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September 29, 2001 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (October 19, 2001) It has been nearly one year since the historic elections of 2000. The election also marked a milestone in Michigan's political history, as Debbie Stabenow became the first woman elected to represent Michigan in the United States Senate.

Sen. Stabenow (D-Mich.) will talk about that election and share her Senatorial experiences during a speech at Aquinas College on Monday, October 29, 2001, entitled "United States Senator Debbie Stabenow: Reflections on Her First Year." The Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center at Aquinas College is hosting Sen. Stabenow's appearance in the Wege Student Center Ballroom, 10:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Outstanding leadership and hard work have characterized Sen. Stabenow's record of public service. Her career has mirrored the advancement of women in politics over the past 25 years. From her election as the first woman chair of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners to being the first woman to preside over Michigan's House of Representatives, Sen. Stabenow has led the way in breaking down barriers for women and fighting for those things that make a real difference in the lives of children and working families.

Sen. Stabenow is an accomplished legislator, having authored over 50 public acts as a state legislator and bringing critical issues, such as the cost of prescription drugs, to the forefront of Congress. The first bill she introduced in the Senate was the Medical Equity and Drug Savings Act to lower prescription drug prices by encouraging competition.

Sen. Stabenow's committee assignments in the U.S. Senate include Budget, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and the Special Committee on Aging. Stabenow served Michigan's Eighth Congressional District as its Representative from 1996 to 2000.

Stabenow grew up in Clare, Michigan. After her 1978 graduation from Clare High School, she attended Michigan State University where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1972 and master's of social work degree in 1975.

The Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center promotes equality and creates awareness of gender issues through education and programming. The objectives of the Center are to: maintain the academic program of the center, support and encourage women in their academic growth and lifetime transition, act as a campus advocate of women's issues, serve as a liaison to other women's organizations and to promote gender activism. The Center is located in Room 107 of the Wege Student Center at Aquinas College. You can contact the office at 459-8281, Ext. 4116.