Women’s History Month Featuring: Heather Tarleton

Each year March is dedicated to Women’s History Month. LMU Seaver College is celebrating this month by featuring some of the amazing women in our college, who are extremely successful in their fields. Cheers to celebrating Seaver’s own wonder women! Here we feature a Q and A with Heather Tarleton, associate professor of health and human sciences.

Q: Please share with us why you wanted to pursue your Ph.D. and work in higher education?

Heather Tarleton at awards ceremony
Heather Tarleton accepts the 2017 Rudinica Prize for Student-Faculty Research.

A: My parents were public school teachers so I grew up in an environment of teaching and learning. Engaging with curiosity and in a hands of manner is part of my life. I wanted to become a professor so I can train students to learn by engaging with curiosity and passion.

Q: When you advise students, what words of wisdom do you find yourself sharing consistently with different students over the years?

A: Don’t rush through this stage of your life. It is the time where you have the most freedom to explore. Don’t worry if you have no idea what you want to do for the rest of your life. First figure out what you don’t want to do. That is most important right now.

Q: As a woman in STEM, is there a woman that you’ve looked up to or who has influenced the work you do? Who is that person? And how did they influence you?

A: Im inspired by the women who show their humanity as scientists, professors, and scholars. Often, women are taught to tailor their interests to what is going to bring them success, to create the appearance of work-life balance, to push forward even if it isn’t physically or mentally healthy. I am inspired by the women who push back. Women who are genuine and honest about what motivates them and live to pursue their own definition of what success is. 

Screenwriting major Abigail Braccia and entrepreneurship major Sara Appelqvist contributed to the Women’s History Month series. This article was written by communications major Jordan Lindsey.