Panelists to Celebrate Beloved Professor

Mar 02, 2021

Cal U's Women's History Month celebration continues March 11.

women's history

Cal U’s celebration of Women’s History Month continues at 11 a.m. March 11 when members of the campus community gather virtually to celebrate the life lessons of the late Dr. Melanie Blumberg, a political science professor who passed away in 2020. 

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the public are invited to “A Life Well-Lived: Lessons from Mel Blumberg,” with panelists Courtney Cochran ’12, ’13, former student; Dr. Laura Tuennerman, history professor; Liz Mims, director, Dress for Success; Dr. Kelton Edmonds, history professor; Dr. Ayanna Walker, professor of health sciences; Dr. Lenora Angelone, former vice president for Student Affairs. 

Join the Zoom event at 

Women’s History Month events began March 2 with Lisa Tetrault, associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University. In “When Women Won the Right to Vote: A History Unfinished,” Zoom presentation, she explained the history of voting rights in the United States as a matter largely left up to individual states rather than constitutional amendments. 

The 19th amendment, which is known as giving women the right to vote, “an ongoing, unfinished story,” Tetrault said.   

“Our founding fathers punted on the whole thing,” Tetrault said of guaranteeing the right to vote. “They kicked it over to the states, and that’s still largely true today. But that means that states can continue to throw up new hurdles, and that’s what has happened over time. 

“We’ve seen a wave of these tactics: enacting voter ID laws, closing polling locations, purging voter rolls.” 

Other Speakers and Panel Discussions  

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. March 18: “Yoga Roots on Location.” Felicia Savage Friedman emphasizes an individual and collective care approach to dismantling systems of oppression and integrating a trauma-sensitive, holistic approach to daily life.


11 a.m.-noon March 23: “Women Paving the Way” panel discussion. Participants: Traci McDonald, judge, Washington County Court of Common Pleas; Michel Conklin, executive director, BotsIQ; Melissa Stein, co-founder, Stein Wealth Advisors; Tiffany Kline-Costa, sergeant of the Community Engagement Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.


11 a.m.-noon March 30: “Celebration of Women” gathering. Recipients of The President’s Commission for the Status of Women Person of the Year award and the Mel Blumberg Sunshine Award will be announced. The award honors Blumberg's commitment to her field of political science, to teaching, to the American Democracy project, and to her friends, colleagues and community.

"Mel mentored so many students and colleagues by listening and offering sage advice, connecting people to each other and opportunities, and by building people up," said Dr. Laura Tuennerman, a history professor and director of the American Democracy Project at Cal U. "Mel nominated others for awards and highlighted their good work and accomplishments. She was a ray of sunshine on campus and in the community. She showered that light on others. The Sunshine Award honors both Dr. Melanie Blumberg and will now honor those who carry on Mel's legacy of spreading sunshine to others."



3 p.m. March 7: “RBG”
Discussion begins at 4:45 p.m.

3 p.m. March 21: “The Farewell”
Discussion begins at 4:45 p.m.

Follow @CalUofPA on social media as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 and International Social Work Day on March 16. 

Women’s History Month events are sponsored by The American Democracy Project at Cal U, the women’s studies program and the Women’s Center.