In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that forever marked March as a commemoration to women’s history, tribulations and successes. This month, Seton Hall students reflected on the women in their lives.
Annamarie Anton, a junior undecided major, said Women’s History Month is “a time to observe the women in the world and in our own personal lives who have had a positive impact.”
Anton said that a significant woman in her life is her sister who she described as hardworking, motivational and keen on pursuing her interests. Similarly, Emilia Jastrzębski, a junior social and behavioral science major, said her biggest role model is her older sister who is resilient, determined and pure-hearted.
Amanda Araujo, a junior business major, shared that her female family members are some of the most influential and significant women in her life.
“My mother and grandmother are particularly important to me because they always inspired me to face whatever scared me,” Araujo said. “Because of their persistence, I grew, and continued flourishing into the woman I am today.”
Sara Vasquez, a senior diplomacy major, expressed gratitude for her mother who immigrated to the U.S. and earned her citizenship and master’s degree. Vasquez said that she feels inspired by her mother’s hard work ethic and character.
Female students with similar interests can join several clubs on campus and support one another. Jastrzębski, the president of SHU Women in Business, said that Seton Hall is a community of empowered women and that she is especially proud of the work of her organization.
“Firsthand, I have seen members gain and grow the necessary skills for the professional world, and seeing that is more rewarding than I can put into words,” Jastrzębski said.
Similarly, Bailey Keenan, a junior sports management major, said being a member of SHU Women in Business has helped her gain self-esteem and confidence for her future in the workforce.
Like Jastrzębski and Keenan, other female students have found solace in the groups they partake in. Karina Helou, a junior biology major and member of Seton Hall’s Women in STEM, said that being a part of the club has helped her overcome obstacles and feel comfortable entering a male-dominated field.
“Women can share their experiences in the working world and how they have overcome their own obstacles,” Helou said. “I think there also is enormous value in having male professionals in your corner, as they can help you navigate a male-dominated field. We even have a few male members of Women in STEM, and they have been nothing short of supportive.”
Dr. Judith Stark, a professor of Philosophy and the Environment, offered advice to female students entering the workforce.
“Devote yourself to your professional training and to your personal development,” Stark said. “Don’t let the expectations and limits of others constrain your ambition and goals. Find and cultivate your own voice and have the courage to speak your true nature in your professional and personal life.”
Dr. Kristen Schultz, a professor of history, also shared advice.
“Pursue a profession and work that you like doing, that you care about, that you are proud of,” Schultz said. “The pursuit of professional success demands a lot of our time. Giving your time to your profession is less of a burden when you enjoy what you are doing.”
Even after Women’s History Month, Isabella Somera, a senior biochemistry major, said she believes that one should actively work to honor the women in their lives.
“I honor those in my life by being present to the women around me, offering advice when asked, and celebrating a sister’s accomplishment with her,” Somera said. “More than ever, we need support and appreciation for one another.”
Alyssa Tolentino, a senior diplomacy major and member of Women in Diplomacy, said everyone should express gratitude to the women in their lives.
“Express gratitude even just for the little things, and be there for them to lean on during lows and to celebrate the highs,” Tolentino said.
Amber Chaudry, a senior biochemistry major, said to honor the important women of the past and their accomplishments during Women’s History Month and continue to work toward their agenda.
“Remember all the women who have fought to get us to where we are today, and we must continue to fight not only for ourselves, but for the future generations of women,” Chaudry said.
During this Women’s History Month, Iyanna Fairfax, a junior journalism major, said she encourages students to show appreciation for women by accepting them and supporting what they are doing.
“If you see a woman working hard, compliment them,” Fairfax said. “There are a lot of ways to show support; people just have to find what is comfortable to them.”
Sara AttiA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.