Women and Gender Studies Program

Laura Fortman Receives USM Women & Gender Studies Award

Wendy Chapkis and Laura Fortman

At the annual Women’s History Month celebration at the University of Southern Maine in March, Laura Fortman of Nobleboro was presented with the 2012 "Friend of USM Women & Gender Studies" Award. Fortman has served as an advocate for women’s rights in the state as the Labor Commissioner for the State of Maine (2003-2008), the Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, the Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Policy Center, and the Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center. In her current position with the Frances Perkins Center she continues her work of tying together activism and history, and promoting the legacy of Frances Perkins, the US Secretary of Labor under FDR and the first woman cabinet member. Fortman was presented the award in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the betterment of Maine women's lives and the preservation and promotion of women's history in the state.