February 01, 2019

Retired Lt. Colonel Kate Germano to speak at SIU’s annual Celebrate Women reception

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Honor “Visionary Women” and help support scholarships during Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 23rd annual “Celebrate Women: Honoring Inclusive Excellence” reception and awards ceremony, March 21.

The reception is a celebration, an awards presentation and a scholarship fundraiser all rolled into one. Tickets are now available. The evening celebrates the successes of women both on-campus and in the community while also raising money to fund scholarships to help more women reach their goals.

Female Marine officer is special guest

Retired Lt. Colonel Kate Germano will be the special guest speaker for the event. Germano is the former commander of the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island and she co-authored the book “Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines are Trained” with Kelly Kennedy.

Her military career encompassed 20 years of service as a United States Marine Corps officer and combat veteran. When she took command of the Parris Island post, which exclusively trains female recruits, she raised expectations for the women and in response, their shooting qualifications equaled those of men, injuries dropped and morale improved. She was then relieved of her command.

Nevertheless, she continued her fight against reduced expectations for women and has gained national attention for her fight against sexism and bias not only within the military but in other segments of American society, including the government and the education and corporate systems. Her writings on topics such as national security, gender and leadership have been published in a wide variety of national media including the New York Times, TIME magazine, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. She has appeared on NPR, Vice News Tonight, C-Span and the PBS NewsHour, to name a few.

Germano will share her insights about appreciating different perspectives, backgrounds and beliefs, identifying and removing emotional blocks to communication and community, and improving individual and team results and the organizational structure to build success.

Awards and scholarships recognize accomplished women

A variety of awards will be presented and recognition will be given to a number of deserving women during the celebration, including annual scholarships presented by the American Association of University Women and the SIU Women’s Club.

Activities begin at 4:30 p.m.

There’s a full slate of activities planned that evening at various locations within Morris Library: the rotunda, the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors and the John C. Guyon Auditorium.

The event begins with a silent auction at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 5:45 p.m. The reception, featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres is set for 5-6 p.m. with the awards from 6 to 7 p.m. Only guests 21 and older will be served wine.

Get tickets now

Tickets are now available for Celebrate Women. They are $25 each or $15 for SIU students with a valid ID. They can be purchased by contacting Martha Ellert of AAUW at 618/521-0613 or msellert@aol.com.

Sponsors welcome

Event sponsors include Idea Creative Marketing, Silkworm, Centennial Roots, College of Liberal Arts, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Cristina Pisoni State Farm representative, Analisa Parker Attorney at Law, Just Josh 24 hr Cleaning Service and Alto Vineyards. Additional sponsors are welcome. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or the event itself, contact Bobbi Knapp, kinesiology associate professor, at bknapp@siu.edu.

Part of a larger celebration

“Celebrate Women: Honoring Inclusive Excellence” is one of the numerous activities slated during Women’s History Month at SIU.

Co-hosts of the Celebrate Women event include SIU’s WGSS, the Department of Kinesiology, the Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity and the Carbondale branch of the AAUW. Crystal’s Catering and More is catering the reception.