Catherine Forslund is the Isabelle Ross Abbott Professor of History and Women's Studies, the dean of first-year studies, and the chair of the history department at Rockford University. She teaches U. S., Latin American, and Asian history and has worked extensively with local, federally funded Teaching American History programs. Her publications include works in diplomatic and women's history such as We Are a College at War: Women Working for Victory in World War II (2010), Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations (2002), and "Worth a Thousand Words: Editorial Cartoons of the Korean War" in the Journal of Conflict Studies (vol. 22, 2002). She contributed a chapter on Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt to A Companion to First Ladies (2016), part of the Wiley Blackwell Companions to American History series. Her research interests include Vietnam War–era and other editorial cartoons.
With the turn of the 20th century, the nation’s first ladies entered American life in ways beyond that of capital hostess and national trendsetter. Edith Roosevelt ushered in changes that brought about the activist first ladies of today. Roosevelt created the first Office of the First Lady-- hiring a permanent social secretary, initiated new technologies in the White House, managed the growing press and “celebrity” focuses on the first family, oversaw the first major renovation of the presidential home, and created the White House china collection and first ladies gallery. While not the activist first lady we expect today, Roosevelt stood astride the old and new centuries and the evolving expectations and roles that came with them.