Women's History Month expands on DePaul's legacy
February 20, 2012
In 1925, the highest-ranking female staff member in DePaul’s administration was Ann L. Boucher, the university’s inaugural dean of women.
Her purpose, though unremarkable by today’s standards, meant good things for the world of women’s education. DePaul had started admitting women into full-time programs beginning in 1916-17, making it the first Catholic university to do so. That school year, 35 women enrolled in the college, in law or in commerce, and more than 200 women, mostly from religious orders, attended DePaul’s teacher training institutes.
Five years later, female students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were 40 percent of the total student body. According to the DePaulian yearbook, “Increasing enrollment of coeds in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences demanded the appointment of someone who would be able to come into immediate contact with them and direct them in their activities.”
Women face modern-day issues
So many great strides have occurred in the intervening years that it may be easy to forget that women still face societal and workplace struggles. With that in mind, the Women’s Center at DePaul has organized events for the upcoming Women’s History Month around a provocative theme: “What Do Women Still Want?”
Elsa Saeta, director of the Women’s Center, posed that very question to the center’s Facebook followers earlier this year. “The responses captured many of the issues that remain unresolved, including equitable pay, flexible schedules, affordable and accessible child care and a safe work-environment,” Saeta says.
Career advancement and finding a balance between family and work are topics of discussion that are mentioned most frequently to the DePaul Women’s Network (DWN), an organization devoted to encouraging networking, idea sharing and professional development among DePaul’s female faculty and staff. Saeta encourages women to participate in the DWN and use its event programming as a career resource.
“We can learn from and with each other in so many ways, but first we need to actually meet women from all over the university and discover their unique talents that can benefit the community,” says Ann Marie Klotz, president of DWN and assistant director for selection and training in residential education.
Women have made outstanding contributions to the DePaul community, and those contributions will continue to grow, Klotz says. “It’s important to recognize that the good work of St. Louise continues to influence our institution,” she says. “Women’s History Month celebrates the female students, alumnae, faculty and staff who support the mission of the university every single day.”
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH EVENTS
Luncheon and roundtable
Eighth Annual Women’s History Month: “What Do Women Still Want?”
Thursday, March 1, 12:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park Student Center, Room 120
- Mischelle Causey Drake, an alumna of DePaul’s College of Law and the chief operating officer and general counsel of Jane Addams Hull House Association
- Mona Noriega, commissioner of the city’s department of human relations
- K. Sujata, president and CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women
Moderated by Ann Russo, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
Thursday, March 1, Lincoln Park Student Center, Room 120 at 6:30 p.m.
- Misty De Berry, a Chicago-based writer and actress
- Laila Farah, associate professor and graduate director in Women’s and Gender Studies
- Kimberlee Perez, an intercultural communication instructor in the College of Communication
Moderated by Francesca Royster, associate professor and director of African and Black Diaspora Studies
DePaul Women’s Network Annual Event
Defining Your Purpose in an Evolving Organization
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lincoln Park Student Center
Keynote: Sallye McKee, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services at Roosevelt University
Choice of two breakout sessions. Registration required.
Movie screening and discussion
Second screening of "Miss Representation" and panel Q&A with a DePaul student, a faculty member and a public relations expert
Hosted by: DePaul Women’s Network (DWN), College of Communication and the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics
Friday, March 30, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Daley Building, LL102, College of Communication Theater
Reception will follow the panel discussion. Visit www.depaul.edu/dwn/calendar.asp for location details.