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Women's History Month 2019

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2019 events

Photo of Christine McKinley

Keynote event

Christine McKinley,
"Your Turn: Taking Your Place in the History of Great Minds"

Monday, March 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Bixby Lecture Hall, Brouder Science Center

Christine McKinley is a mechanical engineer, musician, television personality, and more. Navigating her career as a woman has at times been challenging, and this has motivated her to research the history of women working in math and science – women who have been tragically overlooked in spite of their brilliance. With trail-breaking women in mind, McKinley encourages young women to ignore the myth that women are not good at math or science and join a growing history of women making a difference in these fields.

Learn more about the speaker at
Copies of her book, Physics for Rock Stars, are available in the campus bookstore and also will be available for purchase and autograph after the talk.

Additional events celebrating Women's History Month 2019: 

Photo of Dr. Angela Speck

A catered luncheon talk

Dr. Angela Speck
University of Missouri Director of Astronomy
“A Little Speck of Stardust”

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:15 a.m - 12:15 p.m.
Lee Room, Dulany Hall

There is a long history of women being excluded from opportunities in science. Even when women have been able to participate, their skills and contributions are often overlooked or appropriated. One aspect of a scientist’s life has always been treacherous, particularly for women: communicating science to the public. The line between translating difficult concepts and oversimplifying the science is a tightrope, and those who manage it – from Galileo to Sagan to Tyson – are often seen by their fellow scientists as failing to be sufficiently serious about the field. For women, who face implicit and systemic gender bias as well as a perception that they are not serious enough, the path of scientist/communicator becomes even more difficult. Dr. Speck will discuss her experiences in this crucial role and why it is important to be both - especially as a woman.

A lunch catered by Chipotle will be provided to the first 40 people in attendance.

This luncheon event is co-sponsored by the Columbia College Science Club and the Columbia College GREEN Team.

Film Night: Contagion

Wednesday, March 20, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
2nd floor of the Atkins-Holman Student Center

Join us for a screening and discussion of the film Contagion (2011). The film, which features an all-star cast, imagines how the outbreak of a deadly flu virus would be handled by institutions (such as the CDC), governments, and the public. The story raises difficult questions about the science and ethics of what should be done in such a circumstance.

Popcorn and other refreshments will be provided.

Collage of promo photos for Contagion

Contact for more information about any of these events.

The history of Women's History Month

First begun as a local celebration of women's history in Santa Rosa, California in 1978, the movement for a national celebration of women's history gained momentum in 1979 at the Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. In February 1980 President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation recognizing the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women's History Week. Carter's proclamation coincided with resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate that declared support for National Women's History Week.

The movement continued to grow as individual states expanded these week-long celebrations to month-long recognition, so that by 1987 Congress issued a declaration of March as Women's History Month in perpetuity. The celebration continues to be marked by an annual presidential proclamation. For more on the history of women's history month, visit the National Women's History Project website.

Why March?

March was selected for the first women's history celebration in 1978 because of the celebration of March 8th as International Women's Day, which has been celebrated in various countries around the world since the early 1900s. By 1917 the date became firmly fixed on March 8 in recognition of a strike for "bread and peace" carried out by Russian women in the opening days of the Russian Revolution.

International Women's Day website

Columbia College and women's history

Columbia College, founded in 1851 as Christian Female College, has a rich history of providing education for women and of producing women who become forces of change in the world. Christian College's origins lie in the desire on the part of its founders to provide a quality liberal arts education for their daughters, who were denied admission at the University of Missouri where many of the founders were teachers and administrators. The opening of the school in 1851 marked the first institution of higher education for women west of the Mississippi. Christian College continued to provide educational opportunities for young women, and in 1970 extended its mission and opened its doors to men for the first time. Now as Columbia College, the community marks the significance of its own history and the contributions of women around the world to making history happen by hosting a series of events to celebrate Women's History Month.

Women's History Month guest speakers

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