13 February 2013

Female Role Models IX

So there was this great meme on Twitter - TellAFeministThankYou - that trended worldwide for a while. It was a great opportunity for people to send shout-outs to their friends, family, colleagues, and mentors, and thousands of people did exactly that.  Of course, it was also a great opportunity for a few folks to drop some virtual turds in the tweetbowl:

Of course, these dopes represented a very small minority of the discussion participants and for the most part they got their butts handed to them pretty good.  But, as is my custom, any time knuckle-draggers like these guys decide to spout off is a good time to introduce and celebrate another group of female role models.  Once again, the criteria I use are pretty basic:
Someone an online mom can show her daughter [or son, a great point my wife made] and say, "See her? See what she's doing? See how she's living in the same world you are, with the same challenges you have, and see how she succeeds? THAT is how you do this. THAT is what I stand for. I want you to be like HER."
So here's my latest list, and I hope those chuckleheads keep talking smack. My list of role models is pretty long.

Christine Koh. Dr. Koh spent about a decade in academia and built a very impressive track record of success.  She then decided to change things up a bit and started her own graphic design firm and a parenting online portal and resource for moms and dads in the Boston area.   She's been featured in more mainstream publications than I can mention and continues to be a strong leader in the online parenting community.

Carolina Valencia. If you want to see the the best that social media will offer in the future, I think you should look at Carolina Valencia today.  She's the director of social media for Univision, and did award-winning work at the New York Times before that. The content she curates on her Tumblr demonstrates a sense of continuity - she pays homage to the important people who came before her and she celebrates the current accomplishments of her role models, while she looks to her own future.  She's also a Yankees fan, so I'm trying really hard not to hold that against her.

Kate Clancy. There aren't too many people who are on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign, taught expository writing at Harvard, and compete in roller derby. (Seriously, roller derby.) Dr. Clancy is a teacher, a mentor, a researcher, a communicator, a mother, and an activist. She displays a relentless commitment to diversity and helping everyone find her or his voice.

Stephanie Himel-Nelson. This "recovering attorney" and Air Force brat takes service to others seriously.  She's the community manager at Attain Fertility and she co-founded Blue Star Families in 2008. Since then this organization has grown to 70 chapters around the country, giving military families the resources they need to help other military families.

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