Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date


Degree Title

Master of Applied Historical Research



Major Advisor

Jill Gill


Female political ambition drops around high school, none of the 45 presidents of the United States have been female, and the history of female presidential candidates is largely absent from public memory. This project examines the connection between social perceptions of political involvement and the history of female politicians by creating a resource website of female presidential candidates in the United States. The website is meant to encourage youth political engagement, specifically the engagement of middle school to college-aged female students to lower the gender gap of political ambition. Without representation within American politics, many young women are not inspired to become politically involved. Ultimately the project examines how the presentation of these neglected narratives leverages history to provide encouragement, rather than to perpetuate one-dimensional histories. Historians need to question previously used paradigms and rhetorical lenses that framed certain people and events as insignificant, ultimately negatively impacting vulnerable and/or underrepresented demographics. The product of this thesis resides at girlsjustwannabepresident.wordpress.com.