Women warriors are being sought for a class project at Northeastern State University.
Dr. Christine Hallman is an associate professor of geography and sustainability studies, and is in her 11th year at NSU. She began teaching "Geography of Warrior Women" in 2017, and offers it each fall.
"To my knowledge, there's no other class like it," she said.
Throughout the course, students look at how warrior women are represented in movies, TV, comic books, and other media, as well as how they are presented in toy form on the shelves. Topics that come up include diversity, equality, and how representation matters.
Along with discussions, hands-on activities, and guest speakers, Hallman's students get choices for semester projects. In the past, options have included volunteering at Help In Crisis or The Barracks in Muskogee; or displays on campus of female veterans or American suffragists.
The options for this semester were to be poster displays of women involved in World War II; participatory displays of female veterans or active military members; and window visits and card deliveries to a long-term care facility.
Hallman isn't too sure how feasible the last one will be during the pandemic.
"We want to honor these women who made a difference. Warriors are doers, and we are warriors, so we do," she said. "The students really get into it. It's one of their favorite parts of class."
Hallman is reaching out to the community to help find some warrior women who fit the bill for the participatory display project, which will consist of photos and-or brief stories about women veterans or active military members. They would also like to include those who participated in WWII or other military conflicts as factory workers, pilots, spies, engineers, nurses, farmers, scientists, Red Cross volunteers, and other areas.
"Participatory displays created by students provide invaluable learning experiences for not only students, but also NSU and the wider community. It promotes diversity, provides opportunities for everyone to broaden their perspectives, and honor these warriors," said Hallman. "This has the potential to not only empower but inspire others to learn more about our history and these brave women."
Currently, the group has photos and information on three women warriors for the project: two WWII factory workers, and one member of the Women's Army Corps.
"They can be from any era. It can be women from anywhere, not just Oklahoma. We just want to honor any female veteran or active member, and those who worked on the homefront during World War II," said Hallman.
Once photos and stories are gathered, the students will make PowerPoint slides and Hallman will have them compiled and printed. The project will be displayed in the NSU John Vaughan Library.
"Students need to see they are surrounded by women who make a difference," said Hallman. "It's a way for us all to honor these women."
To participate in the Geography of Warrior Women class project, send a photo and-or brief story of a warrior woman to Dr. Christine Hallman at firstname.lastname@example.org.