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Celebrating "Women's History Month" at UMFK

March 12, 2007

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The University of Maine at Fort Kent will celebrate Women's History Month by welcoming Linda Huff, from Winthrop, Maine on Thursday, March 22 at 6:3 0 p.m. in Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room to speak about the first six women elected to the Maine legislature.

Huff's presentation, entitled "Six Special Women" will combine two special interests; women's history and Maine's history. The women who will be recognized and honored for their own individual endeavors as well as the path of opportunity they blazed for others who followed are Dora Pinkham, of Fort Kent; Katherine Allen, of Hampden; Mabelle Chaney, of Lisbon; Maude Clark Gay, of Waldoboro; Blanche Folsom, of Norridgewock; and Gail Laughlin of Portland.

"We want to recognize and honor these six women who broke barriers and blazed a path for others to follow. We also want to increase the awareness of them and their achievements throughout the state, but especially in their hometowns." said Huff.

During her presentation, Huff will provide various photographs and information about each of the six women including family, education, interests, occupations and achievements, with a special focus on Fort Kent native Dora Pinkham.

"I want to provide an opportunity for local people to learn more about her and about her accomplishments." added Huff.

This January, the Maine State Legislature celebrated the 80th anniversary of a pivotal point in the history of the state. In January 1927, for the first time, the state senate included women members. There were only two, Dora Pinkham and Katherine Allen. Both Pinkham and Allen previously served a single term in the house of representatives. That year marked the first session in which more than one woman served in the legislature at the same time.

Also, for the first time that year, there were female members in both chambers as four other women began their terms in the house: Mabelle Chaney, Maude Clark Gay, Blanche Folsom and Gail Laughlin. They all later served in the senate.

The women represented a diversity of geographic locations, occupations, and ages.

Six women who broke down barriers, established creditability and respect among the male colleagues and served as role models for other women to aspire to political positions. This tradition continues to present day, not only in state politics, but also in the United States Senate, where Maine is represented by two women. A copy of a joint resolution, passed by the Maine Legislature to honor these women, will on be display in the conference room.

Huff is a Maine native who spent many years living throughout the United States and overseas during her husband's Air Force career. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maine at Augusta and a masters degree in public administration from the University of Maine. She has over 20 years experience in management, evaluation and implementation of public programs. She is currently employed by the Maine Department of Labor.

Huff is a long time member of the Maine Federation of Business and Professional Women and is a trustee of the Futurama Foundation, a non-profit organization that awards scholarships for women to continue their education. As a member of these organizations, she has been actively involved for many years in the annual Maine Women Hall of Fame ceremony held each March. She is quite involved in her hobby of historical research, which she has pursued for many years.

The Women's History Month event is sponsored by UMFK's academic outreach office and Acadian Archives. The presentation is free and open to the public. UMFK students are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

In addition to this public presentation, Huff also will speak to local students at the Community High School in Fort Kent.

For more information on the presentation, contact Don Eno at 1-888-879-8635 or 207-834-7835.