The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 24, Number 1                           Our 56th year of publication.            

September 2010



Online Calendar at

1     Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

Hostess: Betty Harrel (462-2141)

7     Diversity Initiative:5:00 pm

       Hostess: Gwen Higgins (452-5931)

       Coordinator: Sherre Wesley (462-49450

10   Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

       Book: Great Tales and Poems

       by Edgar Allan Poe

Hostess: Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

              & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

10   The Branch deadline for October     

11   Trekkers: 8:30 am Karen Haynes House

       Three walks in Sept. are part of HV Ramble

       Old Croton Aqueduct, Dobbs Ferry

       Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

12   GirlsМ Conference Committee: 3:00 pm

Marcine Humphrey’s (485-7697)

13   Word Games: 2:00 pm

       Hostess: Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

       Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

14   Cuisine: 6:30 pm

       Mexican Cuisine

       Recipes: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

Hostess: Kim Butwell (698-1855) (RSVP)

Coordinator: Betty Olson (889-4836)

15   Bridge I:1:00 - 4:00 pm

       Hostess: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046)

Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

              Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

16   All those books...:7:00 pm

          Book: Women in Love

       by D.H. Lawrence

Hostess: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

       Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

17   Art on the Go: 9:00 am - until...

       Vanderbilt Mansion

       Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

18   Trekkers: 10:15 am Dutchess Mall

       Sterling Forest Park & Fire Tower, Tuxedo

       Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

20   Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

       Book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

       Hostess: Patricia Gullick (221-0042)

       Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

21   Membership Meeting- see below

22   Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

       Book: Remarkable Creatures

       by Tracy Chevalier

Hostess: Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

       Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267)

22   Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

       Hostess: Flo Mondanaro (454-0352) 

       Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

23   Bridge II: 12:00 noon

       Uno, Brunch, Lesson and Bridge ($15)

       Coordinators: Cathy Kinn

              & Janet White (462-6675)

23   Pins & Needles: 7:30 pm

       Quilt Talk with Carole Peterson 

       Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

       Coordinators: Jane Toll (463-2712)

              & Sue Osterhoudt (889-4469)

24   Aventures en Soleil: 10:00 am Upper Parking Lot

Minnewaska Hike, see below.

       Reservations: Judy Harkavy (471-4973

       Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091) & Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

25   Trekkers: 7:45 am Dutchess Mall

       Fuller Mt Preserve, Warwick

       Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

28   Girls’ Conference Work: 10:00 am

       Crafting, etc for the conference - if still needed.

       Check with Marcine Humphrey (485-7697)

29   Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

       Gigi Trattoria, Rhinebeck

Contact: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

Tee Off Play will continue in the Spring.

Coordinators: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046)&

               Linda Ronayne (897-9745)




Oct 13, 7pm - Out of Darkness St. John’s Lutheran Church. See below.


Oct 23, 12- 3pm - Woman of the Year See below.


Nov 6 - Girls’ Conference at DCC

See below.


April 10 - Writers’ Event Mark your calendar!!


April 15-17 AAUW-NYS Convention 


June 16-19 AAUW National Convention, Wash., DC


An A to Z Presentation of our

AmaZing Organization


Come one - come all! 

We enthusiastically invite you to

Discover the A to Z life

In AAUW’s Platinum Poughkeepsie Branch

At the annual Membership Open House.


September 21, 2010

7 P.M.

Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation Auditorium

284 South Street

Poughkeepsie, NY


A meeting to introduce potential new members to AAUW and invite them to join our AmaZing branch.


Bring all the friends you referred and share your enthusiasm for special interest groups, initiatives and programs we offer.


Come rejoin friends you haven’t seen for a few months.


Discover everything from A to Z that AAUW stands for.


Enjoy the yummy refreshments.


Find out about the special price for new members.


G through Z: the list goes on... ! Come and see what else there is.


Questions?? Contact Amy Schwed, 462-2269,


            or Bergie Lebovitch, 298-4045,



From Northbound Route 9: Take South Street/Academy Street exit immediately after you past the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery on your left. Stay to the left and make a left at the stop sign. Then stay right and make the first right onto Phoenix Street which is the entrance to Central Hudson. As you drive into the headquarters, you will see a large parking area you can use. (Note: DO NOT USE Mapquest, as it will take you into the city of Poughkeepsie!)


From Southbound Route 9: Take the South Street/Academy Street exit. Stay to the right and take the first right at Phoenix Street, which is the entrance to Central Hudson. Park in parking lot, as above.


Geeta Desai *297-7589 *


Welcome to a new and exhilarating year with the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW. I want you to know that it is an honor for me to serve this dynamic organization and that I intend to do my very best.


As I write this message, I cannot help but reflect on the history of our Branch. In Dutchess County, for more than 84 years, AAUW members have taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day - educational, social, economic, political - as they’ve impacted the lives of women and girls. Our members have funded college scholarships, convened forums to discuss impending legislation, encouraged literacy for children, empowered young girls to make smart choices and have sought, in general, to break down barriers to gender equity.


Over the next two years, I see us renewing our commitment to our mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. This means that our Branch will be responding to both traditional and emerging challenges that all women and girls face here at home and abroad.


We will continue to provide our indisputably successful programs, like Leading to Reading, Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference and our diversity dialogue on what it means to live and work in a multicultural society in Dutchess County. Also continuing are all our interest groups that cover the gamut from day trips, book groups, games to food, cooking and arts and crafts


Additionally, this year, we will undertake new initiatives that respond to emerging 21st century concerns. My Sister’s Keeper will raise awareness about the plight of women in economically disadvantaged countries. Working with the Dutchess County Health Department we will identify barriers to women’s healthcare, and, we will help multicultural women in Dutchess County connect with community resources to make them feel less isolated. Our new Women’s Networking Group will provide learning opportunities in professional and personal development helping women with Work/Life balance and in their pursuit of richer, more knowledge-based lives.


So, whether you are a returning or new member, you should know that you belong to a community of smart, socially-conscious, friendly, supportive, hardworking, spontaneously fun-loving women.


To make the most of your membership, I urge you, to participate enthusiastically in one or more of our programs, initiatives, projects and interest groups. I also urge you to attend Open House on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - look for details in this newsletter. Bring your friends. It promises to be a lively and informative evening. If you do attend, I promise you that you will renew or make abiding friendships, create memorable times, do fulfilling work, laugh a lot, enjoy the arts, eat entirely too much and never regret having joined the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW.


Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612* 

Those of us lucky enough to attend the AAUW, June 9th, Mexican Cuisine - its History, Culture and Background with Erika Kastel, Chef and AAUW member, certainly where treated to a wonderful event. Erika just sparkled as she told us about the Mexican Cruise (we now all know that Tex-Mex is not true Mexican food). The food demonstrations were so very interesting. She and her wonderful helpers, Emma, Silvia, and Leomagna prepared for us a true feast! This tasting was a complete meal with shrimp & scallop ceviche, chipotle roasted chicken tacos, potato & corn & poblano gratin, cucumber & radish salad, Tres Leches Cake, and Pineapple Aqua Fresca! Viva Mexico!!


Erika - thank you for all you many hours of work and for giving us truly an evening to remember!



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Leading to Reading, our early literacy project, just completed a very successful year! Highlights included:


آ     A Children’s Book Week Celebration at the Community Family Development Center. Pre-school classes enjoyed a story time, created their own classroom books, and every child went home with a shiny new book.

آ     Reading kits were delivered to Astor Head Start Centers in Millerton, Pine Plains, Wingdale and Wappingers Falls. The venture into eastern Dutchess County was partially sponsored by a Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union grant. Other kits went to Tubman Terrace and Catharine Street Community Center.

آ     A Barnes and Noble fundraiser was a fun day with ongoing story hours by our members. Over $400 was raised for the reading project.

آ     Children in the emergency shelter at the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie received fuzzy friend kits. The kits included books, crafts and an animal to cuddle in an attractive string bag. Following a grant from for the bags, Leading to Reading will be featured in advertising the company’s philanthropic program.

آ     AAUW holiday elves wrapped mountains of gifts for Hudson River Lodging, a long-term shelter. A book was given to each child and members donated books for the adult residents.


A move is in progress to the Manor at Woodside. The new location will provide more work and storage space as well as an opportunity to integrate some residents into our outreach project. Never content to just sit back, members are busy planning new activities for this year. To join this dynamic group, contact Betty Harrel.



Ann Pinna *462-3140* & Rose Ann Scott *221-4549*

Transportation Coordinators


If you're like Rose Ann & me, you don't feel comfortable driving at night---or even sometimes during the day, especially if it's to an unfamiliar destination. Do we have a solution for you! We have a list of "VOLUNTEER DRIVERS" who would be willing to pick you up, take you to a meeting or event, and then return you safely to your home. We'd love to have you attend our functions, so please consider calling any one of the AAUW drivers on the list below, or if you're "shy," either one of us will be happy to locate a ride for you. Don't worry, we will find a way to make you happy. And, we will be happy that you are a participating part of "us."


Below is a list of drivers for day or night meetings. Match one of them with you!



Jennifer Hafner 266-4542              Hobbs Lane


Catherine Lawrence 896-0654      Rosilia Lane

Linda Ronayne 897-9745              Salem Rd.

Mary Ann Ryan 897-9679            Auburn Ct.


Marilyn Walsh 896-6395              Lomala Lane


Linda Freisitzer 266-5427             Browning Rd

Ruth Hurd 229-0322                     Gilbert Dr.

Catherine Lane 229-1036              Rogers Road


Susan Leatherman 562-5202         Hewitt Lane


Joan Cordani 855-5259                 Old Route 55


Margaret Nijhuis 635-8612           McAllister Dr.


Eleanor Aronstein - 462-6452          Pasture Lane

Jeanette Cantwell 452-4188          Cardinal Ct.

Karin Fein 485-7186                     New Hackensack Rd

Gloria Gibbs - 454-7262                  Carriage Hill Lane

Peggy Kelland 297-0507               Susan Lane

Carol Loizides 452-3208               Lilling Rd

Patricia Mellen -471-2065               Elmendorf Dr.

Pat McCaffrey - 485-2297               Muirfield Ct.

Debbie Most 454-3747                  Bart Drive

Amy Schwed 462-2269                 Panessa Dr

Celia Serotsky - 473-8426               S. Grand Ave

Elizabeth Vivas 485-2379             Wilbur Blvd


Barbara Markell - 758-9922            Tee Lane


Marge Barton 297-6031                Sheafe Rd

Marcine Humphrey - 485-7697       Lewis Rd

Jeanne Moseley - 298-9587             Schnabl Ct.

Joan Newman 297-2628                Old Slate Rd.

Linda Rashba 297-6923                DeGarmo Road


See page 5 for those who are willing to drive in daytime only!



The primary election is at our doorstep. Although most of the candidates already have a slot on the ballot, those of us enrolled in a political party, whether in the Conservative, Democratic, Independence, or Republican Party, will have a chance to help choose some of the candidates for our party. Be sure your voice is heard in the primary election on Tuesday, September 14.


AAUW’s 2009С11 Public Policy Program states that AAUW is committed to supporting:


☆ pay equity, fairness in compensation, and vigorous enforcement of employment ant discrimination statutes.

greater availability of and access to benefits and policies that promote work-life balance.

increased support for, and access to, higher education for women and other disadvantaged populations.

vigorous protection of and full access to civil and constitutional rights.


Do you know where the candidates stand on issues that concern us? AAUW has on its website ( the AAUW Action Fund Congressional Voting Record for the First Session of the 111th Congress (2009). The Voting Record describes bills in the US Senate and the House of Representatives affecting these concerns, followed by a statement as to whether a vote for or against it would support our mission. This information is followed by the voting record of each US Senator and Representative in the House followed by a score based on the vote.


Another method to keep in touch with votes in Congress is signing up to receive AAUW Action Network from AAUW National. AAUW Action Network - this is free to anyone who has an e-mail address, wants to know what’s going on in Washington, D.C., and wants to take action to affect the outcome of important issues. Click on the name above or type into your browser.


As Nancy Mion, immediate past NYS Public Policy Director, reminded us at AAUW’s Leadership Conference in July, It is easier to elect a representative who believes in our mission, then to try to change the position of one who does not.



Understanding Why and Helping to Prevent Suicide

Jean Miller *452-2755* Terry Schneider *849-1122*


October 13, St John's Lutheran Church, Wilbur Blvd, Pok

Guest Speaker: Steve Miccio, Exec. Director of People, Inc.


All members and non-members are invited to hear Steve Miccio speak about suicide and its prevention. With a suicide attempt estimated to occur every 16 minute of every day in the United States and over 34,000 lives lost each year, the importance of understanding suicide has never been greater, nor finding ways to prevent it more urgent.


Diane Browne-Sterdt

The Big Read by Jewel Ratzlaff


Beginning October 3, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, together with partners across Dutchess County, will launch the Big Read for 2010 featuring a wide variety of programs focused on Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. This community-wide effort is designed to encourage literacy and restore reading to the center of our culture by providing the opportunity for adults and students to read and discuss a single book and be inspired and challenged by the literature. Considered by many as the first writer of detective fiction, Edgar Allan Poe has short stories and poems that connect with people of all ages and interests.


As Poughkeepsie becomes POEkeepsie for a month, the public is invited to lectures presented by noted scholars and authors. Professors from Dutchess Community College, Marist College and Vassar College are developing stimulating and artistic events that will help the public and local students see Poe and his work from a new perspective. Many book discussions, dramatic readings, theatrical events and creative expression opportunities are also planned throughout October.


Following is the list for the first week - the remaining events will appear in the October Branch.

October 3 - The Tortured Genius of Edgar Allan Poe

Big Read Opening Reception featuring Dr. Elliott Engel

              2:30 pm, The Auditorium, 105 Market Street

Author, scholar and artist Dr. Engel brings new insight to Poe’s brilliant fiction and poems, and the troubled life that spawned them.

October 5 - Poe in the Hudson Valley 7:00 pm 

              Marist College, Henry Hudson Room

Dr. Tony McGowan, West Point professor and authority on Edgar Allan Poe highlights Poe’s experience at West Point. Program sponsored by the Dutchess County Historical Society.

October 7 - Poe Outloud on the Anniversary of Poe’s death

              LaGrange Public Library - 1:00 pm

Dramatic reading of selections from Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by a local theater student.

October 7 - Big Read Author Series

              Vassar College Bookstore - 5:00 pm

Vassar College Adjunct Faculty and Author David Means reads from his fearless stories published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, etc.




As in everything else, AAUW women just get better and better at bridge. In just a year, the members of Bridge II have grown in their understanding of the game to the point that the large group can no longer take people who have never played. To the rescue comes Betsy Vivas, a gentle, long-time duplicate bridge player and class manager of the CLS class. Her fellow coordinator will be Life Master Donna Reichner-Mintz.


If you have always wanted to explore bridge, now is your chance.

Second Saturday of each month, 10:00Т12:00

Betsy Vivas


Donna Reichner-Mintz



Dina Gleeson *229-8458*

Sue Osterhoudt *889-4469*


Thanks to the thoughtful suggestions of our membership, you will see some positive changes in our monthly general meeting programs. This year’s programs will highlight four of the core mission-based values of AAUW: Education, Cultural, Women’s Issues and International.


Many people wished to have more than one program per month. So, look for initiatives coming from some of our general monthly programs and also offerings from various interest groups. Please check The Branch every month for program details.


Hope you are all rested from the summer as we have an exciting year ahead!!!


WALK AROUND LAKE MINNEWASKA Judy Harkavy *471- 4973*


Date: Friday, Sept. 24, 10:00 am at the upper parking lot

Rain Date: Saturday, Sept. 25


It is a good idea for people to carpool, usually there is a fee for each carload, I believe that seniors can get in free with a drivers license. It is not a difficult walk, fairly level with gorgeous views. Bring water and tick repellent.


Reservations by phone: Judy Harkavy 845/471- 4973.

Contact on day of the walk: Judy cell phone 845/649-0728.

Limit of group size: 25


Lunch: On your own. There are a lot of nice restaurants in New Paltz


Directions: take the Mid-Hudson bridge to Highland, go north on 9W to Route 299, follow 299 to it's end, (passing through the village of New Paltz), turn right onto Route 44/55, go about 5 miles to the entrance to Minnewaska Park, on the left, that is where a guard is to admit people, then follow the road to the top and park. The drive is about 50 -60 minutes from Poughkeepsie, depending on traffic.



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Thanks once again to the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union! They have provided a second donation to the Leading to Reading project. Last year we were able to provide reading kits to children in three Astor Head Start site-based programs in eastern Dutchess County, along with some big books for classroom use. The goal is expand our program in those centers this coming year.


The support of HVFCU is greatly appreciated!



Woman of the Year 2010

Elizabeth Harrel

AAUW State and Local Leader

Extraordinary Volunteer

Outstanding Educator


October 23, 2010, 12 С 3 pm

Villa Borghese


Menu:  Cash Bar

              Hot Buffet Luncheon


Price: $45 (includes gratuity and a $10 donation to our scholarships and community projects)

Reservations are due by October 15, 2010.

Make check payable to "Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc." and mail to:


Mary-Jo Cottrell

PO Box 1440

Pleasant Valley, NY 12569


Questions: Call Mary-Jo Cottrell 845/635-5175

Reserved tables of 10 are available but not required.


Supporters of The Branch!!


Annual contributions from members help defray the expense of publishing The Branch. All patrons and sponsors are listed in each monthly newsletter unless anonymity is requested.             


Patrons ($25 or more)

  Catherine Albanese

 Lula Allen

 Mary G. Bagley

Betty Harrel

 Leola Mason

 Lila Mitchell

Ellenora Oberhofer

 Jacqueline Prusak

 Esther Reisman

 Margaret Ruggeri

Sponsors ($10 or more)

 Sandra Goldberg

 Catherine Pété

 Terry Schneider


To add your name to the list, mail a check payable: Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. to Margaret Nijhuis, 9 McAllister Drive, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569


Ann Pinna *462-3140* & Rose Ann Scott *221-4549*



Donna Garvey - 489-8331               Fish Hook Rd.

Valerie Wiggins - 221-2441            Willow Dr.


Dina Gleeson - 229-8458                 Robert Dr.


Roberta Lederman - 462-6214         Brentwood Dr.

Jane Barber Smith - 473-6427         Aspen Terr.


Verna Carr - 297-6082                     Deer Run Road


An expression of admiration for someone's achievement or contribution and our acknowledgment for it.

Mary Coiteux *226-8275*


Hats Off to Wendy Maragh Taylor and Joseph Taylor! After raising $10,000 this spring, they headed to Zorzor, Liberia, an eight hour drive from Monrovia. The purpose of the Liberia Project 2010 is to build a church and school for the community in Zorzor in order to provide the people with opportunities for growth and education in a variety of areas. Read about this in Wendy’s own words


Hats Off to members of Art on the Go who have had their art work exhibited this year: Ellie Burch for her quilts in the Dutchess Quilt show and art work in the New Hackensack Reformed Church. Karleen Dorn for her work in the East Fishkill Library. Carol Loizides for her work at the Mill Street Loft, ASK, the Howland Cultural Center, and the Eliza Pritiken Gallery. CarolМs work was also featured on the cover of an Enjoy Section of the Poughkeepsie Journal. Norma DePalma and Carol Mastropietro for their work in the Howland Cultural Center. Thanks also go to Maureen Barron, Ellie Burch, Mary Coiteux, Carol Loizides, and Carol Mastropietro for their contributions of art work to the Silent Auction at the Writers’ Tea. Congratulations to these talented and productive women.


Hats Off to Gwen Higgins, who on June 3, 2010 at the Dutchess County Youth Bureau Annual Luncheon was awarded the Dorothy O. Lasday Award for exceptional volunteerism. Gwen was nominated by the Pine Plains Central School where she has serves as co-advisor for the S.T.O.P. (Students and Teachers Opposed to Prejudice) Club. As noted in a program for the event, throughout her career, Gwen has provided training in bias awareness, peer mediation, mentoring, scouting, human rights, school violence and youth leadership for countless organizations, not-for-profit agencies, schools and churches within Dutchess and Ulster Counties, and beyond. Poughkeepsie AAUW has certainly benefitted from Gwen’s expertise in her work with our Girls’ Conference and Diversity Initiative. Gwen, congratulations from all of us for a most deserved award.


We have requests from the Astor Head Start Centers in Wappingers Falls and Wingdale for celebrity readers. Members can go in once, occasionally or on a regular basis to read to pre-school children. Smiles on the children’s faces are guaranteed!


If you’re interested, please contact Betty Harrel or 462-2141. You’ll be put in contact with the program site director to make arrangements for your visit.


Mary Louise Van Winkle *471-3680*


The 2010 Dutchess County Regional Science Fair was held at Dutchess Community College on Saturday, April 7. The judges representing our Branch, Shaheda Azher and myself, selected one seventh and one eighth grade girl for our AAUW awards from among some very impressive science projects.


The seventh grade project, Do you C What I C?, was designed and executed by Amanda Sayegh, from St . Denis/St. Columba. Her experiment asked the question, Is the amount of vitamin C the same in different types of orange juice? She tested four different types: fresh orange juice, premium orange juice, orange juice from concentrate, and frozen orange juice. She found that the two with the highest levels of vitamin C were the fresh and the frozen. Amanda hypothesized that these were the two with the least exposure to air which could cause the loss of vitamin C. Amanda has been participating in science projects throughout elementary school and has attended the DC Science Fair since 5th grade. Last year her experiment questioned the amount of bacteria one would find on the outside of a lemon, such as the lemon wedge you might get in a restaurant, and from her findings recommends that we all wash our lemons before we cut a slice for our iced tea!!!


Charisse Haruta, from St. Martin dePorres, was selected for her eighth grade project, What Factors Affect Insect Jumping? She hypothesized that an insect’s catapult mechanism and body position affect its jumping ability because of stored energy and optimal take-off. After much research, Charisse designed a mechanical prototype of the jumping mechanism of the leaf hopper to test her hypothesis. In her research, in preparation for her project, she found that one of the foremost authorities on insect locomotion is Professor Malcolm Burrows of Cambridge University in England. She received advice and encouragement from him as she developed her experiment. This is the second year that she has had a project examining insect locomotion and contemplates doing a project next year on the flying mechanisms of insects. This year Charisse placed third in the overall eighth grade competition and won a TEG award as well as our AAUW award.


Shaheda and I were very impressed with the number of excellent projects that were presented by the seventh and eighth grade girls and are particularly pleased that AAUW encourages their continuing interest in science through our awards program.

Check your email each day!!!


Linda M. Roy, Education Chair, *471-9498*


AAUW's mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Therefore, educational issues play an important part in the organization’s ongoing efforts and concerns. As the new Education Chair of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW, each month I plan to share with you some of AAUW’s advocacy and research in the field of education, as well as current educational issues impacting K - 12 schools, colleges and universities both locally and nationally.


As I was researching educational issues, I was delighted to see that for more than 128 years AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day - educational, social, economic, and political. In one of the organization’s first efforts, in 1885 a group of AAUW members conducted a survey that debunked the popular theory that higher education was bad for women's health. That first study established AAUW's commitment to cutting-edge research relevant to the struggle for gender equity in school and in society.


AAUW members were also very involved in advocacy for Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions, when it was originally passed into law in 1972. This law opened many doors for women in the area of high school and college athletics, as well as protected them from sexual harassment and discrimination in all educational settings. AAUW members also testified before a congressional subcommittee on the 35th anniversary of the passage of this law to confirm the importance of this landmark legislation and to highlight the ongoing issue of sexual harassment of girls and women in schools. In collaboration with The Legal Aid Society- Employment Law Center and the Women’s Sports Foundation, the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund has produced a tool kit for members with materials about Title IX and high school athletics. These documents can help AAUW members find out if their local school is Title IX compliant. This tool kit is available on the AAUW website



Irene Keyes *227-6686*


The Equity for Life committee has been working to secure grant money for our community outreach programs. We have filed grant applications with several local agencies with the hope of obtaining funds for the Girls’ Conference, Leading to Reading and Let’s Read Math.


For the 2010 -2011 year we look forward to expanding membership on this committee. In addition to seeking funding, the committee meetings will be a forum for discussion of the scope and impact of community outreach projects. Please contact Irene if you would like to join this committee.



The Princess Warrior: Girl Power in the 21st Century, Flirting, Friendship and Harassment,

 Fashion Forward: Project Runway Comes to Dutchess County! and Get the Write Girl Spirit are just some exciting workshops planned for our 7th grade young women.


The fifth Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference is scheduled for November 6, 2010 from 9 am to 2:30 pm at the beautiful campus of Dutchess Community College. We continue to focus on inspiring and empowering girls to dream about the future and provide them with resources, role models, and a chance to express themselves. The girls attend two different workshops, have lunch with college women, and after lunch participate in a girl talk circle. At the close, girls speak out and share their experiences.


We still need the membership behind us! The Committee is organizing, crafting, signing up facilitators, and promoting the event, but we need more help. If anyone wants to decorate journals, wrap boxes, stuff folders, we will be working on August 23 and 24th from 1-4 pm at Gwen Higgins’ House.   On November 6, we need more volunteers to register the girls(8:15 to 9:45) and sign out the girls (1pm to 2:30 pm). Most importantly, we also need more women to attend parents’ open houses at middle schools to hand out information.


Our registration brochure and program details will be on our website ( in September. Please, call for information or to volunteer - Marcine Humphrey, Coordinator at 485-7697.


Lastly, sponsor a girl for the Live Your Dream Conference! Become a Diva, Dreamer or Darlings by October 30th, where for$28 you can pay the expenses of one girl to attend the conference.

Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2010-2011


President                               Geeta Desai            297-7589

Program V.P.                        Susan Osterhoudt   889-4469

                                                Diana Gleeson        229-8458 

Membership V.P.                  Bergie Lebovitch    298-4045

Educ. Foundation V.P.         Patricia Luczai        463-4662

                                                Trish Prunty

Secretary                               Virginia Marcus     223-5246

Treasurer                              Barbara Van Itallie 462-3924

Assistant Treasurer              Elizabeth Moesel    896-9426

Association website: 

NY State website:

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.