Today’s Trivia: Who was the first woman Chief of the Seminole Tribe?

By Mirella Flores

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper honored as one of the 2016 National Women’s History Month Honorees for her life-long commitment to improving the livelihood and commemorate the traditions of her tribe, the Seminole tribe of Florida. Here is why Tiger Jumper is a significant woman of history.

Betty_Mae_Tiger_Jumper_3.3.2016Tiger Jumper was born to an indigenous Seminole mother and a French father. Being a mixed race child, Tiger Jumper’s life was almost ended because the Seminole Nation law at the time demanded that any children born to such union were to be put to death. To escape such faith, Tiger Jumper’s family had to move away from the Nation, which meant leaving their support system and moving to Dania, Florida, a White community. Tiger Jumper faced numerous challenged seeking education outside the Nation. She was denied from segregated schools for being “White” and from White schools for being Native. However, Tiger Jumper persevered and convinced her mother to allow her to attend a Native American boarding school in Cherokee, North Carolina. Tiger Jumper excelled in school and became the first historically known Seminole to read and write in English, and to graduate high school.

Tiger Jumper continued her education and became the first Seminole nurse (on paper). Upon graduating, she returned to her community and worked to improve the healthcare and access to it. Tiger Jumper was the first to initiate the beginnings of the Indian Health Care Program, which extended multiple healthcare services to Natives.

As her efforts become more and more recognized, Tiger Jumper became the first woman to serve on the Seminole Council. In this position, Tiger Jumper worked towards a more organized Nation government. Her efforts led to the Seminole Nation of Florida obtaining Federal recognition in 1957. This victory proved Tiger Jumpers’ great leadership, which lead to her being elected to the Board of Directors.

If you have not noticed, “first” is a usual term for describing Tiger Jumper, as one “first” leads to another. Tiger Jumper’s commitment to empowering and uplifting her community led to her receiving one of the greatest honors in her community- the first Seminole woman to be elected chair of the Seminole Nation Council. As the Chair of the Council, Tiger Jumper brought her community financial surplus and began the Nation’s first newspaper, Seminole Times. Tiger Jumper was also one of the two Native women appointed by President Nixon to serve on the National Congress on Indian Opportunity. Tiger Jumper used this position to create the United South and Eastern Tribes, which is a powerful lobbying group that represents southern Nations.

Tiger Jumper came a long way from almost dying to becoming her tribe’s Chief. She became a respected elder in her community and a Nation storyteller. Tiger Jumper took her recounting of Seminole history and wrote several books, such as Legends of the Seminoles.

Today’s Trivia: Who was a woman leader of the Little Rock school integration of 1957?

By Mirella Flores

Daisy_Lee_Gatson_Bates_3.2.2016Daisy Gatson Bates was a Civil Rights activist, writer, and newspaper publisher. Bates was honored as one of the 2016 National Women’s History Month Honorees for her role as a Civil Rights Organizer, and here’s why:

Bates and her husband, Lucious Christopher “L. C.” Bates, operated the Arkansas State Press, a weekly African-American newspaper that championed the Civil Rights movement. Bates’ involvement led her to become the President of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1952. In this position, Bates played a crucial role in the fight against segregation.

Even after the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that declared that school segregation was unconstitutional, African American students who tried to enroll in White schools in Arkansas were still being turned away. Bates and her husband chronicled this battle in their newspaper. However, Bates efforts to integrate schools did not stop there.

Ever heard of the Little Rock Nine? The Little Rock Nine were the first African American students who in 1957 attended the all-White Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bates placed a crucial role in the integration of the Little Rock school. Bate’s home was the headquarters for the battle to integrate the high school, and she served as a personal advocate and supporter of the Little Rock Nine.

As the Little Rock Nine made their first attempt to attend Central High School on September 4, 1957, they were met by a group of angry White people who jeered them as they arrived. To top this off, the Arkansas National Guard prevented the Little Rock Nine from entering the school. However, Bates and the Little Rock Nine perceived. Finally, on September 25, 1957, the Little Rock Nine were escorted by U.S. soldiers and attempted their first day of classes. Bates maintained a close relationship with the Little Rock Nine and she continued to support them as they faced harassment and intimidation. If you want a more in depth read, I would recommend Bate’s autobiography, The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A Memoir.

Today’s Trivia: Who was the first woman Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party?

By Mirella Flores

Today is March 1, 2016, which means it is officially Women’s History Month!! The national theme for this year is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.” As such, we kick-off our 2016 Women’s History Month Trivia by recognizing Geraldine Ferraro.

Public Domain image of Geraldine Ferraro from

Geraldine Ferraro began her public service career as an assistant district attorney in Queens County, New York. While in this position, Ferraro created the Special Victims Bureau. This bureau was in charge of persecuting a variety of cases ranging from crimes against children and the elderly to sexual offenses and intimate partner abuse.

In 1978, Ferraro ran and was elected as State Representative for New York. During her three terms in office, Ferraro advocated for women’s right by urging the passage of the Equal Rights Amendments. She was also one of the few women in Congress at the time. Ferraro also served on several committees, some of them including the Public Works Committee and the Budget Committee.

Ferraro was also highly involved with the Democratic Party. As the Secretary of the Democratic Caucus, Ferraro was a part of planning the party’s future direction and policies. Ferraro was further recognized by becoming the Chair of the Democratic Party Platform Committee for its 1984 national convention. This sounds like a big deal because it is!

Ferraro’s accomplishments were further recognized when she was chosen to be the running mate for Walter Mondale, the 1984 Democratic presidential candidate. Ferraro made history as she became the first woman to receive the vice presidential nomination from one of the country’s major parties.

As history has it, Mondale and Ferraro did not will the election. Ferarro wrote a memoir, Ferraro: My Story, which covers her experience as the first and only woman nominated by a major party to run on the presidential ticket. Her book touches on the collective political power and the difference women office holders can and do make to public policy. It would make a great read for Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month Trivia Contest!

March is Women’s History Month – a month celebrating the invaluable contributions, commitment, and sacrifices women have made for our society.

Starting in 1981, Congress passed a public law declaring one week in March as “Women’s History Week” in an effort to better inform people about the roles women have played in our history. 1987, Congress designated the month of March to serve as “Women’s History Month,” thanks to petitions from the National Women’s History Project. For this year’s Women’s History Month, The National Women’s History Project is honoring Women in Public Service and Government, focusing on the influence and dedication women have had through their leadership to public.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be hosting a month-long trivia contest beginning March 1st. Here is the break down for each weeks question themes:

Week 1: General Women’s History

Week 2: Women in Local Service and Government

Week 3: Women in State Service and Government

Week 4: Women in National Service and Government

Each day (Monday-Friday), we will send a question out on campus Scala boards and through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Everyone (students, staff, community) is welcome to answer the daily question! Here are ways you can answer the trivia questions:

  • Calling or emailing the Women’s Center
  • Retweeting a Twitter post and using #Roos4WHM
  • Commenting on the Facebook post or sharing the Facebook post with the question on your own page with the answer using #Roos4WHM

Pretty easy, right? Answers for each question will be posted the following morning on our blog!

On top of that, anyone who answers a question (right or wrong!) will get a small prize from the Women’s Center! The person who answer the most correct answers at the end of the week will be eligible to win one of our weekly prizes, including gift cards from Cupcake A La Mode, Minsky’s Pizza, Winstead’s, or merchandise from Starbucks!

Who doesn’t want to learn more about Women’s History Month, especially when they can win some swag??

Contest starts Tuesday, March 1st. Our first question will be posted between 8:00-9:00am! Let’s do this, #Roos4WHM!

Women’s History Month Trivia Table!

2015-Tabling-eViteBy Kacie Otto

I always love when the Women’s Center has an event scheduled. First of all, it means we have the chance to get out of the office to connect with more students about gender equity, and it also makes the day go by super quickly.

Today, I’m looking forward to our Women’s History Month Trivia Table! From 1:00-3:00 stop in the Royall Hall Lobby. We are giving away prizes and we hope to see you there! We can’t wait to try to stump you with some fun trivia questions about super cool women.

Women’s History Month Profile: Susan B. Anthony

By Briana Ward.

susan b anthonySusan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906), grew up in a Massachusetts a Quaker family with activist traditions. Growing up in this type of environment, Anthony developed a strong sense of justice early in life. When she got older, she began going to temperance meetings. Although she was unable to voice her thoughts and opinions, she still attended the meetings. She was disturbed by not being able to insert her opinions regarding the temperance movement, so she joined the women’s suffrage movement. Women’s suffrage became an important part in her life.

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony sculpture at Susan B. Anthony house

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony sculpture at Susan B. Anthony house

She campaigned against abolition of slavery,the right for women to own their own property and retain their earnings, and she advocated for women’s labor organizations. Persuading the University of Rochester to admit women was an enormous milestone. Here is a list of a few amazing things she accomplished as a labor activist, suffragist, abolitionist, and temperance worker (from

  • 1848: Anthony made her first public speech at a Daughters of Temperance supper.
  • 1863: Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a Women’s National Loyal League to support and petition for the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery. They went on to campaign for full citizenship for women and people of any race, including the right to vote, in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.
Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, & Susan B. Anthony sculpture in the U.S. Capitol rotunda

Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, & Susan B. Anthony sculpture in the U.S. Capitol rotunda

  • 1866: Anthony and Stanton founded the American Equal Rights Association. In 1868, they began publishing the newspaper, The Revolution, in Rochester, with the masthead “Men their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less,” and the aim of establishing “justice for all.” The Revolution also advocated an eight-hour work day and equal pay for equal work. It promoted a policy of purchasing American-made goods and encouraging immigration to rebuild the South and settle the entire country. Publishing The Revolution in New York brought her in contact with women in the printing trades.
  • 1870: Anthony formed and was elected president of the Workingwomen’s Central Association. The WCA drew up reports on working conditions and provided educational opportunities for working women. Anthony encouraged a cooperative workshop founded by the Sewing Machine Operators Union and boosted the newly-formed women typesetters’ union in The Revolution. Anthony tried to establish trade schools for women printers. When printers in New York went on strike, she urged employers to hire women instead, believing this would show that they could do the job as well as men, and therefore prove that they deserved equal pay. At the 1869 National Labor Union Congress, the men’s Typographical Union accused her of strike- breaking and running a non-union shop at The Revolution, and called her an enemy of labor.

Women’s History Month Profile: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

By Briana Ward.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was known as the leader for women’s rights in Nigeria, and she was also known as “The Mother of Africa.”  I would like to take this time to acknowledge her for Women’s History Month and share her story and the changes she made in Nigeria.

kuti 2Kuti was raised by parents who believed in the value of education. She attended school in Abeokuta and England. Kuti returned home to teach, and in 1925 married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, founder of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Students (NUS), a forerunner of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC). Kuti was active in the NCNC, leading the women’s wing.


A career in feminist activism began for Kuti in 1932 when she founded the Abeokuta Ladies Club (ALC). Initially membership was mostly Western-educated and working-class women. The club expanded in 1944 to include market women. To begin working against injustice and the exploitation of market women, in 1946 the ALC became the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU), and membership was expanded. Over 100,000 Abeokuta women worked together to provide social welfare services and to pursue a gender-conscious agenda. In 1949, the AWU expanded to the Nigerian Women’s Union (NWU), a national organization that became known at the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies (FNWS) in 1953. With Kuti’s leadership, the FNWS was dedicated to addressing the concerns of all Nigerian women and improving their position in society, including education, suffrage, health care, and other social services.

“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism and a cultural nationalist…a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated.” – Oxford Dictionary of African Biography

Kuti biography coverKuti’s was a powerful voice across Nigeria. I love that she was a woman who was not only leading and teaching women, but teaching everyone. Her defense of women was her mission, and her words and actions mattered in Nigerian society.  If you want to read Kuti’s biography and what she has done to affect the feminist movement, look for:  For Women and the Nation: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Nigeria by Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Nina Emma Mba.

CineWomen: A Night to Remember

By Morgan Elyse Christensen

CineWomen 2013 was a huge hit in Kansas City and the committee will soon begin planning for next year’s “CineWomen 2014”!

Almost one hundred guests arrived at the Screenland Crossroads Theatre on March 14 to show their support for our area’s female student filmmakers. Five different Kansas City area universities and many community members came together to make the event a night to remember as we celebrated Women’s History Month with a panel discussion, a short film screening, and a networking reception.

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The panel discussion turned out to be an incredibly motivating and educational segment as UMKC’s Professor Caitlin Horsmon, KU’s Dr. Tamara Falicov, and Avila’s Dr. Dottie Hamilton reported on the trials and accomplishments of women filmmakers in the past and present and spoke to the inspiration of our future women in film.


The crowd was ecstatic over the screening’s featured short films. We were privileged to have had the opportunity to show such quality work and are very pleased that most of the filmmakers had a chance to show the community what they have or will have to offer upon graduation. A well-known women’s film festival in neighboring Columbia, MO (Citizen Jane) even caught word of our event and lent a hand in helping promote the careers of each of our featured artists.

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IMG_8021The evening ended with a tribute to the late Dr. Carol Koehler who broke ground in Kansas City as a female filmmaker and those in attendance were touched by the speech delivered by Dr. Poe, Associate Professor of UMKC and good friend to the Koehler family, the presence of whose members we were also graced with that evening.

Putting together events like this, there is not always a guarantee that you’ll have a good turnout or full support from a variety of community members and organizations. However, we had an amazing turnout for our first year and through the community enthusiasm that CineWomen seemed to unveil in Kansas City and through our mission of advocating, educating, and supporting women and their artistic contributions, this event is set to grow boundlessly over the years and become recognized as one of the most important platform events for the inspiration of young woman filmmakers in Kansas City, the education of our community, and the advancement of women in the film industry as a whole.

UMKC Faculty Profile: Kathleen Kilway

By Joseph Salazar.

March is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”.

Women today currently earn 41% of PhD’s in STEM fields, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty in those fields. Keeping that startling statistic in mind and in celebration of this year’s theme, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the women at UMKC who are a part of STEM fields. I had the wonderful opportunity of learning about what it’s like to be a woman in STEM through a Q&A with several faculty members at UMKC.

katherinevkillwayKathleen Kilway, Professor—Department of Chemistry

Why did you go into your field? As a high school student, I always enjoyed and excelled in math and science. After talking with my father, I chose a 3:2 program between Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College where one receives a BS in Chemistry (SMC) and a BS in Engineering (ND). After a year, I decided to just complete my BS in Chemistry at SMC. In my last year of undergrad, I was advised to pursue a graduate degree in chemistry. I was sold when I found out that I would be able to continue my studies with a stipend and be able to attend a different University (in my case, it was University of California San Diego – sunny southern California). I chose chemistry (rather than healthcare or biology) because I wanted to try and understand how things worked and interactions at the molecular level.

What are your research interests? My research interests include an area of physical organic chemistry with emphases in synthesis of organic and organometallic compounds, experimental and conformational studies, hydrogen bonding, and molecular synthesis and assembly. From my physical organic chemistry background, I have been able to work on applied research such as the development, synthesis, formulation and testing of dental, bone cement, and biomaterials.

What was it like being a woman in your field when you entered it? When I started at SMC, it was not an issue because it was an all-women’s college so it was live and let live. I thrived in that environment and did not understand the difference until I moved to my graduate career. At UCSD, it became apparent that there were fewer women in the field, especially organic chemistry. There was a stereotyping of women – that they had to be serious and dress rather unisex in order to succeed. Therefore, I had to be driven and motivated to complete the degree. It was also a matter of finding friends, colleagues, mentors, and a great advisor that helped me to succeed and enjoy the experience.

What is it like being a woman in your field today? It has changed some but there are always different groups that make it difficult. I have looked for other mentors, colleagues, and friends who have helped me in times of need but also to discuss personal and professional items. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues, mentors, and friends at UMKC who have helped over the years.

UMKC Faculty Profile: Ann Smith

By Joseph Salazar.

March is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”.

Women today currently earn 41% of PhD’s in STEM fields, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty in those fields. Keeping that startling statistic in mind and in celebration of this year’s theme, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the women at UMKC who are a part of STEM fields. I had the wonderful opportunity of learning about what it’s like to be a woman in STEM through a Q&A with several faculty members at UMKC.

AnnAnn Smith, Professor—School of Biological Sciences

Why did you go into your field? I have always been interested in science and the natural world – even as a young child. When I was about ten years old, my father took me to the Natural History Museum in London where I drew the stuffed animals and birds and saw fossils for the first time. My father and I also went together by train to the south coast of England to dig in quarries where we found fossils of sea urchins and also a meteorite that I treasure to this day. We had to leave behind a huge (to my eyes) ammonite fossil that the workers had blasted out of the ground because we did not have a car and it was too heavy to carry!

What are your research interests? I am currently interested in how the cells of our bodies, especially those of our brain, control and safely manage the balance between metals: heme, iron itself and copper. These metals are vital for our cells but they are also very chemically reactive and thus potentially dangerous. They are known to   cause and exacerbate disease including neurodegeneration. I hope that the heme transporter that I work on, hemopexin, which means heme fixer or grabber, can be used therapeutically and perhaps diagnostically in the near future. 

What was being a woman in that field like when you entered? I started my independent research for my Ph.D. thesis in the mid-1960s when there were far fewer women than men in science. Everybody, whether male or female flourishes with good mentoring and I was fortunate that at King’s College, which is part of the University of London, that  I had a Ph.D. advisor and a senior Professor who were very supportive of me and my research efforts. They encouraged me in every way and helped me get together (that is, my advisor paid for) some unique lab resources so that I could get my research done. These included having two 6 foot high cabinets specially built that allowed me to perfuse rat livers to keep them alive in order to study drug metabolism. This included work on a family of enzymes, biological catalysts and the cytochrome P-450 enzymes that are currently under investigation as therapeutic drug targets in cancer.

What is it like being a woman in your field today? There have been changes on the international scene of science and I would say that gender is no longer an issue. Unfortunately, discrimination can and still does occur, perhaps most in situations of confidentiality – such as when one’s grants are reviewed and there is no appeal system in place.