By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Women Empowering Women at CWU

This March will be the 37th annual Women’s History Month celebrated in the United States, according to history.com. Women’s History Month started as a week-long celebration of the contributions women have made to history, culture and society, organized in 1978 by the school district of Sonoma, California. A few years later it would be picked up by President Jimmy Carter and would only grow from there. This month is a time to celebrate and uplift the women who are making a difference across the world. Today, The Observer would like to shine a special spotlight on four of the women who make CWU a better place for staff, students and community members alike.

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Bernadette Jungblut)

Dr. Bernadette Jungblut is a professor of political science here at CWU. She is also a faculty legislative representative, meaning that she spends the winter quarter in Olympia advocating for the students and staff at the university. Dr. Jungbult did her undergraduate at Binghamton University in New York and completed her doctorate in political science at Rice University in Houston, Texas. 

“I had some amazing faculty mentors when I was an undergraduate at Binghamton, all of them men,” Dr. Jungblut said. “I don’t know that there was a single woman in the Department of Political Science at the time. When I was a junior, they took me to a conference called the Peace Science Society, where they study war and other forms of militarized conflict. I looked around the room and I saw two senior women, myself and one other undergraduate woman. I didn’t even need my whole hand to count the number of women at this really prestigious conference. So I decided there was plenty of room for me to be one of the women who studies in this field.” 

Dr. Jungblut has gone on to accomplish many things in her career including working for the New York Attorney General’s office, and the private sector, before coming to CWU and working hard to make CWU a more equitable place for all students. She wants to encourage students to make their connections here. “So if you like a professor here on campus, and you’re interested in what she does, send her an email, show up at her office hours,” Dr. Jungbult said. “Go and spend time with the women because [it] will introduce you to other women and men that we think are really good mentors. Use us to build yourself a support network.”

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Megan Walsh)

In the sciences, we have Dr. Megan Walsh, a professor of biogeography and paleoecology. She got her doctorate in geography from the University of Oregon and has been teaching at CWU since the fall of 2010. 

“I always knew I wanted to teach, but in my undergrad, my professor got me out in the field coring lakes and got us in the lab doing all kinds of hands-on stuff, and I just fell in love with it,” Dr. Walsh said. “It’s always been a male-dominated field, even here at Central. It’s only me and one other woman in the Geography Department and the rest of them are men. I was lucky enough to have some really strong women advisors in both my undergrad and PhD. I love what I do, and that’s what matters. And I love seeing my students in the field. Be proud of your knowledge and don’t be afraid to show it.”

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Denison.
(Photo courtesy of CWU.edu)

The passion for empowerment and education continues in CWU’s honors college director, Dr. Christina Denison. Dr. Denison started working for the Douglas Honors College (DHC) in 2006 as a temporary office assistant. Through the years, she continued on with the DHC and also with her education, earning her master’s and then her doctorate in education at CWU. Dr. Denison said that her accomplishments in the field were greatly supported by her female mentors at the DHC. “When Dr. Anne Cubilie was our director, she really saw a lot of promise in me,” Dr. Denison said. “She started as our director right as I started my master’s and she really supported me. I went to her and said that I wanted to be the assistant director, and she supported that. She worked with the university to make that happen, and helped my transition to my role.” Now, Dr. Denison is the director of the DHC, working hard every day to make sure that her students can get the most out of their education, “Take your seat at the table, literally and figuratively. If you have knowledge, experience and expertise that you can provide and [when] someone [is] not opening the door for you as a woman, create a doorway.”

(Photo courtesy of Lilly Montgomery)

It’s not all about the faculty though, CWU also has a ton of women who take positions of leadership as students, too many to count. One of these students is Lilly Montgomery, the Editor-in-chief of PULSE Magazine, CWU’s student magazine. Montgomery is a senior majoring in professional and creative writing, with a minor in communications. She is in her third quarter with PULSE and plans to continue with it until she graduates. “My biggest piece of advice is to remember that you are not someone else’s view of you,” Montgomery said. “You are your own version of yourself and being authentic to who you know you are is incredibly important.”

While this doesn’t even begin to touch on all of the incredible leaders we have here on campus, these four women are working hard for our community here at CWU, and are making the world a better place for all students.

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