2018 Writing Women Into History Recipients

The Macomb Feminist Network has selected Sally Egler, Martha Klems, Maurine Magliocco, and Paula Wise to receive its 2018 Writing Women into History Award. The women will be honored at a Saturday, March 3, reception at the Wesley Village Community Center for their outstanding contributions to the local community.

The Macomb Feminist Network established the Writing Women into History Award because women have often been overlooked in history. Through the award, the Network seeks to expand public knowledge and appreciation of individual women whose initiatives, advocacy, and engagement have strengthened the local community in significant ways. This year’s recipients, like previous recipients, excel as role models and community leaders.

Sally Egler, beyond the impact she has had during her 20 years as a respected teacher at Macomb Public High School, has been particularly active in the League of Women Voters. A member for 25 years, she has served as the League’s Vice-President and as Chair of the Voters Service Committee and has been the principal organizer of the forums the League sponsors to introduce voters to candidates seeking local elected offices. Egler has also been a member of the Macomb Zoning Board of Appeals, a volunteer at the West Central Illinois Arts Center, a reader for Western Illinois University’s Radio Information Services, a member of the Community/ University Partnership Program (CUPP) and a founding member of the Macomb Feminist Network. She received a Quality of Life Award for her leadership in changing city zoning codes to protect single-family neighborhoods.

Marths Klems has been at the forefront of feminist and civic activism for decades. Since coming to Macomb to teach at Western Illinois University (WIU), she has been exceptionally active in the Western Organization for Women, University Women, the Women’s Center Advisory Board, the Macomb Feminist Reading Group, and the Macomb Feminist Network. Klems has also brought her activism to her service on the Macomb School Board (2003-2011), the McDonough County Democratic Party, the county’s Democratic Coalition, and Indivisible, a grassroots organization promoting progressive political action in local, state, and national government. As a negotiator for non-tenure-track faculty at WIU, she proved to be sharp, flexible, balanced, thorough and articulate, qualities consistently reflected in her activities, whether these are primarily civic or political.

Maurine Magliocco’s impact on Macomb and Western Illinois University revolves most vividly around her roles as the first Director of WIU Women’s Center, as President of the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI), and more comprehensively as an advocate for justice and equity. As Director of WIU’s Women’s Center, she had to secure space and staff before beginning the many programs that provided support for women on campus and in the community, including leadership and diversity workshops and initiatives to counter domestic violence and sexual assault. As President of UPI, Magliocco worked tirelessly with colleagues to strengthen the union’s effectiveness by focusing on shared, issue-defined goals. In these roles and as an advocate for multiple social justice issues she has followed a similar path: thorough study followed by action to impact decision makers and legislative outcomes.

Paula Wise, during her time at Western Illinois University, directed the school psychology program, developing it to meet state and national accreditation standards and prepare students for professional careers. Since her retirement, she has poured her energy into numerous endeavors within the community. She has shown exemplary skills in leadership as Co-chair of the Learning Is Forever (LIFE) program Curriculum Committee, as a member, then President, of the Friends of the Macomb Public Library Board, and as Chair of the Creative Elder Options Committee which revises and distributes free booklets with information on area resources for older adults. Wise has also served as program Chair/Co-chair of the Centennial Morning Rotary and is a reader for WIU’s Radio Information Service. An exceptional role model, she has spearheaded many efforts to meet the health, social, and intellectual needs of the community.

These women join the women who have been honored previously with the Writing Women into History Award: Wanda Black, Mary Ellen Graff, Rosa Julestrom, and Beth Stiffler (2010), Connie Berg, Marcia Moll, and Ruth Parks (2011), Maria Dunstan, Judith Kohler, and Donna Werner (21012), Josephine Johnson, Elizabeth Kaspar, and Janice Welsch (2013), Gordana Rezab, Alice Swain, and Mary Warnock (2014), Lois Ganyard, Margaret Ovitt, and Suzan Nash (2015), Alice Henry, Alta Sargent, and Peggy Scharfenburg (2016); and Lorraine Epperson, Debbie Maguire, Pamella McLean, and Rebecca “Becky” Parker (2017).

The public is invited to join MFN members in honoring this year’s award recipients at Wesley Village Community Center between 10:00 a.m. and noon, on March 3rd. Following a light brunch, honorees will tell their own stories of activism and civic commitment.

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