Meet the Naperville women making history right now! This blog highlights the stories of Naperville women nominated by the community through the HERstory campaign. 

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Aug 13

Meet Ruth Dow

Posted on August 13, 2020 at 8:55 AM by Denise Cartina


"Ruth Dow, Registered Dietitian with a University of Illinois nutrition education doctorate, taught foods, nutrition, and education 30 years, initiated and directed undergraduate and graduate dietetics programs, was Graduate Coordinator at School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, also was Distinguished Faculty.?A 4-H Club leader 16 years, she was president of Charleston League of Women Voters, President of Illinois Dietetic Association, Charter Fellow of the American Dietetic Association, and a reviewer for their Journal, with related professional responsibilities.  

She taught nutrition, gardening, and solar cooking 28 years in 24 countries (most of Latin America, three in Africa) as a part-time volunteer for Alfalit International, Inc, directing their Nutrition Program. She wrote seven booklets in Spanish, edited, co-authored/edited/translated five others, used in most Alfalit countries. On the Alfalit Board 24 years, the Executive Committee 20 years, Program Director eight years, she edited Alfalit’s English and Spanish bulletins eight years—was involved in many Alfalit activities.  

With leadership roles at McKinley Presbyterian Foundation, Champaign, IL, she was ordained a ruling elder, later was on their Board of Directors, was an elder in Presbyterian churches in four different cities. She was 1956 University of Illinois co-valedictorian, a leader at YWCA, others on campus. President of the Charleston League of Women Voters, she helped the city council pass Fair Housing; worked hard for the 1970 Illinois Constitution and the U. S. Equal Rights Amendment. Volunteer interpreting at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site 15 years preceded 11 years at Naper Settlement."