The Journal Record Woman of the Year 2011--50 Making a Difference Profile: Nancy Feldman

Article excerpt

Few women in Oklahoma can claim to have as much influence on the arts, human rights and social welfare as former professor, current volunteer and world traveler Nancy Feldman can.

Having served as professor and lecturer at the University of Tulsa from 1946 to 1976, Feldman served as professor of the city in the 1970s and helped write proposals responsible for many constructive schooling, commercial, economic and human relations aspects in Tulsa today. She has traveled throughout the United States, Mexico, Peru, India, Egypt, Israel and Africa to share her knowledge of women's issues, social issues and human rights.

But, from an early age, Feldman's desire to volunteer and improve her world came from the influence of one woman.

"Miss Jane Addams, founder of the Hull House (the Chicago Settlement House that provided social support and artistic opportunities for poor children) was a pervasive influence on our family and set the standard for the life we led," said Feldman. She was passionate in her belief that the arts were a civilizing and enriching process, and she passed those passions on to me. It is very clear to me that she was my mentor, but it was my mother who taught me to set goals, be active in the community and to think of other people."

For more than 60 years, Feldman lived that lesson in Tulsa as a passionate advocate for improving lives. In the 1950s and 60s, she participated in a Community Service Council study on child abuse and neglect and helped form the Tulsa County child welfare office. In the 1980s, she was a founding chair of the Tulsa Area Coalition on Perinatal Care, which increased access to perinatal care for low- income pregnant women. …