While researching the Mad About March post I found the National Women’s History Project site. On this site I found biographies of great women who’ve contributed to history and the advances women have made. I was inspired as I read along and wanted to share these wonderful women and their accomplishments with the world so I e-mailed and asked to please publish a few biographies each week here on Soapboxville. The nice people at the National Women’s History Project kindly agreed to allow it.
For even more bios visit the National Women’s History Project at http://www.nwhp.org.
Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)
Apgar graduated in 1933 from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1949, she became the first full professor of anesthesiology at Columbia. In 1952, she developed the internationally adopted Apgar Score System which measures a newborn infant’s heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, reflexes and color. She joined the National Foundation—March of Dimes in 1959, and in 1967, she became director of basic research for the Foundation.
Mary Arlene Appelhof ( 1936 –2005 )
Biologist, Worm Farmer, Educator, Publisher, and Environmentalist
Mary Appelhof advocated using the lowly earthworm to recycle food waste into usable fertilizer. In the early 1970s she turned her basement worm container into a career designing composting bins, marketing worms, and authoring Worms Eat My Garbage. As “Worm Woman,” she introduced thousands of schoolchildren and home gardeners to the fascinating, environmentally-significant activity of vermicomposting. http://www.wormwoman.com/acatalog/index.html
Roswitha Augusta, is an entrepreneur, naturalist, and environmental filmmaker. In 1980, she established Augusta Properties, an apartment management company. Her profound love of nature prompted her to learn filmmaking and produce the award winning documentary, Preserving the Future, about the conflict between preserving our environment and urbanization. Additionally, she hosts a cable television program about local environmental issues.
Stephanie Avery (b. 1975)
Director of Special Projects, YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear and Leave No Trace Master Educator
Ms. Avery developed ECO CAMPS on YWCA property. She personally built nature trails through the wetlands using the best practices of “Leave No Trace,” spearheaded the identification of the flora and fauna, and created a tent classroom. She continues her work in conducting workshops and running ongoing ECO CAMPS and striving to help the community form habits to protect and preserve the environment.
Judith F. Baca (1946-)
Determined to give all people a voice in public art and urban culture, Baca organized over 1,000 young people in Los Angeles to create more than 250 murals citywide. Starting in 1974, her massive works have brought together young people from different ethnic neighborhoods to explore their cultural histories and make connections to their lives today. Since 1987, Baca has been creating an enormous portable mural called the “World Wall” to promote global peace.
Ella Baker (1903–1986)
Baker worked steadily for 50 years to gain civil and voting rights for blacks. As Field Secretary and later Director of Branches for the NAACP, from 1938–1946, she traveled extensively in the segregated South, often at great peril. Baker helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1958, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964.
Clara Barton (1821- 1912)
Nurse, American Red Cross Founder
Barton began her humanitarian work in the Civil War when she collected and delivered supplies and nursed wounded Union soldiers. She was called the “Angel of the Battlefield.” In 1869, she learned about the work of the International Red Cross, founded in 1863 in Geneva. Barton helped convince the United States to sign the Geneva treaty in 1882, and in 1893, she became president of the American Red Cross. For 22 years, Barton led its disaster relief work.
Mollie Beattie (1947 – 1996)
Forester, Conservationist and Government Official
Mollie Beattie was the first woman to head the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces wildlife laws and administers the Endangered Species Act. Beattie oversaw the successful reintroduction of the gray wolf into northern Rocky Mountains. To recognize her extraordinary work in the field of conservation, Congress named a wilderness area in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in her honor.
Catharine Beecher (1800-1852)
Beecher was a dedicated advocate of education for women. Beecher founded the Hartford Female Seminary in 1827 and later opened schools in western towns to train women to be teachers and strong mothers. Her 1869 book, The American Woman’s Home, gave basic information on child rearing, housekeeping, and cooking. She endorsed exercise, non-restrictive clothes, fresh air, and good food to develop healthy women able to raise educated citizens.
Rebecca Bell (b.1953)
Environmental Education Specialist
Rebecca Bell has provided outstanding leadership in embedding environmental issues into the Maryland State curriculum for all public schools. Honored as the Maryland Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, Ms. Bell was selected in 2008 to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea program to help scientists monitor changing ecosystem. Rebecca also serves on the Governor’s Climate Change Commission.