Author Jill Tietjen

Author Jill Tietjen

Sundberg lecture: How women changed America

Author, advocate Jill Tietjen to speak in Langley, Oak Harbor

How women shaped America — from the blazing sky path of Amelia Earhart to the lesser known mathematician who invented abstract algebra, Emmy Noethe — will be discussed at this year’s Trudy Sundberg Lecture.

Jill Tietjen, co-author with Charlotte Waisman of the award-winning book “Her Story: A Timeline of the Women who Changed America,” will cover the wide range of contributions 0f American women over five centuries.

She’s scheduled to give free public talks at 7 p.m. May 4 at Langley’s Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and 7 p.m. May 5 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge.

Some of the women in the “Her Story” book are well-known, and some have been forgotten or ignored by historians.

Most people recognize the names Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller and Oprah Winfrey.

But few have heard of Florence Seibert, a scientist whose work helped develop the test for tuberculosis. Or Stephanie Kwolek, the chemist who invented the bulletproof fabric, Kevlar.

Tietjen writes about many unacknowledged contributions of women who shaped U.S. history, beginning in the 1500s and spanning through 2011. She explains the importance of Emmy Noethe’s work, known as Noether’s Theorem, which is considered as vital to theoretical physics as natural selection is to biology.

Writers, artists, actors, athletes, doctors, scientists, social and political activists, educators, and inventors of all backgrounds are covered in the book.

“Her Story” includes an illustrated timeline which helps track the people and their accomplishments.

Tietjen, an electrical engineer for 40 years, now focuses professionally on worldwide women’s advocacy. She blogs for the Huffington Post and speaks nationally of the accomplishments of women.

Trudy Sundberg, who died in 2013, was an Oak Harbor High School teacher and community leader known for her commitment to many causes, ranging from progressive politics to founding the Save Our Kids Crusade.

She also supported the arts and promoted the Whidbey Camano Land Trust.

Family members, friends and the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation joined together to establish the Trudy Sundberg Memorial Fund to underwrite a lecture series that reflects Sundberg’s many areas of interest and her efforts at promoting lifelong learning.

Trudy Sundberg 2018 lectures: 7 p.m. May 4 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley; 7 p.m. May 5 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge, 155 NE Ernst St. Free and open to the public.

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