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OSU professors, students publish "Oklahoma Women's Almanac"

Monday, March 6, 2006

STILLWATER, OKLA. –As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month this March, two Oklahoma State University professors are celebrating women’s contributions in their new book, “Oklahoma Women’s Almanac.”

Professors Bob Darcy and Jennifer Paustenbaugh, along with a team of their students, have released the first almanac to focus exclusively on the status and accomplishments of Oklahoma women.

“From politics and business to education and the arts – every aspect of Oklahoma life has been shaped by women who were as unafraid of failure as they were of shaking cultural norms,” Gov. Brad Henry wrote in the book’s foreword.

From the first woman sheriff in 1939, Grady County’s Mrs. Emma Bond, to Oklahoma’s 2001 status as the state with the highest female incarceration rate, the book paints the lives of Oklahoma’s women through biographies, pictures and statistics.

Darcy says Oklahoma’s story is important to tell because it is rich but often marred with misperceptions.

“Women’s suffrage in Oklahoma is often seen as unprogressive, but that’s not true,” Darcy said. “The (Oklahoma) culture favored women’s political rights at an early period but politics frustrated appropriate legislation. The law held women back.

“This book will help correct some of those misperceptions and raise awareness of important issues facing Oklahoma women,” he said.

Work on the project afforded 24 students the opportunity to learn about Oklahoma icons, conduct research and become published.

“I really appreciate Dr. Darcy and his willingness to get students involved,” said Lori Allen, who contributed to the project. “Gathering data, conducting field research and getting published is an opportunity not many undergraduates get.”

Darcy said the students were an integral part of the project.

“Without them this book would never have been realized,” he said. “This was an opportunity for them to tell a story and to give something back to the state of Oklahoma.”

The 576-page book is an official Oklahoma Centennial project and is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and the OSU Women’s Archives.

The book is available for $24.95 plus shipping online at All proceeds will support future publication projects funded by the OSU Women’s Archives, which strives to preserve the stories and document the accomplishments of Oklahoma’s women.

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