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Modern Female Feats

Written by Megan Baranuk

Our list of modern day female firsts.

You’ve probably heard of Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart, but what about Sarah Fuller? Or Becky Hammon? Both of these women compose part of our list of modern female firsts, along with household names, such as Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. Read on to discover modern prominent women who’ve shattered the glass ceiling.


This name should sound familiar! Billie Eilish has become a household name since her 2016 debut track, “Ocean Eyes,” appeared on SoundCloud when she was a mere 13 years old. Eilish’s debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” dropped in March of 2019 and was a smashing success, propelling the teenager to fame. Eilish became the first female to win all four general field categories in one Grammy Awards ceremony on January 26, 2020. Eilish took home Best New Artist, Song, Record, and Album of the Year. Next time you listen to “Ocean Eyes” or “Bad Guy”, remember you’re listening to an important part of music history!


Sarah Fuller has broken into a male-dominated industry as the first female to play in a Power Five football game. For those of you who may not be sport-savvy, the Power Five football conferences are five separate conferences that are considered to be the best of the best in Division I college football. Fuller is a football place kicker for the Vanderbilt Commodores. Fuller is only 21 years old, and we can expect to see her go on to continue shattering records in the sports universe, as she is also the goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s women’s soccer team of the same name.


Becky Hammon exists in a similar vein as Sarah Fuller, breaking records in basketball history. Hammon, 43, is the first female acting head coach in NBA history, specifically coaching the San Antonio Spurs.


Jill Biden made history as the first non-catholic First Lady in the White House!


Avril Haines currently serves as the first female Director of National Intelligence under the Biden administration. Haines is familiar with the White House, as she served under the Obama administration as principal national deputy security advisor, legal advisor and assistant to the president. Before working in the political scene, Haines had quite the adventurous life. She worked as a car mechanic throughout her college years to earn extra cash, learned how to fly a plane, fell in love with her instructor, married him, then opened a successful bookstore café. To learn more about this multidimensional woman, check out this article online:


Next up on our list is Jane Campbell, a notable past graduate from Cleveland State University! Specifically, Campbell graduated from the Maxine Goodman-Levin College of Urban Affairs. Campbell made history as the first female mayor of Cleveland from the years 2002-2006, gaining her mayorship at the age of 48. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 19, 1953, Campbell is 67 years old today. She is aligned with the Democratic party.


Jennifer King made history in the sports sector as the first African-American woman assistant coach in NFL history, specifically for the Washington Football Team. She was placed into this position after her coaching internship concluded. King’s monumental moment in history commenced this year on January 26, 2021. King’s experience with the Washington Football Team began as the offensive assistant after her time at Dartmouth College. She went on to intern from 2018 to 2019. In addition to her internships, she has also attended multiple NFL coaching clinics from 2015–2018 and participated in the NFL Women’s Career in Football Forum. Impressively, King even has her own football playing experience! King is a seven-time All-American quarterback and wide receiver for the women’s tackle team, Carolina Phoenix.


Stacey Cunningham is the epitome of a female penetrating an extremely male-dominated field. Cunningham is technically the second female president of the New York Stock Exchange, but she is the first female president with full control over the exchange. Cunningham assumed her position on May 22, 2018. Cunningham’s career within the New York Stock Exchange began with an internship in the 1990s, which then turned to a floor clerk role, which Cunningham continued until 2005. After a brief hiatus, Cunningham rejoined the New York Stock Exchange in 2012, and then assumed the role of chief operating officer in 2015. Cunningham studied at Lehigh University, and has been named one of BBC’s 100 Women in 2018.


If you don’t already love Taylor Swift (but don’t let the Swifties on the Vindicator staff know that), here’s an excellent reason: Taylor Swift made music history as the first woman to win the Grammy Album of the Year award TWICE. The albums were Fearless (2010) and 1989 (2015). If you haven’t listened to these albums yet, speed over to Spotify or Apple Music to listen now! Topically, a great song to listen to after concluding this article is “The Man,” a song touching upon the struggles a woman faces in a career, versus her male counterparts.


This name might be familiar, as Sarah McBride made history as the first openly transgender U.S. Senator. McBride represents Delaware, and is the highest ranking openly transgender female. Years prior to her position in the Senate, McBride interned at the White House, making her the first openly transgender women to work in the White House in any role. McBride’s secured Senate position is a giant step for the LGBTQ+ community, as representation in politics is central to our democracy. McBride’s assumption to office took place on January 21, 2021.


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