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ISSUE 119 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/23/2005

Women on the move in Northfield

By Lauren Benson
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 23, 2005

This fall, St. Olaf will continue its sponsorship of "Women on the Move," the live Internet talk-radio show hosted by former Minnesota State Senator and St. Olaf alumna Ember Reichgott Junge '74. As a graduate of St. Olaf College, Reichgott Junge "wanted the college to have the first opportunity for partnership," according to St. Olaf Vice President for College Relations Jan McDaniel.

By sponsoring the weekly program, St. Olaf will reach a demographic the college wants to influence. According to McDaniel, these people are "primarily parents of potential students, but also decision-makers and community leaders who need to know about St. Olaf College’s many gifts and attributes."

Having debuted in February, "Women on the Move" focuses on creating a "new conversation" advancing women’s leadership and voicing issues of concern to women. "It’s about what’s missing in the news," Reichgott Junge said, referring to one facet of the show’s mission.

"There just weren’t many women’s voices out there in the media ... all we heard about were stadiums, highways and tax cuts, but we didn’t hear about the other issues that affected women, like domestic violence," she said.

While the show stresses women’s leadership, Reichgott Junge emphasizes that men are still a necessary part of the picture. "When [men and women] work together in leadership, we all benefit," she said. "It’s not either-or; it’s everyone working together."

Previous guests on "Women on the Move" include women explorers, governors, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and military leaders. Today, St. Olaf assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies Diane LeBlanc spoke with Celi Dean, recently crowned Ms. Black USA, on the topic of first-generation college students.

Issues on the show, which have included education, sex discrimination and stem cell research, are shaped by the time of year and what’s in the news, said Reichgott Junge. Broadcasts earlier this month covered Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Women and Recovery, both in honor of September as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

"On a more personal level, it’s a show that really engages people to think about how they can improve their lives and create even more possibilities, for themselves and for their community," said Reichgott Junge. "Women on the Move," boasting 250,000 listeners monthly, is broadcast live on every Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. CST. Listeners can access past shows through the website’s archive, which provides downloadable versions of the show.

Reichgott Junge views Internet broadcast technology as an asset. "We may inspire women in Detroit or Afghanistan," she said. "We may never know who we inspire on a given day."

A double major in psychology and political science while at St. Olaf, Reichgott Junge decided to pursue politics after interning in the office of former U.S. Sen. Walter Mondale, then chair of the Select Committee on Women and Children.

"It changed my direction in life," she stated in a speech at St. Olaf last March celebrating Women’s History Month. "In the Washington hearings, I heard stories from abused women and children first-hand. It had a huge impact on me."

Since then, Reichgott Junge has prioritized such issues as domestic violence and education. "Women on the Move," while conducting personal and political discussion of such issues, also offers suggestions for action and support.

“The St. Olaf community has contributed greatly to the success of the show," said Reichgott Junge. "I am passionate about the college and passionate about the conversation we’re creating. I could not be more pleased to have St. Olaf as a sponsor."

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