Today is International Women’s Day, which is celebrated all around the world. Check out this website to see if there are any events in your country and/or area. Today I am thankful for all of the women in my life who have inspired me to view women as people who can do important things in this world, from raising a family to making scientific discoveries.
I’m inspired by Susan B. Anthony and other women who fought for the right to vote and by women like Amelia Earhart, who showed that women can be brave and skilled in traditionally masculine fields such as aviation. But, mostly, I’m thankful for the amazing women in my life who have personally inspired me.
My mother, Beth Wade, worked hard to finish her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees all after raising 5 children. She showed me that education is an important tool for opening doors for opportunity.
I’ve had a lot of teachers who’ve inspired me. A few that stand out in my mind are Julie Crenshaw, my 5th grade teacher who taught me to love poetry, Mary Ann Felps, my high school English teacher who would never take less than your best work, Donna Reynolds, my high school drama teacher who helped each of us find our own unique voice, and the only female psychology teacher that I had as an undergraduate, Dr. Ina Green. Dr. Green spent most of her career being the only woman on faculty in the psychology department in the university I attended as an undergraduate. Her wicked humor, brilliance, and tough as nails approach kept her soaring in a situation that might have grounded others.
My friend, Caron Gentry, is one of the smartest and most determined people who I know. Caron has encouraged me to believe that I have important information to share with the world, and given me the push I needed to do it.
My three daughters inspire me everyday with their belief in themselves and their vision for who they can become. I love that my oldest daughter will try anything once even if she’s not good at it. I love that she knows that she’s good at math. I love my middle daughter’s heart that reaches out to those who are hurting and finds ways to comfort those who are left out. My youngest daughter is full of spirit and ready to take on the world.
A lot of my students inspire me. There are two that particularly stand out in my mind. One is Brit’ny Spain, who is one of the smartest people I know, period. She’s also one of the most committed and when she says she’s going to do something, you best get out of the way because that girl is going to make it happen and make it wonderful. Another is Trisha Riggs. Trisha came back to get her Bachelors as a non-traditional student who already had three children. She has worked hard to finish a master’s degree and has now started on a second one! With grace, smarts, and a will of iron, Trisha has gone from being a young, struggling, single mother to a bright professional who is determined to help children in need.
There are so many women who have influenced me for the better, and today I celebrate each one of them. Who are the women who have inspired you?