Student Government launches Women’s Week at Iowa State

AMES, Iowa — A week of events, lectures and panel discussions at Iowa State University will focus on women: their strengths, contributions and challenges faced.

Women’s Week 2021, scheduled for March 8-12, is part of Women’s History Month, with the goal of empowering and highlighting strong women around the world. ISU Student Government created Women’s Week in recognition of the need to empower women to continue fighting for equity and to take on leadership positions.

Anna Olson, senior director of communications for ISU Student Government and junior in journalism and mass communication from Boone, says talking with women from around the world through her internship with the Iowa Resource for International Service inspired the series of events. Olson coordinated with Eliana Crabb, director of outreach for ISU Student Government and senior in hospitality management from Kenosha, Wisconsin, to brainstorm a way to bring awareness to the status of women's rights around the world and in our own backyard.

“We couldn't think of a better way to do that than allowing women the chance to talk, listen and share experiences they have had,” Olson said. “We are so excited to put on this event through Student Government and to highlight amazing women both on and off-campus in order to empower all women to seek leadership roles and continue to fight for gender equity.”

The week of events includes a lecture every night. Each day, a variety of panel discussions will highlight the diverse experiences of women – at Iowa State, throughout Iowa and around the globe.

Full details, including URLs to attend virtual events, can be found at All events are free and open to the public. Face coverings and physical distancing are required for all in-person events.

Women’s Week lectures are co-sponsored by Women’s Week 2021 and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government. The March 10 lecture is also co-sponsored by the U.S. Latino/a Studies program. Find more information about ISU lectures online.

Schedule of events

Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred

Monday, March 8

11 a.m.: Women in Politics panel (Democratic), online

  • Swati Dandekar, former Iowa state legislator, former U.S. executive director of Asian Development Bank, former Iowa Utilities Board member
  • Ruth Ann Gaines, Iowa state representative, 32nd District
  • Jackie Norris, senior adviser to President Joe Biden’s general election team, previously an assistant to Former President Barack Obama and chief of staff to Former First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Iowa state representative, 45th District

2 p.m.: Women in Politics panel (Republican), online

  • Holly Brink, Iowa state representative, 80th District
  • Joni Ernst, U.S. senator for Iowa
  • Megan Jones, Iowa state representative, 2nd District
  • Carrie Koelker, Iowa state senator, 29th District

5:30 p.m.: Opening session, Memorial Union Great Hall, in-person

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.: Women in Business vendors
  • 6:30-7 p.m.: Women’s Week video and opening session with Morgan Fritz, ISU student body president; and Wendy Wintersteen, ISU president

7 p.m.: “Women's Rights and Women's Wrongs in the Me Too Era”

Gloria Allred, women’s rights attorney and National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee

Watch online or attend an in-person watch party in the MU Great Hall

Tuesday, March 9

Karen Gale

Karen Gale

11 a.m.: Violence Against Women and Women’s Health panel, online

  • Monic Behnken, associate professor of sociology and director of the leadership studies program
  • Margo Foreman, assistant vice president for diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity
  • Adrienne Lyles, associate director of equal opportunity and senior deputy Title IX coordinator
  • Emily Miller, health promotion coordinator for Green Dot and sexual health
  • Alissa Stoehr, assistant teaching professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies

7 p.m.: “Women in the Criminal Justice System from an FBI Victim Specialist's Perspective”

Karen Gale, FBI mobile victim specialist

Watch online or attend an in-person watch party in the MU Sun Room

Wednesday, March 10

Shannon Harper

Shannon Harper

2  p.m.: Diversity and Inclusion panel, online

  • Sandra Marcu, director of the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity
  • Cheltzie Miller-Bailey, assistant director of the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success
  • Rita Mookerjee, assistant teaching professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies
  • Toyia K. Younger, senior vice president for student affairs

7 p.m.: “No Way Out: Severely Abused Latinas, Intimate Terrorism, and Killing to Survive”

Shannon Harper, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice

Watch online or attend an in-person watch party in the MU Sun Room

Thursday, March 11

1 p.m.: International Perspectives panel, online

Ebby Luvaga

Ebby Luvaga

  • Meghann Hall, Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS) exchange student alumna from South Africa
  • Dorothy Masinde, associate teaching professor of horticulture and global resource systems
  • Ndeenga Shamata, IRIS exchange student alumna from Tanzania
  • Valeria Volkogonova, IRIS exchange student alumna from Belarus

7 p.m.: “One Woman's Journey: From a Kenyan Village School to an American University”

Ebby Luvaga, teaching professor of economics

Watch online or attend an in-person watch party in the MU Sun Room

Friday, March 12

5-6:30 p.m.: Closing ceremony and Female Leadership panel, Memorial Union Great Hall, in-person 

Jackson Katz

Jackson Katz

  • Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty and professor of Spanish
  • Sharron Evans, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students
  • Bria Felix, junior in apparel, merchandising and design and Womxn of Colour Network president
  • Alejandra Flores, junior in political science and history and International Student Council president
  • Abigail Fowler, junior in microbiology and former First-Year Council president
  • Morgan Fritz, senior in political science and ISU student body president
  • Rachel Junck, senior in chemical engineering, graduate student in business administration and Ames City Council Ward 4 representative
  • Kay McClelland, senior in psychology and Collegiate Panhellenic Council president
  • Lynette Pohlman, director and chief curator of University Museums and associate professor of art and visual culture

7 p.m.: “What Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence, and How They Play an Active Role in Counteracting This Behavior”  

Jackson Katz, author, educator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society

Watch online or attend an in-person watch party in the MU Great Hall