Advisory: Women’s History Month story ideas from Marquette University

March 10, 2021

IWL word cloudMILWAUKEE — In honor of Women’s History Month, Marquette University is offering multiple story ideas.

Initially an all-male institution, Marquette became the first coeducational Catholic university in the world in 1909 when it began admitting its first female students.

From women in important leadership roles, to services for working moms, to notable alumni, women from across the Marquette community can help with coverage:

Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, offers a unique perspective as the first-ever female dean and full professor of engineering at Marquette, with the goal of “changing the face of engineering.” Ropella, a Marquette alumna, recently celebrated 30 years at the university. Email her at

The Institute for Women’s Leadership is hosting “The Impact of Subminimum Wage,” at 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 16. Presenters include Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California Berkeley, and Ryan Clancy, local advocate, businessman and Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Supervisor. This session is part of a series on pay equity. The IWL also recently published its first paper which finds women fill less than 10% of top-earning positions in Milwaukee law firms. Contact the IWL at

• Marquette alumna Dr. Shital Vora is the co-founder and CEO of Global Brigades — the largest student-funded humanitarian organization in the world. Vora and her leadership team recently made an organization-saving pivot to virtual programming in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Zoom — instead of airplanes — whisks students to Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama in real time. The program – called “TeleBrigades” – continues to bring hope to residents of resource-limited communities, while providing students with hands-on leadership and career-building skills via virtual experiential learning. To arrange an interview with Vora, email Madison Kane, Global Brigades’ public relations contact, at

Marquette Moms is an employee resource group made up of nearly 150 women. The group offers support to mothers as they strive to balance work, professional development and family. Members say the group has been particularly valuable during the pandemic, as many have found themselves working from home with young children and homeschooling. Email Brigid Kinsella- Alba, coordinator of mission programs in the Office of Mission and Ministry, at

Dr. Kimberly D’Anna-Hernandez, associate professor of psychology, is one of the newest faculty members in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the underlying behavioral and biological mechanisms — including acculturation and discrimination — behind perinatal health disparities of Latinx women. She is bilingual and is currently working with Milwaukee-area communities to identify possible collaborations so she can best use her expertise to serve others. Contact her at

About Shelby Williamson

Shelby Williamson

Shelby is a senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Shelby at (414) 288-6712 or