Alumni News

October 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Notable Alumni | Lisa Maatz Is a Respected Advocate in D.C., Mentors Students at OHIO

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences launches the Notable Alumni Awards, honoring 37 Notable Alumni in 2017 for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Lisa Maatz

Lisa Maatz

Lisa Maatz ’89 Sociology and Political Science, WGSS

Ohio University alum Lisa Maatz is a much-respected policy adviser and advocate for women and girls in Washington, D.C., and also at OHIO.

She returns to campus in Fall 2018 to give a D.C. insiders’ look at mid-term elections and to mentor graduate students on careers in government and non-profits. She also participated in the College of Arts & Sciences 2018 Career and Networking Week.

Maatz graduated from OHIO in 1989 with an A.B. in Sociology and Political Science (Pre-Law), in addition to earning a Women’s Studies Certificate.

As the American Association of University Women’s former top policy adviser, she worked to advance AAUW’s priority issues on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in coalition with other organizations from 2003 to 2017. During that time, she also spent 16 months serving concurrently as the interim director of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund.

Maatz's work with AAUW brought her in contact with President Obama and a variety of other politicians and dignitaries

Maatz’s work with AAUW brought her in contact with President Obama and a variety of other politicians and dignitaries

Maatz is a sought-after speaker across the nation and in the nation’s capital and has a large and devoted following on Twitter. Maatz also provides leadership to several coalitions working to advance opportunities for women and girls, including the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education and the Paycheck Fairness Act Coalition.

From left, Robert Frank, Lisa Maatz and President M. Duane Nellis

From left, Robert Frank, Lisa Maatz and President M. Duane Nellis at Notables ceremony in 2017.

Recently featured in the book Secrets of Powerful Women, Maatz has developed a reputation for her strategic approach to legislation and advocacy. She has done similar work for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Older Women’s League, and was a legislative aide to U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Her grassroots advocacy career began when she was the Executive Director of Turning Point, a battered women’s program recognized for excellence by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Maatz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Ohio University and currently serves on the university’s Diversity Alumni Advisory Board. She has two master’s degrees from Ohio State and holds an adjunct appointment with the Women and Politics Institute at American University.

Honors include the National Committee on Pay Equity’s Winn Newman Advocacy Award (2013), National Association of Partnerships in Equity’s first-ever Public Policy Advocate for Equity Award (2012) and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s 10th anniversary Trailblazer Award (2011).

Lisa Maatz and Nancy Pelosi

Lisa Maatz and Nancy Pelosi

Maatz received the Women’s Information Network’s Karen Mulhauser Award (2010) for mentoring and service, and WIN’s Young Woman of Achievement Award (2001). She has served on that organization’s Advisory Council since 2003. She was a recipient of the Mentor Award from the Public Leadership Education Network (2003) and was recently named to its board of directors (2012).

She was awarded a Congressional Fellowship in Women and Public Policy from the Women’s Research and Education Institute (1997) and was a mayoral appointee to the Washington, D.C., Commission on Women (2006–10).

Lisa Maatz with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro

Lisa Maatz with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro

Bobcat Memories and Connections

  • OHIO Diversity Alumni Advisory Board
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Various honor societies, including Mortar Board and Chimes
  • Top graduate from both political science and sociology
  • One of five seniors chosen as outstanding senior leader and recognized at commencement
  • Member of student hearing boards
  • OHIO McGuffey Scholar
  • Resident Assistant on East Green, including being an ARA during senior year

“As for OHIO stories, there was the time I almost got banned for life from Stroud’s Run. There was the time the police made my residents and me wash the bricks in front of the graffiti wall, and of course there was the time when I had six people sleeping in my single dorm room for Halloween my freshman year,” Maatz says.

“I was a good kid, and seemed to be living my life like I was waiting for my Senate confirmation hearings, but I loved being an RA, and I loved going through OHIO’s leadership development program. I loved to dance at the Nickelodeon. Like everyone else, I love the Burrito Buggy, but I really miss the Bagel Buggy; I used to get breakfast there several times a week.”

Ohio University Mentors

“Christine Mattley was my adviser for Sociology, and I just loved her. I wanted to be her. I thought she was just the coolest ever. She really introduced me to gender studies and got me interested in a women’s studies certificate—which is all OU had at that time. I had four classes with her, including research methods, and she was even able to make that interesting,” Maatz says.

“Joy Huntley in Political Science was probably my best mentor in that department. It was her feminist theory class fall of my senior year that changed my mind from law school to going for women’s studies master’s degree.

“Chris Reghetti in Housing and Residence Life was an important mentor. She was both my hall director when I was a student and when I was an RA, and I thought she was wonderful,” adds Maatz.

“I also worked the whole time in Student Records in Chubb, as my work-study job. That was awfully nice because the ladies made sure I never got closed out of a class.

“I also remember Dean Harvey, who was the dean of the University College when I was there. He ran the summer scholar and McGuffey Scholar programs, and I used to drop in just to talk to him on a fairly regular basis. He always wanted to know what was going on and was just a funny, kind, and gentle soul.”

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