Congresswoman Titus Talks Education & Female Empowerment at CSN


Women’s forum speakers

By Ricardo Torres

United States Congresswoman Dina Titus, Nevada representative, was the key-note speaker during The President’s Forum on Women’s Academic Success at the College of Southern Nevada on March 26.

She discussed women’s issues, specifically the need for higher education.

“Education will always be a priority for me in elected office because I care very much about it and I can see what a difference it makes in a young person’s life,” Titus says. Education can be an equalizer.

While women comprise 51 percent of the U.S. population, only 4 percent of the largest companies’ CEOs are women, according to Forbes.

Currently women earn 20 percent less money compared with men, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Women need to be educated and work harder to climb the ladder.

“Being ambitious is seen as a good quality for men, but our culture doesn’t recognize ambition in women as such a positive,” Titus says.

Raised in the south during the civil-rights movement, Titus’ path brought her west when she decided to accept a job-offer teaching political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas over 30 years ago.

She was in the Nevada’s State Senate from 1988 to 2008, serving as the minority leader for 15 years, while teaching.

“I never thought that this is what I wanted to do, but on the other hand, I never thought that this was something that was impossible to do,” Titus says.

Titus has since retired from teaching and was first elected into the U.S. House of Legislators in 2008. She returned in 2012 and currently represents Nevada’s first congressional district.

“Every step of the way brought me closer to this goal … I guess it was a little preordained,” says Titus, while reflecting on her path in politics.

Titus earned a doctorate from Florida State University.

Barbara Gordon, CSN student, was also a speaker at the forum.

“My academic success became as important to me as breathing,” Gordon says. “No matter what my life throws at me, I will not give up, because I have to keep going forward. I have nothing to go back to.”

Gordon is a single mother of six and originally a high school dropout. She earned her GED to go to college. Throughout her life, Gordon has overcome many obstacles: a learning disability, poverty and homelessness. She is currently an “A” student pursuing a psychology degree. Gordon hopes to follow through with her education until she eventually earns a doctorate degree. Gordon is motivated by her children. She wants a better future for them and is a good example for them.

Dr. Hyla Winters, associate vice president of academic affairs at CSN, was also at the event. She was moved by Gordon’s story. “It gives me the motivation to get up and come to work again tomorrow.”

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