bring both of her passions together in her life’s work.
•March 28 – “Images of Women” art exhibit starting at 12 p.m. in the Women’s Center (SC 239)
•March 28 – “Telling Women’s Stories” starting at 12:30 p.m. in the Women’s Center
-The art exhibit will feature the work of students. The winners of the “Telling Women’s Stories” contest include: Rebecca Cook in first place, Meghan Harmening in second place and Melissa Peterson in third place. They will all present their work at the event.
These events are sponsored by the SMSU Women’s Studies Committee. All events are free and open to the public.
“Women’s History Month is important because it is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to appreciate their role in the broader history. That is something that is not always easy to do, since for so much of human history, women’s lives were private and not part of the public record,” Joan Gittens said.
“And when women made notable contributions, they were often ignored or trivialized.  Women’s History Month can help to bring women’s stories out of obscurity and help us to appreciate our foremothers,” Gittens said.
These events are a great opportunity for students and faculty to learn more about Women’s History month and learn about women who have made their mark in the history books.
Women’s History Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1911 and is currently celebrated in the countries of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and many other countries across the globe.
The Girl Scouts of the USA are one of many groups who promote this event across the nation.
100 years of women’s history has been celebrated every March in our nation. Let’s make the 101st year count.
So join in and learn more about women’s history all through March here at SMSU.
For more information about Women’s History month at SMSU, go to the SMSU Home page.
There are many posters around campus that have information on these events also.