Boundary Breaking Women’s Panel to be hosted by Baylor’s Women’s and Gender Studies

September 13, 2022
Boundary Breaking Women 2022

Baylor faculty members will introduce ten extraordinary women and their stories during the seventh annual Boundary Breaking Women’s Panel.

Media Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 13, 2022) – Ten extraordinary women and their histories will be introduced by 10 Baylor faculty members during the seventh annual Boundary Breaking Women’s Panel, sponsored by Baylor’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. The panel will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center and is free and open to Baylor students, faculty and staff.

The featured boundary breaking women representing different countries, fields and historical eras include an enslaved woman who initiated a lawsuit that led to her freedom, a Soviet dissident poet, a primatologist, a science-fiction writer and even pirates. The panel will take place September 15, 3:30-4:30 in the Cashion Academic Center, 5th Floor.

“We know far too few remarkable women,” said Lisa Shaver, Ph.D., professor of English and former director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Baylor. “Their stories have traditionally been excluded and overlooked in the academy. That’s why this panel is so important. The stories of these women provide a richer and more accurate understanding of our history as well as amazing stories of ingenuity and perseverance.”

Faculty members from across the University are invited to choose a woman they are interested in presenting. Through this format, 10 Baylor faculty are highlighted in addition to the 10 women that are featured. “The event is a fast-paced, high-energy and fun way to learn about 10 amazing women in one hour,” Shaver said.

This year’s boundary breaking women and panelists include:

  • Elizabeth Freeman, Enslaved woman who initiated a lawsuit that led to her freedom (1744? -1829). Presented by Dean Patricia Wilson, Baylor Law School.
  • Catherine Cleary, American business leader (1916-2010). Presented by Dr. Emily Hunter, Management.
  • Margarita Nelken, Spanish feminist, writer, and politician (1894-1968). Presented by Dr. Leslie Harkema, Modern Languages and Cultures.
  • Helen Frankenthaler, American painter (1928-2011). Presented by Dr. Jane Damron, Communication.
  • Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist (1901-1978). Presented by Dr. Elesha Coffman, History.
  • Irina Ratushinskaya, Soviet dissident poet (1954-2017). Presented by Kathy Hillman, University Libraries.
  • Helen Barrett Montgomery, American social reformer, educator, and writer (1861-1934). Presented by Dr. Mandy McMichael, Religion.
  • Anne Bonny & Mary Read, Pirates (1680s-1720s). Presented by Dr. Dan Walden, English.
  • Jane Goodall, English primatologist (1934- ). Presented by Dr. Karine Gil, Biology.
  • Octavia Butler, American science-fiction writer (1947-2006). Presented by Dr. Anne-Marie Schultz, Philosophy.

The Boundary Breaking Women’s Panel began in 2014 by Kimberly Kellison, Ph.D., associate professor of history and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Kellison was invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in a United States Treasury Department roundtable of women leaders in various fields to provide feedback on plans to place a woman on U.S. currency. When Kellison returned to Baylor, she created the first Boundary Breaking Women’s panel with faculty to discuss women who merited consideration to be featured on the $10 bill, which was the discussion at the time. The Baylor panel was a success, and the department has continued the discussion each year.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.