U.Va. Alumna to Speak Today About New Book on 'Women Who Changed America'

February 17, 2009

February 17, 2009 — Jill Tietjen, a University of Virginia alumna, will lecture Wednesday at 4 p.m. on her book, "The Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand: How Women Have Changed the Culture and Economy of the U.S." Her talk, co-sponsored by the U.Va. Women's Center, the Society for Women Engineers and the Engineering Council, will take place at the U.Va. Bookstore Mezzanine.

"Her Story" documents the breadth and diversity of American women's achievements throughout U.S. history. This one-of-a-kind illustrated timeline highlights the varied and often unrecognized contributions of American women since the 1500s.

Women have had a profound impact on the intellectual, social and political development of American society, but many of their contributions have gone unnoticed. Most people have heard of Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Sanger and Eleanor Roosevelt.But did you know that a woman microbiologist discovered the bacterium responsible for undulant fever, which then led to the pasteurization of all milk? Or that a woman patented the paper-bag folding machine to make square-bottom bags (the grocery bag)? Or that a female mathematician's work laid the foundation for abstract algebra?

The women featured in "Her Story" range from writers, artists, actors and athletes to doctors, scientists, social and political activists, educators and inventors, and include women of all backgrounds and philosophies. The co-authors of "Her Story," Tietjen and Charlotte S. Waisman, have compiled a collection of women and events that provides a unique view of history.

The timeline also includes snapshots of events and organizations that have shaped women's experiences and women's history and, thereby, the culture and history of America. The familiar and unfamiliar stories that unfold here — from Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, to chemist Stephanie Kwolek's invention of Kevlar, the synthetic fiber used to make bulletproof vests — make "Her Story" a captivating look at champions that will resonate with women and men alike.