FAYETTE, Iowa (February 21, 2013) – March is Women's History Month. To celebrate, the Office of Student Development at Upper Iowa University is hosting a variety of events throughout the month. These events are open to the public.
Kicking off Women's History Month at UIU is a visit from Miss Iowa 2013 Nicole Kelly, who will speak about overcoming disabilities, stereotypes and women's history in the Student Center Tuesday, March 4, at 4 p.m. Kelly, a native of Keokuk, Iowa, was born without her left forearm. She learned to offset the initial stares she received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give in to "no." She tried everything from baseball to dance to diving, and found her passion performing on stage.
A graduate of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kelly spent summers working at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts and at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. In 2012, she completed an internship with the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City and later, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. "Giving my voice to my platform, 'Overcoming Disabilities,' is a tremendous honor; and I am thrilled to continue my adventure by speaking out and touching lives as Miss Iowa 2013," she said.
Then, Monday, March 24, UIU hosts Chrysalis Foundation executive director Terry Hernandez, who is a former Upper Iowa Des Moines Center student. Hernandez is featured in this year's Emerging Leader at UIU series. She will take the stage in the Student Center Ballroom at 7 p.m. to speak about women in leadership.
Hernandez was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2012 and is the recipient of the 2013 Connie Wimer Spirit Award presented by the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners for authoring the report, "SHE MATTERS: Status of Women and Girls in Iowa" on the disparities and challenges faced by women and girls in the state.
For 12 years, Hernandez has led Chrysalis, the leading foundation in central Iowa dedicated to building stronger futures for women and girls. Long a champion for women and girls' issues, Hernandez was hired to expand the public foundation's reach in the Greater Des Moines area. Her extraordinary efforts in having a positive impact on the lives of more than 5,000 girls through the Chrysalis After-School program and establishing Women's Alliance and Central Iowa Funders Forum, led to her induction into the women's hall of fame.
According to the 2012 SHE MATTERS report, over 80 percent of Iowa women ages 16 to 24 are in the labor force, yet they work for approximately 79 percent of the average man's income for similar positions. Nearly 14 percent of Iowa's women live in poverty, and the numbers increase with an aging population.
Hernandez hopes to instill in women and girls, that most media do not convey a true picture of how women are or should be. "We can't change the world, but what we need to do is teach girls and women that (the media) is not the way," she said. "You are smarter than that. (You need to) make better choices. We need to build their self-confidence and resilience, and build relationships with adults they can trust to give guidance."
The Beta Thea Omega sorority will host Women's Leadership Week March 17-21 with special events in the Student Center to include:
• March 17: Etiquette dinner with Karla Gavin at 6 p.m.
• March 18 – Spa Day: Empowering Women from 6-8 p.m.
• March 19 – Film showing of "The Secret Life of Bees" at 7 p.m.
• March 20 – Speaker Wendy Burns at 7 p.m.
• March 21 – Balloon release during lunch.
A women's history trivia event will be conducted during lunch in the Student Center March 24-28.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing