The GAIM 2019 Women 

Every year, GAIM features four great women from history. The comics in our competition are based on the lives of these four women. In GAIM 2019, we are featuring Pantea Arteshbod, Queen Anna Nzinga, Marie Curie, and Katherine Johnson. 


Katherine Johnson

Born: 1918
Birthplace: West Virginia, USA

Hello!  Have you ever dreamed of going to the moon?  How about sending astronauts to the moon? When I was born over 100 years ago, back in 1918, that seemed impossible.  My story started when I was a child, intensely curious and brilliant with numbers. My parents valued education immensely, and made many sacrifices so that my siblings and I could attend high school, since there was no high school for African-Americans in my hometown.  By the time I was 19 I had graduated college and started teaching math. Now, you say what does that have to do with going to the moon? Well, a few years later I started working at NASA as a human computer. And then I started working on calculations for the trajectory of various space flights, including sending the 1st American into space in 1961.  In 1969, I made my greatest contribution to space exploration by helping to calculate the trajectory for the Apollo 11 flight to the Moon! I believe that "Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men".


Marie Curie

Born: 1867
Died: 1934
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland

Cześć!  Bonjour!  I was born in Warsaw, Poland.  I was a very curious child and had a love for math from an early age.  My dad taught math and physics, and encouraged me to follow my dreams to become a scientist.  As a woman, my options in Poland were very limited, so after working a few years and saving some money, I moved to Paris when I was 24 to study physics, chemistry, and math at the University of Paris.  I met my husband, Pierre, at the University and together, we conducted lots of research in the field of radioactivity. We won a Noble Prize for our discoveries in 1903. It was the very first time in history that a woman was awarded a Noble Prize!  After my husband's death I continued the research, and in 1911 I was awarded a second Noble Prize. And did I tell you that in 1906 I was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris? Something I lived by is "Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas".


Nzinga Mbande (Queen ANa Nzinga)

Born: 1583
Died: 1663
Birthplace: Angola

Olá! Ongaipi! I was born a princess in Africa, in the country currently known as Angola.  When I was about 28 years old my father was dethroned and my brother took power instead.  During this time Portugal was gaining a lot of control in Africa, enslaving people and sending them to faraway lands as slaves.   I couldn't stand that this was happening to our people, so I convinced my brother to send me to negotiate a peace treaty with Portugal, with the goal of securing independence for our country and our people.  Unfortunately the Portuguese didn't honor the treaty and continued to raid our kingdom, so after my brother passed away, and I became queen, I decided to create an alliance with the Dutch to free Angola from the Portuguese.  I was known for being an astute diplomat, but didn't shy away from using power if I had to, and was a visionary military leader as well. I fought to free Angola until my death at the age of 80. Today my people consider me a symbol of the fight against oppression.


Pantea Arteshbod

Born: Between 540 and 550 BCA
Died: Unknown
Birthplace: Persia (Current Day Iran)

Dorood!  Who better to command the toughest army than the toughest woman in Asia? Two thousand years ago, I, Pantea Arteshbod, whose first name means 'strong' and 'immortal', bravely commanded the Persian army which shared the meaning of my moniker. The Immortal Army served as the Persian special forces, entering battles midway to strong-arm the opposition and shock military leaders during the reign of Cyrus the Great. The army was immortal in that its soldiers were kept at exactly 10,000 members, with an immediate replacement for any soldier killed or injured.  My husband, General Aryasb, and I lead the army through the expansion of the Persian Empire, which was so successful in part because of me and my leadership style. Texts from the time regard me as both tough and sensitive, effortlessly stifling chaos in Babylonia during their transition into peacetime. As a result, history regards me as one of the greatest military leaders of all time.