Women's History Month showcases opportunities for students


An interview with Dr. Angelik Gulbis

Women's History Month is a month-long celebration that honors the contributions of women throughout history. Madison College instructor Dr. Angelika Gulbis shares the background of this month and opportunities students have to learn more.

Dr. Angelika Gulbis

What is the significance of Women’s History Month?

I’ll answer this question by sharing a resource! International Women’s Day is March 8. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as Women’s History Week, which then became a month-long celebration in 1987. In his words, it is important to acknowledge the important contributions that women have made because, “too often the women were unsung, and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.” You can learn more about the significance of Women’s History Month on the National Women's History Museum website.

Why do we need a special month to honor women?

I’ll answer this question by sharing another resource! According to the National Women’s History Alliance (the organization that lobbied congress to designate March as National Women’s History Month), we need a special month to honor women because “(m)ulticultural American women are overlooked in most mainstream approaches to U.S. history, so the National Women’s History Project champions their accomplishments and leads the drive to write women back into history. Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – has a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women. With an emphasis on positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds, the NWHA has developed a nationwide constituency…who understand the critical link between knowing about historical women and making a positive difference in today’s world.”

What opportunities do students have to learn about women and gender at Madison College?

Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a viewing of the film “Suffragette” with a discussion to follow on Monday, March 8 at 7 p.m. on International Women’s Day. In honor of this day, students can pick up free personal health items/menstrual products along with 10 pounds of food from Student Life. Students can also learn about women and gender by joining Madison College student organizations such as the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

What is the Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate?

Students also can take a course or several courses to learn more about women and gender. They can do this by earning the Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate or by taking individual courses. If students begin taking certificate courses early enough, they can strategize and earn this certificate without paying more for classes by taking general education courses that focus on women and gender for their art history, English, history, psychology, and sociology and general elective courses—they’ll count as both their general education requirements as well as a certificate requirements. If these requirements have already been satisfied, students can still earn the certificate but they will have to pay for the additional credits. Check out the link to learn which classes students can take to earn the certificate.

Once the pandemic is over and we are able to travel again, we also offer the Gender and Women’s Studies – Study Abroad to London, England in the spring semester each year, where students learn about women by attending the Women of the World Festival and other planned events in London during the week of International Women’s Day.

How can we learn more?

If you have any questions about studying women and gender at Madison College, please contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Co-Coordinators: Dr. Angelika Gulbis at agulbis@madisoncollege.edu and Dr. Autumn Behringer at ambehringer@madisoncollege.edu.

Dr. Gulbis instructor in Madison College’s Sociology department. She is the co-coordinator for the Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate, and the Data Analytics Certificate and serves as the Social Science pre-major coordinator for the Liberal Arts Transfer program. Dr. Gulbis is also a Phi Theta Kappa advisor for the Madison College Beta Beta Psi chapter.