CNN Library puts “Kapow” into Women’s History Month

Story and Photos by Mark Graven

Wonder Woman, helped inspire the selection of some Wonderous  Women—one representing each continent of the world, along with one from New Mexico, according to Marina Perry, a work-study majoring in Graphic Design and Marketing who helped research the selections, gaining energy from the DC Comics character, Wonder Woman.

Perry said she chose Wonder Woman as the icon for the exhibit because Wonder Woman represents strength and power and shows that women can accomplish huge tasks.

“I didn’t know a lot of these women, even though they did huge things,” said Perry. “To find out about them gave me confidence and personal empowerment.”

Research for the books in the exhibit was conducted by Psychology Major Sarah Tafoya, also a work study employee.

The exhibit, located inside to the left of the main entrance to the Student Resource Center, features comic book colors of yellow, red, and blue, and was a “team effort,” according to Library Specialist Tiffany Tomchak.

Tomchak said Wonder Woman was a good choice for the exhibit because she was able to infiltrate other media such as graphic novels and movies and other mass media to inspire a broad array of people.

“I think it looks great,” said Tomchak.  I am proud of the work of the students, and what we did as a team.”

The comic book colors are designed to give the exhibit “kapow” she said.

Participants in the Outreach Team that put together monthly exhibits at the Student Resource Center include:  Mary Bates-Ulibarri, Carlee Philpot, and Leda Rizzo, according to Tomchak.

Perry said that, having been born near Tokyo, she was particularly inspired by the Asian representative of the group Kimie Iwato, a CEO of a large beauty products company in Japan named Shiseido.

“She has worked very hard for equality in the workplace in Japan,” said Perry. “And also making the workplace safe for everybody,” she added.

Tomchak noted that one message of the exhibit is that women are not seeking to be superior to men, but are instead seeking gender equality. 

According to library staff, the women featured in the Women’s History Month exhibit include:

  • Representing North America, Susan B. Anthony, the social reformer, who helped win the battle for women’s suffrage in the U.S.
  • From South America, Eva Peron, the former First Lady of Argentina, who fought for women’s and workers’ rights, and to improve the lives of the poor.
  • From Europe, the Polish born, but German national, Rosa Luxemburg, who was a philosopher, economist, and anti-war activist that developed a humanist approach to Marxism.
  • From Africa, Miriam Makeba, a singer songwriter, actress, and U.N. goodwill ambassador, who fought against apartheid, in South Africa.
  • From Australia, Faith Thomas, the first woman to play international cricket professionally, and the first woman to be selected for any professional support in Australia.  She also became the first aboriginal nurse to run a hospital in the land down under.
  • Representing Antarctica, Mary Alice McWhinnie, a scientist who was the first woman authorized by the National Science Foundation to winter at McMurdo Station, and who made a total of 11 research trips to the Antarctic.
  • And representing New Mexico, Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve in Congress.  (2016).

The library website has on-line materials for those interested in further research on Women’s History Month, according to Tomchak.

Resources can be found here.

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