Friday, February 22, 2019
Barbara Morgan, Others to Headline Conversations with Exceptional Women
Patricia Velasquez, a former “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model, has founded a non-profit organization to assist the Wayuu, an indigenous group in Venezuela.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Astronaut and Teacher in Space Barbara Morgan, who taught in McCall and now lives in Boise.

Patricia Velasquez, a Venezuelan actress considered to be the first Native American supermodel and an actress in “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns.”

Award-winning Naomi McDougall Jones, whose first feature film “Imagine I’m Beautiful” follows a young woman who tries to start anew following her mother’s suicide.

And Kathleen Tarr, a Stanford lecturer, Women’s American Football League draftee, former world record holder in the indoor half-marathon row and author of books about veterans disabled by military service and discrimination in the entertainment industry.

These are among the 15 women who will be the featured speakers at the third annual Alturas Institute’s Conversations with Exceptional Women. The conference will be held Thursday and Friday, Sept. 21-22, at Ketchum’s Community Library.

The conference, which always sells out, will also include Lynn Walsh, president of The Society of Professional Journalists; Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon Worldwide; Jeannette Schneider, vice president of Bank of America; Wendy Haines, a documentarian and actress; Alysia Reiner, award-winning actress; Elizabeth Redleaf, studio CEO and producer; Tammy Longaberger, corporate CEO; Caroline Heldman, author and television commentator; Joanne Freeman prize-winning historian; Christine Walker, award-winning film director and producer, and Dominique Goncalves, doctoral student in Ecology from Mozambique.

This year’s theme is “Uniting Women Across Generations,” the idea being there’s always a need to understand history and historical movements.

Lynn Walsh, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, is a timely speaker at a time when President Trump is engaging in a relentless attack on the First Amendment, said conference founder David Adler, a Constitutional scholar whose works have been read by those in Washington’s highest posts. Caroline Heldman’s remarks should be of interest to every woman, given Ivanka Trump’s recent retreat from supporting an Obama-era rule encouraging equal pay for women.

Barbara Morgan is perfect to address the growing interest in STEM education, he said. Locally, Hemingway Elementary School is embarking on a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum this year.

“There’s nobody better to talk about this than Barbara,"said Adler.

Adler hopes students will avail themselves of the conference.

“We have an outstanding lineup. And every student heading to college will find in our speakers an award-winning representative from their likely major or career field. That includes a Stanford law professor, Yale historian and nation’s leading Hamilton scholar, corporate chieftains, award-winning Hollywood actors, directors and producers, international human rights activists, authors and national television commentators,” he said.

Tickets, which include coffee and muffins and lunches with the speakers, are $100, with scholarships available. Students who pre-register at may attend for free.

The Alturas Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes the Constitution, civic education and gender equality.

For more information email or call 208-313-6554.


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