February 26, 2018

SIU's 2018 Women's History Month celebrates women who fight discrimination

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Types of Discrimination Against Women” is the theme of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s month-long 2018 Women’s History Month celebration. 

Conferences, guest speakers, movies, a retreat, and numerous other activities are planned throughout the month of March. Events are open to the public and most are free. 

The kick-off celebration, set for 5:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Student Services Building, will highlight upcoming activities and include refreshments. Comedienne/actress Jen Kober will hit the stage in the Student Center auditorium for a free performance at 7 p.m. 

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference March 2

Two conferences are slated for Women’s History Month, each covering varied themes.

The sixth annual Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Cross-Disciplinary Conference, “Transitions and Transformations” is March 2 in the Student Center River Rooms. 

The conference, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., will bring together students, faculty and staff from all over campus for collaboration and discussion focusing on women, gender and sexuality across the various academic and life arenas. Research and experiences will be shared. Some workshops include performance, music, poetry or theatrical elements. 

Diversity and Inclusion conference provides education, mentoring and networking

The 2018 Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education Conference is March 22-23. The theme is “Navigating Professional Challenges and Building Opportunities.” 

This professional development opportunity provides educational, mentorship and networking opportunities for higher education professionals and students, helping them better support diversity and inclusiveness. 

It begins with a kick-off event on March 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Grinnell Hall’s upper level. Short multimedia presentations, reminiscent of TED talks, will touch on various diversity and inclusion issues. 

The conference continues the following day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Morris Library. Participants can join in presentations and discussions focusing on challenges, skills, strategies and solutions relative to diversity and inclusion issues. 

Celebrate Women event features awards, scholarships

One of the month’s final events, the Celebrate Women event, takes place March 29 at locations within Morris Library, including the John C. Guyon Auditorium, Hall of Presidents and rotunda. The event incorporates a variety of special presentations, awards and scholarships. 

The 22nd annual event begins with a silent auction at 4:30 p.m. followed by hors d’oeuvres and wine at 5 p.m. and the Celebration of Feminine Strength presentation and award ceremony at 6 p.m. 

All funds raised during the evening go to support scholarships for women. Some awards are announced in advance; some winners will be announced that evening. 

And the winners are…

The Women’s Intersport Network (WIN) for Southern Illinois award winners are:

  • Vicky King – Pioneer Award. King is a double alumnus of SIU’s Physical Education Teacher Education program, former SIU coach, and retired teacher, coach and athletic director at Carbondale Community High School.
  • Haley Karayiannis – Mentor Award. A graduate of SIU’s Physical Education Teacher Education program and a former SIU softball player, she is a teacher and coach at Carbondale Middle School.
  • Rosa Chevalier – Courage Award. Chevalier is a freshman psychology major at SIU and volunteers her time to assist with the Specialized Equine Services and Therapeutic Riding program at Giant City Stables.
  • Drew Stokes – Outstanding Female High School Athlete Award. Stokes is a senior at Murphysboro High School. She is a four-year golf and volleyball player and also played basketball and softball. She will attend the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., next year, where she will major in engineering and play volleyball.

Winners of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) scholarship include:

  • Victoria Mueller – a John A. Logan student who will transfer to SIU in the fall and major in political science/pre-law.
  • Amy Stacey – a master’s student in SIU’s physician assistant program.
  • Kate Robinson – a master’s student in SIU’s physician assistant program.
  • Elizabeth Reynolds – a first-year SIU School of Law student.

Recognition that night will also go to:

  • Top undergraduate and graduate conference presenters from the March 2 Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference.
  • Winners of the Women’s Club scholarships.
  • A UWPA mentoring award recipient.
  • Two junior faculty members who will claim WGSS/UWPA research awards.

Tickets for the Celebrate Women event are $25 each and can be purchased from Martha Ellert of AAUW by emailing msellert@aol.com. All funds raised that evening go to support scholarships for women. 

Leadership retreat wraps up the month

“Lifting as We Climb: Empowering Women through Community and Leadership,” is a two-day leadership retreat, March 30-31, designed to help women strengthen their interpersonal and leadership skills through interactive discussions and presentations. 

The personal development retreat at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, concludes Women’s History Month. 

The $20 registration fee includes meals, activities, materials and transportation from SIU to the camp, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. 

Scholarships are available; email womensleadershipconference@siu.edu for details. Register online or by calling 618/536-7751 no later than March 23.  

More event highlights

Other highlights of Women’s History Month include:

  • “Who Should Count as a Woman on the Playing Field? The Question of Intersex and Trans in Sports,” a lecture by Alice Dreger, the 2017-2018 John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist-in-Residence. Her presentation is at 5 p.m. March 21 in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building courtroom/Room 108 and is free and open to the public; it will be simulcast to the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.
  • “Fighting for Diversity,” a panel discussion featuring women from SIU and the surrounding community sharing their experiences, March 27, 3-4:30 p.m., Morris Library’s. Guyon Auditorium.
  • “Take a Lady to Lunch” – members of the SIU community are encouraged to invite a colleague for lunch and networking, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., March 29, at the Old Main Room at the Student Center. (There is a charge for the meal.) 

Additional information

Find the complete schedule of events and additional information online or call 618/453-3740 for details. 

Sponsors of Women’s History Month and its various events include:

  • The Student Multicultural Resource Center/Women’s Resource Center
  • The Women, Gender and Sexualities Department
  • The American Association of University Women
  • The Women’s Intersport Network for Southern Illinois, Student Affairs
  • The University Women’s Professional Advancement
  • The Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity
  • Touch of Nature Environmental Center
  • Morris Library
  • The SIU School of Law
  • New Student Programs
  • The College of Business
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • The Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism
  • The Society of Women Engineers
  • Success in Engineering through Excellence and Diversity
  • The Women’s Resource Center
  • The Black Staff and Faculty Council
  • The SIU System Diversity Advisory Council