Women's History Month

Throughout Purdue's history, women have been instigators of progress, difference makers, and a vital part of our community. Be inspired by the stories of some of our women alumni, learn about giant leaps taken by women at the women's archive, and connect with some of the women's organizations at Purdue as we celebrate Women's History Month this March.

Making History at Purdue and Beyond

Lacey Davidson

Lacey J. Davidson (PhD ’19, Philosophy) 

As part of the Purdue's Women in Philosophy graduate student group, Davidson and other graduate students hosted the Inclusive Philosophy Conference, discussing topics such as sexuality, sex and gender, intersectionality, race and racism, and political philosophy. Davidson also participated in the founding of the Younger Women’s Task Force of Greater Lafayette. YWTF continues to be a successful organizing group in the Greater Lafayette area. 

"When I first arrived, there was a Women in Philosophy program. Faculty and graduate students would get together in a social way. In Philosophy, that’s super important because there are not that many women. To be able to have that support from other women was important."

- Lacey Davidson

Davidson is now an Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Indianapolis. She credits the professional development experiences and support she had at Purdue with helping her to successfully prepare for and transition into a tenure-tenure track philosophy faculty position in a tight job market. 

Read about Lacey's giant leap

Ingrid Ramón Parra

Ingrid Ramón Parra (PhD ’21, Anthropology)

She was born in a small town in the Colombian Amazon and arrived as an undocumented immigrant with her family in the US when she was eight years old. Today, Ramón Parra's giant leap from one of the most vulnerable members of our population—an undocumented immigrant child in the US—to doctora, recipient of a doctoral degree from Purdue and dual citizenship of the US and Colombia, enables her to use all of her faculties to help others as vulnerable as she once was.

Pursuing a doctoral degree is hard work for most everyone, and Ramón Parra was no exception. It took her seven years to complete her PhD.

"It was a grand challenge in my life to get to the end. But I did it. It was not easy. It never is.”

- Ingrid Ramón Parra

That journey to her degree was made a little easier in 2021 with the surprise award of a graduate women’s scholarship made possible through the generosity of Dean Linda Mason. The goal of the scholarship was to support the advancement of graduate women at Purdue who are not supported by an assistantship or fellowship.

“From the perspective of both a woman with a PhD as well as dean of a graduate school, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges that women—especially minority and international women, face in securing adequate funding and pursuing an advanced degree. These women are doing amazing work and offer great promise for the future. I’m thrilled to play a role in supporting their success,” Mason said.

Read Ingrid's full story

Susan Bulkeley Butler Women's Archives

The Susan Bulkeley Butler Women's Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for research original and rare materials that capture the often overlooked and underrepresented stories of women and their communities in Purdue and Indiana's past.

Women's Organizations at Purdue

Women in Engineering Program – Graduate Women in Engineering Network

Photo of GWEN members

The mission of the Graduate Women in Engineering Network (GWEN) is to provide a supportive environment for the purpose of sharing information and strategies to enable women engineering graduate students to achieve success personally, academically, and professionally. 

Purdue Women's Network

The Purdue Women’s Network inspires women to recognize their individual and collective power to motivate, uplift, and connect with students, alumnae, and friends of Purdue.

Purdue Women's Club

Purdue Women's Club logo

The Purdue Women’s Club provides opportunities for women of Purdue or the greater Lafayette area to grow educationally, socially, and creatively.

Are you part of a graduate women’s organization at Purdue that is not listed here? Let us know at gradreq@purdue.edu

Women's History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. The commemoration began in 1978 as "Women's History Day" in Sonoma County, California. In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as Women's History Month. (Source: National Women's History Museum)