Highlighting Women Who Changed the World Before They Had the Vote

To celebrate Women’s History Month 2018, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has dedicated segments on its Facebook page to recognize the accomplishments of influential women and the contributions they have made to events in history and contemporary society.  To-date, UMUC has featured briefs on social activist, writer, and editor Gloria Steinham; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court; technology executive Sheryl Sandberg, current Facebook COO; and lawyer, writer and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

The commemoration continues March 22 and 29 with two Facebook Live interviews featuring UMUC adjunct faculty members and women’s history experts Mary Ellen Schmider and Kathleen Sander as they discuss the women’s movement from a historical perspective and provide insights about the remarkable women they have featured in their writings.

Thursday, March 22 at 1 p.m.

Mary Ellen Schmider has taught for UMUC on U.S. military bases in Germany and Turkey from 2000-2004, and online since. She took two sabbaticals—in 2012 and 2016—to serve as executive director of the Fulbright Association, the national alumni association of the Fulbright Program, and is herself the recipient of two Senior Fulbright Lecturer Awards: People’s Republic of China, 1997, and the Republic of Macedonia, 2005-2006.

She completed an interdisciplinary thesis in the American Studies program at the University of Minnesota on “Jane Addams Aesthetic of Social Reform.” In 1935, Addams became the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize for Peace and Schmider has traveled the globe lecturing on Addams at conferences and universities in Austria, Italy, Japan, China, Mongolia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania, and elsewhere.

Schmider has a bachelor’s, magna cum laude, from St. Olaf College, a master’s in English and American Literature from the University of Southern California, and a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Watch her interview here.

Thursday, March 29 at 1 p.m.

Kathleen Sander discusses her two books on women’s history, “The Business of Charity: The Woman’s Exchange Movement, 1832-1900,” and “Mary Elizabeth Garrett: Society and Philanthropy in the Gilded Age.”

In the nineteenth, there were few respectable employment options for women.  “The Business of Charity” details the vast network of women’s exchanges—shops where women in need of income could sustain themselves by selling their handiwork on consignment and be spared the shame of seeking public employment.

Mary Elizabeth Garret was the youngest child of B&O Railroad mogul John Work Garrett. Since social convention prohibited the brilliant and strong-willed woman from following in her father’s footsteps, she focused her considerable fortune and social status to champion women’s rights. Among other accomplishments, she founded the Johns Hopkins Medical School—on the condition that women be admitted.

Sander received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and her master’s and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has taught U. S. history and women’s history at UMUC since 1995 and was awarded UMUC’s Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence award. In 2003. In 2005 she received a Fulbright award to teach at St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

Did you know . . .

Women’s History Month is celebrated during March in the United Kingdom and Australia as well as in the Unites States to correspond with International Women’s Day on March 8. But, in Canada, it’s celebrated during October to correspond with the celebration of Persons Day on October 18.