UTSA opens Women's History Month with award to Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

award presentation

From left, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte accepts the Women's Advocate of the Year award from Sonia Saldivar-Hull, UTSA Women's Studies Institute Executive Director and Larissa Mercado, UTSA Women's History Month organizer.

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(March 3, 2010)--The UTSA Women's Studies Institute opened Women's History Month this week by honoring state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte as Women's Advocate of the Year.

Van de Putte has served five terms in the Texas Senate and is one of only 10 women to hold a Texas Senate seat. For 30 years, she has been a pharmacist and championed issues promoting women's health. In the last legislative session, Van de Putte authored legislation calling for more funding for women's health programs and Texas women veterans' programs. She also sponsored the Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Act.

A Women's History Month reception at UTSA included a welcome from UTSA President Ricardo Romo and keynote address by Elena Gutierrez, professor of sociology and women's studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Gutierrez published the book "Fertile Matters" and specializes in the areas of Latina reproductive justice and women's health.

Women's History Month features a series of educational events celebrating women's contributions and causes from a feminist perspective, while promoting a commitment to diversity and aiming to achieve social justice and women's empowerment. For 25 years, UTSA has celebrated the lives, stories and accomplishments of women, as well as raising awareness about the struggles women continue to experience in the home, workplace and beyond.

This year's theme "Writing Women Back Into History" reflects the diversity of academic interests at UTSA, as well as speaks to both the national theme and the institute's annual theme of "Testimonios: Celebrating our Stories."

View the schedule of events at the UTSA Women's Studies Institute Web site. For more information, contact Larissa Mercado at 210-458-7885.