Women's History Month: Thetas in Public Service and Government

Category: Heritage

Noraleen Duvall Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

The National Women’s History Project’s theme for Women’s History Month this year is “Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.” Theta has had numerous members active in all levels of government, from local to national and on the international front. Our more well-known Thetas in public service include First Lady Laura Welch Bush, Beta Sigma/SMU; U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Alpha Mu/Missouri; and former National Endowment for the Humanities chair Nancy Hanks, Beta Rho/Duke.

Many Thetas have served in various government and public service roles. Some highlights include:

  • Genevieve Beavers Earle, Alpha Kappa/Adelphi – First female member of the New York City Council, serving from 1938-1950. Prior to her election, she served in many charitable organizations and was the chair of the Brooklyn League of Women Voters. Her papers and an oral history are at Columbia University. Check out her essay on “This I believe – The Job of Citizenship” she recorded in an interview with Edward R. Murrow. The audio is available as well.
  • Susan Pardee Baker, Iota/Cornell – Her research, based at Johns Hopkins University, on injury epidemiology had led to the development of hospital trauma centers and motor vehicle child restraint laws. She was elected to the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • Monqiue Quesada, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State - She currently serves at the U.S. Consulate General in Marseille, France. Previous positions include the Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassies in London and Rome and the Deputy U.S. Senior Civilian Representatives for western Afghanistan.
  • Linda Henry Elrod, Alpha Upsilon/Washburn - Elrod is the Richard S. Righter Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Children and Family Law Center at Washburn University, specializing in child advocacy. Elrod is the past chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section. She served as official observer at the Hague conference on Private International Law in 2007 that drafted the Hague Convention on International Enforcement of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. She has served on the National CASA Advisory Board since 1998.

Check out others in the Notables Thetas section. You can filter on Thetas in "government service" or "community leaders and advocates."