By Mia Steben
Western students collaborated with the American Association of University Women to celebrate their passion for women’s education, equality and justice.
To celebrate AAUW’s 100th anniversary, Western students created a video that showcases the organization’s work over the years.
They brought together interviews and images to capture the members’ dedication and determination to act upon change and see it transpire in the community.
Several Western students spent winter quarter preparing a 10-minute video with the guidance of Associate Professor of English Jeremy Cushman, who acted as an adviser on the project.
Cushman said he wanted his class to focus on more than just writing about a service-learning project, and to engage c
ommunity partners and help build relationships with nonprofits organizations.
He began meeting individuals in the English and science departments who were affiliated with AAUW, which led him to Judith Entwife, AAUW’s Bellingham branch president.
The nonprofit needed a video that would celebrate their work and demonstrate a story, and Western had just the students for the project, he said.
Seniors Kimberly Montgomery and Lauren Smith were both inspired by the courageous women the class interviewed.
“It really made me appreciate how far we’ve come, interviewing these women and hearing their stories,” Montgomery said.
Some of these women reflected back on times of being underrepresented and dismissed for their participation in higher education, she said.
Both agreed it was a challenge.
“We had a lot of challenges in terms of putting the video together. We were not experienced with video editing,” Smith said.
Entwife appreciated the students’ effort and work.
“We as a community are in great shape because these young women were bright, intense and working hard to prepare themselves to fight the good fight,” Entwife said.
She said the video was a benchmark of inspiration and motivation to accomplish even more.
AAUW sponsored this year’s Women’s March and March for Our Lives along with fundraising for students’ education, especially in the science, technology, engineering and math programs.
AAUW raised money through a fundraiser to provide the necessary funds and resources for middle and high schoolers to fuel their interest and pursue the tech field.
“They are passionate and driven. It shows that a group of women can make big changes, which is really inspirational,” Montgomery said.