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March / April 2004

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UMaine Today Magazine

Lasting Impression

Women's Studies Graduates / Suffrage Parade
Top: In 2002, some of the women's studies graduates posed for a snapshot. These students, one from Nepal and the others from Maine, majored or minored in women's studies; one earned a master's degree in communication with a graduate concentration in women's studies. Now some are working in medical or social services. Two have careers in writing (one on the editorial staff at Hope magazine in Maine). Two have done graduate work abroad and are applying to law school.

Bottom: Head of suffrage parade, 1913

Photo courtesy of
The Library of Congress,
Photos and Prints Division

Links Related to this Story

More than two decades ago, the University of Maine sharpened its vision, taking steps toward establishing a "bifocal" curriculum one that focuses on the contributions, perspectives, values and needs of women, as well as those of men. The Women in the Curriculum initiative, with its roots in equal opportunity and women's development at the university, started providing educational resources and development opportunities for faculty in 1981.

Since then, the program has publicly celebrated the achievements and history of women, not just in March during National Women's History Month, but throughout the year. A weekly lecture series to stimulate community discourse and an annual awards program honoring outstanding Maine women all open to the campus community and beyond enhance the faculty development activities.

But perhaps the most far-reaching effect of such advocacy has been the establishment of an independent academic program in women's studies. Courses with the WST designator and a minor began in 1989, followed by a major in 1998. Graduate courses and a graduate concentration came in 2000. The current name the Women in the Curriculum and Women's Studies Program reflects all this growth.

This spring, more than 160 women and men are enrolled in six sections of Introduction to Women's Studies. Other spring 2004 courses focus on such areas as feminism and cinema; women, health and the environment; and the writing of Toni Morrison.

Graduates who majored or minored in women's studies remain active in advocacy as they pursue careers working in battered women's projects, women's health centers or organizations for girls. Others have gone on to graduate school in law, social work or international development.

"Lasting Impression" features a memorable person or event in UMaine history.


UMaine Today Magazine
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