USC Women’s History Month kickoff: Sofia Coen, Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Vera Gluscevic and Carol Folt

Appearing during the Women’s History Month kickoff on Friday are (clockwise from top left) Sofia Coen of the Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment; Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, president of the Ward Economic Development Corp. and Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member; USC Dornsife Assistant Professor Vera Gluscevic; and USC President Carol Folt. (USC Photos)


USC celebrates generations of Trojans during Women’s History Month virtual kickoff 

President Carol Folt and other speakers explore the theme, “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

March 08, 2024 By Grayson Schmidt

Lindsey Munday reflected on the women who have inspired her during remarks at USC’s Women’s History Month kickoff event on Friday afternoon. The USC women’s lacrosse coach recalled an iconic moment in American sports: the U.S. women’s soccer team winning the 1999 World Cup.

USC Women’s History Month kickoff: Lindsey Munday
Lindsey Munday has been USC women’s lacrosse head coach since 2011. (USC Photo)

“Soccer was my first love, so the 1999 women’s World Cup team really inspired me at a young age,” Munday said. “To see women advocating for themselves, being confident and strong and being able to display their athleticism at the highest level, was incredibly inspiring.”

As a head coach of a women’s collegiate team, Munday said her No. 1 duty is to give her players confidence to succeed athletically, academically and post-graduation. “As a woman, being able to advocate for yourself, your skills and the positions that you want in a certain company or profession is incredibly important,” Munday said.

During Friday’s virtual event, Trojans spoke about the women who inspired them and their role in creating a more inclusive world today — and how USC has been at the forefront of the push for equality.

“USC is not new to powerful women: We’ve been educating women since our founding in 1880, and that was 40 years before women could vote in the United States,” USC President Carol Folt said. “Women Trojans have set records, made important discoveries, led in the creation of new art, and built businesses and even industries in every field imaginable — and the beat goes on.”

USC women blazing their own trails

Folt started the event by citing USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences alumna America Ferrera and her work in last year’s Barbie movie, specifically the scene in which the actress — who is up for Best Supporting Actress at Sunday’s Oscars for Barbie — gave a moving speech about societal expectations on women.

“She gave the movie its strong emotional core,” Folt said. “Her words resonated with people around the world, and we’re seeing that kind of grit right here at USC.”

Women’s History Month logo
Learn more about USC’s Women’s History Month celebration and see a complete calendar of events.

Folt went on to highlight the accomplishments of other Trojans, including USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Priya Jaikumar’s work with Indian cinema; Keck School of Medicine of USC Professor Sonya Earley serving as the first Black woman president of the California Physician Assistant Board; and Anna Krylov, a professor at USC Dornsife, being recently awarded the Barry Prize for Distinguished Intellectual Achievement by the American Academy of Sciences and Letters for her research on the electronic property of molecules.

“The strength of women leaders continues to grow across all of USC,” Folt said.

USC Women’s History Month kickoff: Heroes and mentors

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism senior Claudia Shevitz, one of Munday’s lacrosse players, spoke about former U.S. soccer player Julie Foudy and her work in promoting the growth of women’s soccer and athletics.

“I’ll always be thankful for what she has done to transcend women’s sports, and I hope to mimic a similar commitment to help encourage and educate the next generations of female athletes and leaders,” Shevitz said of Foudy, a two-time World Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist.

Others, including USC Dornsife student Miko Mariscal and USC Rossier School of Education graduate student Yridia Ayvar-Aceves, chose to highlight heroes closer to home. Mariscal spoke about intersectionality, and how women must continue to support women of all backgrounds. She praised the women of color in her life who opened her eyes and encouraged her to live as her most authentic self.

“My past mentors really gave me that reassurance,” Mariscal said. “It’s important to recognize that we must shed light on these different topics as well as support other communities who oftentimes get left out or become neglected due to various circumstances.”

Ayvar-Aceves highlighted her mother and all immigrant mothers, who she called the “original equity advocates.”

“They came to a country with nothing, and they advocated their way to giving us absolutely everything and much more,” she said.

USC’s observation of Women’s History Month continues throughout March. See the calendar of events online.