Irene Keyes Memorial Fund
Irene Keyes Memorial Fund 2013 Recipient Dana Liu
Each year the Irene Keyes Memorial Fund offers a scholarship to one young woman to attend the NCCWSL (National Conference of College Women Student Leaders) conference. The grant provides for the programming, housing and meals for the Washington, DC event. This year’s recipient is Dana Liu of Marist College. This conference, held from May 30 –
June 1, brings college women together to discuss contemporary issues affecting women across a wide spectrum. The goals are to create a next generation of leaders by providing empowerment workshops and equipping women with leadership skills to take back to their universities and colleges.
Dana Liu is majoring in Fashion Design and Environmental Studies. During her time at Marist she has been very involved in Student Government and has served on several advisory boards. She attends council meetings with the representatives of the other programs to discuss developments within the schools, and she assists in the planning of the Academic Quiz bowl and Annual Faculty of the Year and Shadow Day Liaison. Dana has worked with the Honors Program Director to discuss honors curricula and course offerings. Dana’s professors praise her curiosity about life and learning as well as her commitment to advocacy. She has already exhibited her dedication to diversity, integrity, service fellowship, and the spirit of inquiry. Diana’s goals include working as a fashion designer in a company dedicated to environmental and social responsibility. She hopes to “implement change in an industry that relies on the exploitation of workers and destruction of the environment.”
Look for Dana’s report from the conference in the September issue of The Branch!
Marcine Humphrey, Committee chair
From Domonique Garrett, 2012 Recipient
My name is Domonique Garrett. As the recipient of the Irene Keyes Memorial Fund grant, I attended the 2012 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). I will admit that I went to NCCWSL feeling nervous, overwhelmed, and without any idea of what to expect. I read positive stories about student leaders that attended in the past, so I wanted to be sure to get the most out of the conference and have fun as well.
During the Conference, I attended several workshops, attended keynote speeches and viewed a documentary called The Invisible War, an investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of women soldiers within the US military. It was amazing to listen to Lilly Ledbetter, a keynote speaker and women’s equal pay activist, share her fight for equal pay at Goodyear Tire and Rubber.
NCCWSL has sparked a desire within me to join the fight to give women across the country the opportunity for fair wages. I also want to help lift up the voices of the men and women who fight for our country and are victimized and silenced by the military. Networking with young likeminded women from all over the country empowered and inspired me to continue on in my educational and professional journey.
My experience at NCCWSL conference was extraordinary. My time on the University of Maryland’s campus was amazing and unforgettable. I have made lasting connections with several young women. This experience taught me many lessons, but mainly, to strive for excellence.
I left the conference feeling confident that I am a better person and ready to pursue all of my dreams. I thank the women of AAUW for this opportunity.
In addition to her studies, Domonique Garrett is the Director of Youth Services for D.I.V.A.S. of Sister 2 Sister of Poughkeepsie. She has co-coordinated Project S.W.A.G (Society at War Against Illegal Guns and Violence). Involved in several community projects, she is committed to encouraging young people to be productive citizens, make responsible decisions, and avoid violence.
IRENE KEYES MEMORIAL FUND
Irene Keyes (1949-2011)
Irene C. Keyes, passed away suddenly on Saturday, July 2, 2011.
Irene was born March 7, 1949 in Middletown, N.Y. Irene was a graduate of Middletown High School in 1967, SUNY Brockport in 1971, and completed post-graduate work at Union College in 1985.
Irene is survived by her husband Richard J. Keyes, Jr. and their sons William E. Keyes, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, and Brian P. Keyes a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology. Irene was predeceased by her daughter, Jenny, in 1989.
Irene retired from the Spackenkill Union Free School District in 2004, after 33 years. She taught mathematics, was instrumental in designing and implementing the computer science curriculum, served as mathematics department coordinator, as well as coaching cheerleading and advising the Computer Club. She completed her teaching career as technology integrator at Nassau and Hagan Elementary Schools. After her retirement, she continued to share her passion for teaching by launching her business, "Play Math With Me," to instill a love of mathematics in children.
In addition to teaching, Irene actively participated in numerous area organizations. Her leadership role in the American Association of University Women enabled the local chapter to earn a 501(c)(3) designation, laying the foundation for their long-term vision to achieve gender equity. She wrote grants to create an umbrella program called "Equity For Life" to fund initiatives like the regional Girls' Conference, the "Leading To Reading" literacy project, and the "Let's Read Math" tutoring programs.
A dedicated member of the Arlington family, Irene worked tirelessly for the PTSA and the Arlington Band Boosters. She ran "Reflections," an arts contest enabling Arlington students to compete at state and national levels, and she was instrumental in re-launching the Math, Science & Technology Expo. Her work on behalf of the marching band and other music programs brought joy to the thousands who participated. Additionally, she organized the Friends of Mills Mansion annual golf tournaments at Dinsmore Golf Course, and assisted Eagle Scout candidates from Boy Scout Troup 182. In all her endeavors, Irene was committed to helping others. Irene delighted in creating arts and crafts. Her artistic ability was evidenced in her sewing, her quilting, and her painting projects. Irene loved her home decorating and her gardening, especially her colorful irises. Irene was an enthusiastic supporter of the musical endeavors of her family. Yet, her greatest love shone in the creation of a wonderful family. Rich, her two sons, and their myriad accomplishments will be her finest legacy.
As part of her eulogy, Bonnie Fulmer said:
…But one of the things I really admired about Irene was that she not only wanted to make the world a better place, but she actively sought opportunities to do concrete things to make that happen.
… She was a woman who not only volunteered when someone else evinced a need, but she was also a leader who took the initiative to identify a problem, figure out a solution, and then execute a plan to fix it and make the world a better place. Her death is more than a source of grief to all of us who love her; it is an irreplaceable loss to the whole community.
…Her untimely departure has left a huge chasm in countless lives, but thank God, we are all richer for having had Irene touch our lives and the wider world with her thoughtfulness, her dedication, her intelligence, and most of all, her love.