Women of DePauw
This project was created on the spur of the moment through discussions with former DePauw president Brian Casey, in response to the painting of his presidential portrait and it’s future placement in Meharry hall. We created this project to counter the visual representation of the portraits in Meharry, which mostly represented former DePauw college presidents, all of whom were men.
In late June 2016 I began contacting women from a cross-section of the DePauw campus. I played a frantic game of back and forth email tag with over 40 women –- for some of you that may sound familiar. Many were traveling, some were dealing with more pressing life issues, and some just didn’t feel like being photographed- which, I sincerely understood. I photographed the women that responded to my emails, were available and were willing to be involved in the project. But as much as possible, I tried to photograph women from diverse backgrounds and to include staff, faculty and students.
These women were simply told that their photograph would be printed 40”x 60” and located in a high-profile -- but secret -- place on campus at the start of classes. They were all offered the chance to vet their photograph before it was printed. They did not always know who else was being photographed, or how they would be portrayed as a group. My sincerest thanks to them for being brave enough and generous enough to trust me and participate in this first round of photographs.
As a documentary photographer, my life and work are deeply enriched by connecting with the people I am privileged to photograph. While doing this project, I heard stories of both adversity and strength in relation to being a woman -- and especially a woman of color -- on this campus. I was powerfully moved by this, even in the short time I spent with each one of these women. This project has been my most humbling moment at DePauw since I arrived 17 years ago.
I would like to Share just a few of those stories-
Francoise- described how when she arrived in 1985 only one woman faculty member was a full professor and that pay was not equal between male and female colleagues- she and other women of her time were successful in fighting for equitable salaries.
Jen Everett described the challenges of motherhood and work-such as Being addressed as a pregnant body first and colleague second and Navigating cultural, institutional, and internal turbulence around breastfeeding.
Mary Bretscher said the following- Our women's sports are exemplary. That was not always the case. The women's teams often had to fight for facility space for practices and contests; and appropriate staffing. Many on campus did not respect nor understand women's athletics.
Charlene—Shrewsbury- says--The field of Law Enforcement is male dominated, at times being an African-American woman has proven to be challenging. I am honored to represent DePauw University as not only the first African-American Law Enforcement Officer in Putnam County but, the first African-American female.
I believe these women have given us a gift. They have shared their likeness to help us diversify the visual representation of what DePauw is, and who we are as people. It’s an honor to share that representation in one of the University’s historical, sacred spaces.
This summer I had the honor of photographing seventeen women from the DePauw campus. In case you don’t know them- let me introduce them- starting in the upper west corner- and moving across the balcony to the east and then down to the stage-
Jennifer Everett- Associate Professor of Philosophy- co- director of environmental affairs
Rachel Hanebutt- alum
graduated last year-major in education studies and political science—
Valeta May- Client Services Consultant for Media Services-
Anika Green- senior- political science major-
Instructional Technologist, Part Time Instructor of Music, and the Coordinator of the Music Instructional Technology Center
Deepa Prakash -
- Assistant Professor, Political Science
House director of Phi Kappa Psi
Also Taught courses in ed- studies and Formerly the director of minority affairs
Charlene Shrewsbury- Assistant Director of Public Safety
Maria Luque- Professor of Spanish
Francoise Coulant-Henderson—Professor Emerita (French).
Sarah Ryan- Director of, the Women’s Center
Merdith Brickell-Associate Professor of Art and Art History- ceramics
– junior- Bio Chem major
Jeanette Johnson-Licon—Assistant Dean of Students-
Cindy Babington-- Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid
Christie Anderson-Registrar of University Exhibitions and Collections
Mary Bretscher --(up until July 1, 2015) -Associate Professor Kinesiology; Associate Athletic Director & Aquatics Director- also the women’s swim coach - which she started in 1974