By Colleen Rushnak
For many students at the College, March is a month of cramming for midterms, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and catching up on sleep during spring break.
But on March 14 at 8:30 p.m. in Ed 115, the sisters of Sigma Lambda Gamma celebrated National Women’s History Month with their event, (Her)Story. The event was co-sponsored by the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.
Sandra Phan, a senior public health major and president of Sigma Lambda Gamma, and Andrea Hormaza, a junior public health major and the organization’s moral and ethics chair, organized (Her)Story to celebrate unrecognized women in history.
“We wanted to talk about the history of women and highlight women that people don’t know a lot about,” Phan said.
Hormaza added that minority women should also have fair representation.
“I hear a lot about women that have done things that are important in history, but we hear about it much later after their life,” Hormaza said. “We wanted to celebrate women empowerment, specifically minority women, to empower them to do anything that they set their minds to.”
To begin the night, Phan and Hormaza showed a video from the Heritage Foundation that featured women such as Nellie Bly, a world-renowned investigative journalist of the 19th century, and Alice Ball, an African-American chemist who found the cure for leprosy in the early 20th century.
The event continued with a slideshow that showcased women from diverse backgrounds and careers. Some of the featured women included Patsy Mink, the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in Hawaii and who later became elected to Hawaii’s House of Representatives in the 1950s. The other women featured were Patricia Bath, the first African-American to complete a residency to ophthalmology and Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. As a librarian, she held storytimes in both English and Spanish.
“You never think about the impact a librarian can have on the community,” Hormaza said.
Kristen Frolich, a junior communication studies major and Alpha Kappa Psi’s Vice President of Administration, felt that the event resonated with her organization.
“We chose to co-sponsor this event because women were not accepted into Alpha Kappa Psi until 1976,” Frolich said. “We think it’s really important to highlight women and see how far we have progressed.”
Following the presentation, attendees were invited to make vision boards of images, quotes and objects that inspired them to live confidently and pursue their dreams.
“I used pictures of bold (makeup) looks,” said sophomore computer science major Linh Ngo. “These bold looks inspire me to be more confident.”
For Phan, the event showed the importance of empowering all women not just during this month, but throughout the year.
“You have important women in your lives that you may not even realize, like your mom,” she said. “You have to give thanks to women that empower you and continue to empower other women.”