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Message from the Dean: Women Making a Difference

eNews Edition: Fall 2018

One of the most rewarding aspects of library work is to provide diverse educational and cultural programming and resources that recognize individual accomplishments and document transformative social movements. In this issue of the Oviatt Library eNews, the editorial staff wanted to highlight women’s achievements. The CSU boasts a strong contingent of women leaders (52.2 percent of CSU campus presidents are women – nearly double the national average for U.S. colleges and universities). At CSUN, the past 26 years have been led by a woman president. In fall 2017, there were 21,982 female students enrolled at CSUN, 55.2% of the student body. Women dominated the graduate student population at 65.3%, compared to 34.7% men. The current president and vice-president of the CSUN Associated Students are both women. Several key top level administrators at CSUN are also women, along with the president of the CSUN Faculty Senate.

Dean Mark Stover
Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover

In anticipation of the centennial of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, the Oviatt Library Special Collections & Archives has launched an exhibition titled “What She Said: 100 Years of Women's Civic and Community Engagement.” You’ll find the story behind the exhibit and reactions to its opening event in our Oviatt Spotlight section. The Library also provides students and faculty with a variety of print and electronic resources that focus on research in women and gender studies. One example is the database GenderWatch, which contains articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers providing authoritative perspectives on how gender roles have evolved over time. Another is the Archives of Sexuality & Gender database, providing students with primary source documents focusing on the LGBTQ community.

Finally, I should note that the Oviatt Library is the steward of the Bonita Campbell Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Endowment, which encourages women to enter the STEM fields and thrive in their careers through scholarships, paid internships, research fellowships, mentoring activities, and special lectures featuring prominent and successful female scientists and engineers. Through her generosity, Dr. Campbell (the first female tenured engineering faculty member at CSUN) is impacting women – and society at large – for generations to come. The WISE Endowment is representative in many ways of the commitment that the Oviatt Library has made to inspiring women to greater heights, documenting their achievements, and providing access to their stories for those who seek to follow in their footsteps. The motto of WISE easily fits into the strategic mission of the Oviatt Library: “Inspire the future, nurture the present, and celebrate the past.”