Arabella Mansfield

Arabella Mansfield was the first woman to become a licensed attorney in the US. She "read the law" in her brother's law office. Despite an Iowa law restricting bar admission to males over 21, she passed the bar exam. She sued to challenge the law barring her admission and won, making Iowa the first state …

Margaret Fountaine

Margaret Fountaine was a natural scientist and lepidopterist. 🦋 She was also a diarist, illustrator, world traveler, and fearless adventurer. Her scientific achievements and her contribution to breaking down barriers to women in the natural sciences are significant. She was born in May 1862 in Norwich, England. During her adult life, she traveled all over …

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling. I am once again reading all 7 HP books to prepare myself for The Cursed Child (which I'm very lucky to have tickets to next fall). As I listen to the outstanding narration by Jim Dale (hands down, the best narrator of all time, in my opinion), I'm again struck by the brilliance …

Queen Rania

Rania Al Yassin is the Queen of Jordan. Since becoming queen in 1999, she has done much to advance the social and economic conditions for women in Jordan and throughout the world. Education is her passion, and she is also a vigorous advocate for innovation, entrepreneurship, improved healthcare, community empowerment, and public service. She represents …

Suzanne Fountaine

Today’s Women's History Month Moment features the spectacular Suzanne Fountaine because today is her birthday and also because she is worthy of being profiled! She was my first hero and has always been there for every important moment in my life. She inspired me to dream big and to work hard to accomplish those dreams. …

Constance Baker Motley

Constance Baker Motley was the first African American woman to be a federal judge. In her early career, she had worked alongside of Thurgood Marshall in litigating the desegregation cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. She lived a life of firsts, and I have managed to capture only a few of those many “firsts” …

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

**Reposted from March 14, 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a writer, a journalist, a women's suffrage activist, and a relentless advocate for preservation of Florida's Everglades. We all now know her as the namesake of the high school where--one months ago today--a mass shooting took the lives of 17 students. Today, I'm remembering not only …

Book Review: The Reader

**Reposted from September 2009--I first wrote this on my previous blog when I read this book shortly after having moved to Germany. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink I wasn’t especially excited about reading this book. I had just finished Night and wasn’t really looking for another Holocaust book. In addition, I usually don’t get too …

Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter was the amazing voice and percussionist that propelled brother-sister duo, The Carpenters, to fame. Paul McCartney described her voice as "the best female voice in the world: melodic, tuneful and distinctive." She was named in Rolling Stone's Top 100 greatest singers of all time. It's hard to overestimate the impact Karen Carpenter had …

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai--the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize--was born in 1940 in Kenya into a farming family. She was the first woman from Central or Western Africa to earn a doctorate; hers was in biology. Deforestation was damaging Kenya, so she started a reforestation project called the Green Belt Movement. The plan was …

Gisella Perl

Dr. Gisella Perl was a doctor--and prisoner--in Auschwitz. She quickly learned that pregnant women and their unborn babies were sure to become victims of "research" and ultimately killed. "When Dr. Perl learned of a pregnant prisoner, she would explain to the expectant mothers the situation.... She would ... terminate pregnancies in the middle of the …

Katherine Switzer

Today's Women's History Month Moment is brought to you by A Mighty Girl. If you haven't already liked that page, I encourage you to do so. Kathrine Switzer was the first women to complete the Boston Marathon as a registered runner. She later said of the incident: "these moments change your life and change the …

Emmy Noether

Today's Women's History Month Moment is brought to you by A Mighty Girl. Emmy Noether is one of the greatest mathematicians in history. Despite her groundbreaking work, including working with Albert Einstein on the Theory of Relativity, she was barred from teaching at the University of Göttingen in Germany by the Nazis in the early …

Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall went to Tanzania for the first time when she was 26 and so began her life’s work with chimpanzees. She spent the next 50+ years studying these amazing animals. She took a groundbreaking approach to studying chimpanzees by actually living with them in their own habitat, rather than removing them to a …

Mary Robinson

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, today's Women's History Month Moment focuses on an Irish trailblazer: Mary Robinson was the first woman to be President of Ireland. She held that office from 1990-1997, and was an extremely popular president, earning a 93% approval rating halfway through her term. She also served as the United Nations High …

Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez was a world-renowned potter from the San Ildefonso Pueblo, just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She perfected the art of making beautiful, satiny, jet-black pottery. She is very special to me because when my parents visited Santa Fe in the early 1970s, they visited San Ildefonso and met Maria. My mother brought …

Clara Brown

Clara Brown (1800-1885) was a pioneer. She began life as a slave, first in Virginia and later in Kentucky. She got married and had four children, but her family was separated because they were sold to different plantations. At the age of 56, she was freed and she immediately left Kentucky. Her primary goal from …

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

**Reposting from March 2017 Today's Women's History Month Moment is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I had a chance to see her on the day this photo was taken when I had the honor of moving the admission of a group of SIU Law alumni to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. …

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is a history maker. At a time when network TV is on the decline, Shonda has managed to create, write, and produce hit after hit. 12 years ago yesterday, Grey’s Anatomy premiered and soon McDreamy and McSteamy were household names of characters we really cared about. In addition to Grey's Anatomy, she is …