Women’s History Month: First female president of SU shares career and key to educational success
SALISBURY, Md. – In honor of Women’s History Month we are continuing to highlight women in the area who lead and have made a difference. Today we are highlighting the first woman to serve as president of Salisbury University, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eschbach.
Eshbach says her love of education began at a young age because she loved being a student. Her passion for Spanish and Latin American studies led to her stay in the field of academics as a teacher.
She then spent most of her career in higher-ed administration, leading her to work for a female college president (at a time when there weren’t that many) and being pushed to break the glass ceiling.
That would lead her to make history at Fairmont State University in West Virginia as their first female president before she would do the same at Salisbury university.
At the time of making that history, Dr. Janet says her goal was just to do a good job, regardless of her gender, but she came to understand the importance of representation and how that plays a key role in success.
“It is significant to have role models in positions of influence and power,” says Dudley-Eshbach. “It is especially exciting right now that the Vice President of the United States is a woman and a woman of color, and that means a lot to our country. We talk a lot about inclusiveness, and the reality is for our country, for the university, for the educational system, to really be effective, we have got to be inclusive.”
She continues to share the key for societal progress and success.
“Sometimes in history I feel like we take a step or two forward then we go backward. Keep the eye on the prize. That is get the education that you can, work hard, and opportunities will present themselves,” Dudley-Eshbach said.
After her presidency ended in 2018, Dr. Janet chose to stay with Salisbury University. Her career came full circle and now she is now a professor of Spanish and Latin American studies at SU.
Her message to the younger population is to get the most education they can in terms of time and resources. She also says to reach high and to know the possibilities are truly limitless.