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Today is Women's Equality Day! It has been 91 years since women were granted their voting rights on August 26, 1920. To commemorate the day and to celebrate the courageous and innovative women that will lead the future of the Women's Rights Movement, we wanted to remind readers how far women have come. Here are five major advancements women have made in the history of women's rights.

1. The first ever Women's Rights Convention (1848)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and four other friends organized the first ever Women's Rights Convention on July 19 and 20 in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Stanton wrote a Declaration of Sentiments which was signed by more than 300 women and men.
2. Women gain the right to vote (1920)
72 years after the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments, women are finally given the right to vote. Women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth led the movement, traveling across the country, lecturing and organizing protests.
3. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination (1964)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, and national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to investigate discrimination complaints.
4. Title IX gives women equal access to higher education (1972)
Finally, equal access to higher education and professional schools became the law. The number of women doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects has doubled. Athletics has become a hot issue for Title IX as universities must show a relatively equal number in male and female athletes in order to received federal funding.
5. Sandra Day O'Connor is elected to the Supreme Court (1981)
Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Potter Steward, and she became the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In 2004, Forbes listed her as the sixth most powerful woman in the world.

Check out Simmons' history and read about how founder John Simmons had a vision to education women for their own empowerment, decades before women gained the right to vote.

After the departure of longtime basketball coach Tony Price, the Simmons Sharks welcome professional basketball star Kristen Rasmussen Tarr as the new head coach for the 2011-12 season. Coach Rasmussen Tarr was the first player from Michigan State University to play in the Women's National Basketball Association after being drafted in the fourth round in 2000.

During her professional career, Coach Rasmussen Tarr played for eight teams and started for five. It was with the Phoenix Mercury that she led in field goal percentage (51.2%), rebounding (136) and blocks (27), and marked a single game high of five made 3-point shots. She tallied 82.5% in career free throw percentage.

While at MSU, Coach Rassmussen Tarr was a four-year starter and three-year captain for the Spartans, and she helped lead her team to several NCAA and NIT Championship appearances. She is the No. 2 all-time shot blocker and No. 9 all-time scorer (1035 points). As a senior, she was voted team MVP, and was nominated for the NCAA Outstanding Sportsperson of the Year.

Director of Athletics Ali Kantor is optimistic about Coach Rasmussen Tarr leading the Sharks:

Kristen is a world class professional basketball player and I am truly excited to have Kristen join our staff. She brings a wealth of basketball knowledge from the highest level possible. She is a proven leader who demonstrates passion and a love of the game, a competitive drive and a will to win. In addition, she demonstrates a compassion for teaching and women's athletics. I have no doubt Kristen will lead Simmons basketball to success.

For more news, game scores, and schedules, visit the Athletics website and like Simmons College Athletics on Facebook.

Find out more about the advantages of athletics at a Division III women's college.

Photo courtesy of Professor Bob White

The 2011 edition of CommTracks, a magazine produced by Simmons communications students in Studio5, was awarded a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) and a First Class rating from the Associated Collegiate Press(ACP).

In addition to the CSPA Gold Medal, CommTracks also received All-Columbian Honors for special merit in content. All-Columbian Honors are only awarded when a publication has achieved the 95th percentile or higher in one or more of the three categories of judging: content (writing & visual), design and organization.

Said one judge of the magazine's design:

The student portfolio is very strong. It is a visual magazine [that] shows the talents of your students and the diversity they have. Your students have well developed graphic design skills. I can see why they find jobs in this market.

And of the writing:

Your students do have strong communications skills. The writing shows elements of good journalism. The pieces were easy to read and informative. The views from your alumnae are effective, and it is interesting to see where these students are now working

For more details about CommTracks, including its talented editorial team, read Department of Communications' CommTracks earns honors on the department'sCommBlog.

Like the communications department on Facebook.

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