Listee Features — Politics

JUDITH-RAE ROSS

Having accrued more than 40 years of expertise in the field of historiography, the Hon. Judith-Rae Ross, PhD, has garnered a laudable reputation as a historian, educator and writer. She attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and secondary education, and was proud to have succeeded as a woman in academia during a time when cultural expectations for women were different. Dr. Ross earned a Master of Arts at Loyola University in 1971 and completed a PhD in history at the University of Illinois in 1978. From 1979 until 1994, Dr. Ross served as an instructor at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. She continued her career as a visiting professor at

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DOROTHY E. EBERT

An expert on the elections process, Dorothy E. Ebert began her professional career as a receptionist/secretary at Household Financial Corporation in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, in 1958, remaining in this role for nine years before becoming the deputy county clerk for Dodge County in Juneau, Wisconsin, from 1967 to 1982. Moving up the ranks to county clerk from 1983 until her retirement in 2003, she had an opposition the first time she ran, but none after that. She was required to run every two years for election as county clerk. Ms. Ebert also served on the board of directors for the Dodge County chapter of the American Cancer Society. In preparation for her career, Ms. Ebert graduated with a diploma from

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MELODY J. MILLER

Inspired to enter the field of politics during President John F. Kennedy’s campaign, Melody J. Miller began her career as a volunteer with the 10th District Democratic Headquarters. Only a year later, in her senior year at Yorktown High School, she worked for Congressman Montoya, who became a senator, on Saturdays in his office on Capitol Hill. While stuffing envelopes and canvassing neighborhoods for a candidate, she realized she wanted to pursue a lifelong career in the field and attended the Atlantic City Democrat Convention, where she had the opportunity to meet Robert Kennedy. Initially, she gained valuable expertise working for Sen. Robert Kennedy. She was then invited to meet President Kennedy at the White House, which cemented the direction

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JUDITH E. DAY

A second-generation Irish immigrant, the family of Judith E. Day, PhD, valued education, which prompted her to pursue a career in education as a teacher. It is her belief that education is the most important thing in the world. She had encouragement not only from her mother, but from her kindergarten teacher who would take the time and sit with her one-on-one reading so she could always be ahead. Her second-grade teacher also helped her know the importance of education. Dr. Day began her career as a special education teacher in Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1978, remaining in this position for a decade before teaching reading and working in student support services at the University of New Hampshire. Years later,

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Lauren Book

LAUREN BOOK

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Sen. Lauren Book recalls that she had trouble finding a coping method after revealing the abuse to her family. She would go to school and come home to cry. Eventually, her mother revealed to her that she too had been sexually assaulted. She said that these were “regular occurrences” for women, and that they simply had to get over their trauma and live their lives. From that moment on, Sen. Book decided she would do everything in her power to be stronger. She now challenges herself every day to help young survivors. She learned that working through legislature and shaping the laws that protect those who are vulnerable can be an effective way to

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Rebecca Vigil

REBECCA D. VIGIL

Drawing influence from her parents, Rebecca D. Vigil’s father was a small businessman in Taos, New Mexico. He was her inspiration in showing people to respect a person the way that you would want to be respected. He also influenced her that no one is better than her in the world and she is no better than anyone, so Ms. Vigil had an equal foundation when she started creating her life, learning the rules on how to live her life. Her mother and father were very instrumental in giving her the talents that she was able to explore and create. Ms. Vigil began her professional career as a secretary, project monitor and customer service representative for the Public Service Co.

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LORI WHITNEY

Accruing 28 years of professional experience in her field, Lori Whitney began her career as a messenger for the Wisconsin State Assembly in Madison in 1991, remaining in this role for four years before moving up the ranks to postal clerk from 1995 to 2003 and postmistress since 2003. In congruence with her primary trade, she has also contributed much of her time to several civic endeavors. Ms. Whitney served as a campaign volunteer for numerous political candidates between 1992 and 2014, including Al Gore and Barack Obama. Additionally, she was a fundraiser and volunteer with the American Diabetes Association from 1993 to 2004, a member of Amnesty International from 1991 to 2005 and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Hoop Troop

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EMILIE F. MILLER

Born and raised in Chicago, Sen. Emilie F. Miller found politics to be like a sport. She first became interested in her field because of her uncles, who ran a barbershop that politicians frequented. They would always talk about the political climate in the city and the different policies they were or wanted to enact. Ms. Miller was also inspired by her neighbor, who had a polling station in her basement, and by the representatives who stood outside to greet voters. She began to think about all the good she could do with a little bit of power. Instead of going straight into politics, however, Ms. Miller decided to first focus on her interest in business. She thus obtained a

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Sara Myers

SARA ALICE MYERS

Although Sara Alice Myers initially began her career in teaching, as was expected of the women in the era she grew up in, her real passion lay in politics. She slowly began to branch out according to her own interests, and when she was drafted by her neighbors to run for City Council, she was thrilled. Ms. Myers won the race, thus beginning a long career in government. During Ms. Myers’ time in local politics, she was heavily involved with the passing of environmental ordinances on open spaces and trails. This was very important to her and the community because of the rush of urban development. Another cause important to her was education; she was especially in tune with the

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MARGARET DALY HAYES

Renowned as an expert in Latin American politics and security issues, Margaret Daly Hayes can trace her interest in the field back to her study abroad program in Spain. She went during a time when the country was transitioning to a democratic government, and found the whole situation fascinating. Dr. Hayes proceeded to apply for and receive the National Defense Foreign Language Title VI fellowship, propelling her to a fulfilling career in political science. The first job Dr. Hayes obtained in the industry was senior associate in the Policy Science Division of CACI, Inc. She then transitioned to roles like associate director of the Center of Brazilian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies, senior professional

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