Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame inducts Jessica A. Rickert

added on: October 28, 2009

“Anyone wishing to be successful should develop their whole person, including their personality.”– Jessica A. RickertThe Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame was opened in 1987 on the anniversary of Michigan’s ratification of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. This center displays exhibits on the cultural and historic achievements of Michigan women. It also is home to the Belen Gallery, which displays the work of Michigan women artists and photographers. Nominees are sorted into one of two categories – contemporary or historical – and are assessed for their achievements in a variety of areas, including community service, civil rights, entertainment, politics and business. Jessica A. Rickert is one of the contemporary honorees for 2009.In 1975, Rickert became the nation’s first American Indian woman dentist. Rickert will be joining more than 200 inductees including Rosa Parks, Betty Ford, Lily Tomlin, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Aretha Franklin and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.Levi Rickert, her brother, nominated her in 2008 to be placed into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. On October 21, 2009 she was inducted in East Lansing, along with nine other women being honored for their societal contributions.A founding member of the Society of American Indian Dentists, Rickert is only the third American Indian dentist in history. Ms. Rickert descended down from Chief Whitepigeon for whom the town of White Pigeon, Michigan is named. She has helped erect dental clinics for two Michigan tribes and authors a dental column read in many prevalent American Indian newspapers.Rickert hopes that more American Indian women will be nominated to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. “When my brother nominated me he told me that the three American Indian women in the Hall of Fame are all deceased; there were no living ones represented. I couldn’t believe that was possible because in the state of Michigan there are all kinds of accomplished American Indian women.”To be a success in the health field, according to Rickert, you have to be a hard worker with a good work ethic. “You need a great character and good heart and should always strive to be as straightforward and truthful as you can be. You have to have a certain personality to be in the health field and be willing to help other people out. Anyone wishing to be successful should develop their whole person, including their personality.”