Celebration of women

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

This March marked the 31st annual Women’s History Month. and Mercyhurst’s History department celebrated by highlighting women of the past and bringing opportunities to the women of today.

“I like to treat it as a celebration, not like it’s the one month of the year that we have to learn about women in history,” said Averill Earls, Ph.D., assistant professor of History.

For each day of the month, Earls posted a video of a female Mercyhurst University staff member talking about their favorite historical woman on Instagram (@histhistory26) and Twitter (@HurstHistory26).

“Dr. Olsozowka suggested it because I said I was doing a historical woman every day featured and he said, ‘What about doing interviews with women on campus?’” Earls said.

Since the beginning of the month, she featured faculty from numerous departments and administrative offices. Women that were discussed included Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama, among many others.

The social media celebration concluded with students sharing a woman who inspires them.

The department also co-sponsored a movie night on Feb. 28 with the History Club as a prequel to the history month. The movie was “Hidden Figures,” a film about black female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race.

The History Club also recognized some important female figures in hosting a Women’s History Month Trivia Night on March 14.

On March 21, Mercyhurst did its part to help women of today with a voter registration drive. This event commemorated the 100th anniversary of British and Irish women getting the right to vote and the 170th anniversary of the Seneca Falls woman’s rights convention.

“We see voting as the responsibility of every man, woman and 18-year-old child,” Earls said.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Zurn, the Grotto Commons, and the Student Union, students — male and female — were able to register to vote or request an absentee ballot.

Freshman History major Natalie Gottfried was proud to help students register to vote.

“I think it’s very important to make our own choices about the changes we want to see in the world, so I felt very honored to be able to help students take the first step,” Gottfried said.

Looking to the future, Earls plans to continue the History department’s involvement with Women’s History Month.

“I’d like to revive the film festival idea and maybe bring some speakers on campus,” said Earls. “Any kind of celebration and treating it as a celebration.”