Ally Orr: Boise State student retaliates against professor’s sexism with scholarship for women

Ally Orr, women in STEM scholarship
Photo courtesy of Ally Orr

After Boise State professor Scott Yenor’s sexist comments towards women went viral, Boise State senior marketing student Ally Orr felt the moral obligation to take a stand. 

“Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men who become engineers,” Yenor said. “Ditto for med school, and the law, and every trade.”

Yenor’s comments caused widespread controversy and protests within the Boise State community. 

“I was angry that this happened at my university,” Orr said. “In this situation, how could I not do something?”

Orr decided to start a scholarship for women at Boise State, and to do so, she needed to raise at least $25,000 in order to open and write the scholarship. She started a GoFundMe, and ended up raising $10,000 on the first day, and raised a total of $100,000 in scholarship money for women in the specific fields that Yenor argued women should be discouraged from participating in. 

“This scholarship stands for every single time someone has said ‘no, you don’t deserve a seat at the table, not because of your abilities, but simply because you are a woman,’” Orr said.

Orr wanted this scholarship to be as inclusive as possible. It is available to women studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), medicine and law, regardless of being a part-time or full-time student, and regardless of financial situation.

Yenor described independent women in these fields as being “more medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome” than necessary and that young women should be “inspired to be secure with feminine goals of homemaking and having children.”

Orr condemned the professor’s statements towards career-aspiring women. Her scholarship, called “Women in STEM, Medicine and Law,” will be granted to a Boise State student each year, and will remain at Boise State for the foreseeable future. 

“At the end of the day, there are still so many problems surrounding women. In healthcare, in violence, if I can help their education, if that’s the least I can do, then I hope I can do that with this scholarship,” Orr said. 

Orr emphasized her frustration towards the idea that Yenor still has power over the young women in his classes. 

“It takes everyone to stop these things from happening, and it’s frustrating when institutions don’t do enough to make these things stop,” Orr said. 

Orr also shared a personal message to women studying and working in these male-dominated fields. 

“You belong,” Orr said. “There are so many people that have your back that are cheering you on, rooting for you, and want to see you succeed.”

Donations for the Women in Stem, Medicine, and Law Scholarship are still being accepted through the scholarship’s GoFundMe page.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lauren

    Great article!

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