The Most Powerful Weapon: Education and the Women Who Teach
In his speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
In this gallery, we highlight some of the many women in education who make a difference by teaching or working in administration. For example, Oceana S. Pollock served as principal and teacher at the Montgomery Female College in Christiansburg, Va., for nearly 30 years, moulding young girls into intelligent women. Shelli Fowler, an English professor at Virginia Tech, not only earned the admiration from her collegues in 2013 with the Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award, she fought for equality for the LGBTQ community at the university when her proposed hire was refused by the Board of Visitors in 2003.
Many of the women featured here also broke the glass ceiling by achieving positions not accorded women in their fields or places of work. For example, Ella Agnew was the first home demonstration agent in the nation, teaching people around the state how to improve various qualities of their home and farm life. Mary Moore Davis was one of the first women on the faculty at Virginia Tech, establishing the courses and degree program for the home economics department in 1921. Johnnie Miles was one of the first black women to join the university's faculty in 1974 and remained at the university for over two decades in the College (later School) of Education.