Women’s History Month and Higher Education

March is Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day on March 8th. This is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the achievements women have made in higher education and how their leadership has shaped the future for women and minorities in higher ed. Here are some inspirational women in higher education to highlight this month:

Dr. Stella Flores

Image credit: Diverse Education

Dr. Stella M. Flores is Associate Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Director of Research and Strategy for the Education Research Center at UT Austin. Her work has helped low-income and underrepresented students including immigrants and minorities and her research examines the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion outcomes.

Dr. Flores was awarded the Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education and named One of the Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond by Diverse Issues Magazine in 2017. Her coauthored work was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court Gratz v. Bollinger decision (dissenting opinion) on affirmative action.

Carrie Billy

Image credit: University of Alabama

Carrie Billy is president & CEO of American Indian Higher Education Consortium and a member of Navajo Nation. She is committed to protecting and promoting the cultures and rights of indigenous peoples and advocates for Native American students across the country. Carrie Billy was appointed under the Clinton administration to advocate for indigenous students in higher education. She has worked in private law practice, the U.S. Senate, federal Executive Branch, and the non-profit sector.

Drew Gilpin Faust

Image credit: National Endowment for the Humanities

Drew Gilpin Faust was the first woman to serve as the president of Harvard University and is a historian and award-winning author. She promoted access to higher education by increasing financial aid offers to students at Harvard College. In 2014, she was ranked as the 33rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Edith Bartley

Image credit: Edith Bartley

Edith Bartley is the former Vice President of Government Affairs for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Director of Government Affairs for UNCF. She received a Service Award by the National Association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and advocated for college assistance and housing programs throughout her career. Edith worked in several Congressional offices as a speechwriter and legislative aide and addressed the loan crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She currently advocates for victims of terrorism.

Angela Davis

Image credit: TIME

Angela Davis is the Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D program, and of Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Cruz. She is famously known for her political activism and a leading figure in the prison abolition movement. In 2020, TIME Magazine listed her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and her work in feminist studies and activism has shaped the way universities approach such topics. Angela Davis has been invited to lecture at prestigious universities, discussing issues regarding race, the criminal justice system and women’s rights. She is also a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.













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