Spring 2023 – Sherry Boschert

Head-and-shoulders photo of Sherry Boschert, a middle-aged white woman with short dark hair and brown-rimmed glasses wearing a dark colored top and blue scarf, standing in front of a plant-covered trellis.
Sherry Boschert/Photo credit: Meg Newman

Sherry Boschert, the award-winning journalist and author of “37 Words: Title IX and Fifty Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination,” visited Iowa State University on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, as the 2023 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics.

As part of her visit to Iowa State, Boschert presented “37 Words: Title IX and 50 Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination” at 7:00 p.m. in the Durham Great Hall of the Memorial Union. The presentation was followed by a book signing in the South Ballroom. Both events were free and open to the public.

“Title IX is a historic piece of legislation that opened doors for many women. It’s sweeping in its scope and impact,” said Karen Kedrowski, Catt Center director. “We’re fortunate to host Ms. Boschert to mark this important anniversary.”

Boschert’s book is named for the first 37 words of Title IX, the 1972 federal legislation that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The book tells the story of Title IX from its beginnings to the present day, including biographical portraits of a number of key leaders of these efforts.

“Title IX sparked controversy from its inception and still generates headlines today,” Boschert said. “Only by understanding Title IX’s history can we clearly see its successes and challenges today.”

In addition to “37 Words,” Boschert is the author of “Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America,” a 2006 book that helped shift the move toward electric vehicles in the United States.

Boschert was the San Francisco bureau chief for MDedge.com (formerly the International Medical News Group) for 23 years. Since 2015, she has been an independent author, journalist, scholar, and blogger. She has published more than 2,000 articles and many dozens of video reports, primarily for Frontline Medical News. Her work has been published in The New York Times, the San Francisco Examiner, and other news outlets. Among her many honors, she received a Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her efforts to promote equity within the news industry.

Boschert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and anthropology from Amherst College.

A recording of Boschert’s presentation, including a transcript of her lecture and the question-and-answer session, is available on the Lectures Program website.

Boschert is the 35th prominent woman leader to visit Iowa State University through the sponsorship of the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics. The chair was established in 1995 to honor the Iowa native and longtime political and civic leader. Smith – the first woman to chair the Republican National Committee – was a mentor, friend and role model to many in the world of politics and civic, government and community affairs. The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally known political leaders, scholars and activists to Iowa State to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process.