Skip to main content

Empowering women strengthens IU, our state, and our nation


Sixty years ago, the late Suzanne Knoebel became the first female cardiology faculty member at her alma mater, the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she pioneered the use of technology, including telephones, computers, and 3D imaging, to improve medical care. She rose to become the first woman president of the American College of Cardiology and an inspiration to female medical students nationwide. 

As IU celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we continue to further the legacies of trailblazers like Professor Knoebel through a new generation of exceptional women scholars and researchers at IU. 

Still, there is much work still to be done. 

Nationally, among individuals ages 18 to 74, employed in STEM occupations — a staggering statistic and an immense area of opportunity given our IU 2030 goals and the critical need for a diverse and talented STEM workforce to foster innovation and drive our nation’s economic competitiveness.

One way in which IU is addressing this concern is through the EDGE Consortium, which I co-chair and which includes IU’s first female dean of the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Joanna Millunchick. Along with women who are presidents and deans of engineering from the nation’s leading research universities, we are working to double the number of industry-ready women and people of color entering semiconductor-related careers.  

Across IU, women are also leading the way to excellence in the fields of business, health, science, the arts and humanities, and technology. 

Julie Manning Magid, the first vice dean in the nearly 50-year history of the IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, was recently named a Woman of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal for positioning Kelley’s urban campus as a key agent of economic growth and engagement throughout the region and state. 

Dr. Karen Liby recently joined the IU School of Medicine and the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is a nationally recognized leader in testing new drugs and drug combinations for the prevention and treatment of cancer.  

Julie Heath spearheads our IU Innovates initiative to strengthen the university’s support for faculty and student entrepreneurs like Charlie Edmonds. A doctoral student in music education at the IU Jacobs School of Music and founder of Pocket Methods, Edmonds was recently nominated for Student Entrepreneur of the Year in this year’s TechPoint Mira Awards. 

At IU, our commitment to excellence and empowerment is pervasive. Together, we envision a future where women have more opportunities than ever before to develop their talents, strengthen our campuses and communities, and lead the industries of tomorrow. 


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

See the latest presidential news