The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 24, Number 4                           Our 56th year of publication.              December 2010


AAUW was founded in 1881, thus 2011 will mark 130 years that AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political.


  Online Calendar at

1     Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

Hostess: Marcine Humphrey (485-7697)

1     Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar See page 2.

2     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm (note new time)

       Quilting Continues!! 

       Hostess: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

       Coordinator: Jane Toll (463-2712)

       Contact: Joanne Scolaro (223-7267)

4     Trekkers: 9:00 am - Snow date 12/11

       Locust Grove, meet at Visitor’s Center

       Organizer: Cathy Bala (227-7293)

       Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

6     Fun at Five: 5:00 pm

       Japanese Tea Ceremony by Naoko Ojio

       Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

       RSVP to

       Event of the Diversity Initiative

Chairs: Wendy Maragh Taylor (473-7484) & Sherre Wesley (462-4945)

6     Word Games: 2:00 pm

       Hostess: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

       Coordinator: Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

7     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

       Book: Dinner at Mr. Jefferson’s

       by Charles Gerami

Hostess: Roz Werner (462-0630)

       Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267)

8     Membership Meeting (See first column.)

8     Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

       Hostess: Marcy Marlow (462-6555) 

       Coordinator: Amy Schwed (462-2269)

10   “The Branch” deadline for January

10  Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

       Book: River of Doubt

       by Candace Millard

Hostess: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

              & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)



Calendar continued on page 2.




Two Great Events One Month




A Look at the Global Women’s Crisis and the Triumph of the Human Spirit”


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

               7:00 pm


   St. John’s Lutheran Church

55 Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie 


AAUW members talk about their first-hand knowledge of women’s lives in Botswana, Liberia and Madagascar where poverty, illiteracy, violence, hunger and disease test human limits on a daily basis. Against all odds, these are also places where hope lives and endures thanks to women like you.


AAUW members across New York State have fanned the flames of hope in a variety of creative ways. Learn how small acts of kindness have helped an entire village to read or helped a women’s cooperative become self- reliant. Our members’ experiences are testament to the fact that our very “intentions” can produce life-changing moments for legions of women across the globe. So, come and be inspired to harness the power of “intention” and simple acts of spiritual kindness.


If you have ever felt like a bystander in the fight for gender equity here and abroad, this program is guaranteed to make you feel relevant, capable and empowered. It will help you see the world and your place in it a little differently. Grab your sister’s hand and let’s use the power within us all to make the difference, to change the world!


*My Sister’s Keeper, inspired by Kristoff & WuDunn's book Half the Sky (see pages 6 and 7), is the AAUW-NYS’s statewide project to foster greater understanding of the plight of women worldwide and within our domestic borders and encouraging women and girls to take action.



Cecilia Dino-Durkin (518-2713 or )

Joan Monk (914/245-7704 or )


See page 2 for another great event also in December.

Calendar Continued...

Online Calendar at

11   Bridge for Beginners: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

       Hostess: Joanne Dyson (297-1046)  

       Dec 15 (see Bridge I & II below)

       Coordinators: Donna Reichner Mintz &

               Betsy Vivas (485-2370)                   

12   Gourmet: Out & About: 11:00 am

       The Bistro at Vineyard Commons, Highland

Contact: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

15   Bridge I: 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm

       Uno Restaurant on arterial in Arlington

       Buffet lunch & game, $15 (including tip)

       RSVP by December 9th.

Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

              Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

15   Bridge II: 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm

       Uno Restaurant on arterial in Arlington

       Buffet lunch & game, $15 (including tip)

       RSVP by December 9th.

       Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

              Janet White (462-6675)

16   All those books...: 7:00 pm

      Book: My Antonia

       by Willa Cather

Hostess: Judy Harkavy (471-4973)

       Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

17   Art on the Go: 9:30 am - until

       Weather dependent - gallery visit or outing TBA.

       Hostess: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

       Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

20   Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

       Book: The Story of Marriage

       by Andrew Greer

       Hostess: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

       Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

21   Cuisine: 6:30 pm

       Call the coordinator for plans.

Coordinator: Betty Olson (889-4836)

Professional Women’s Networking:

Please attend the Dec 1 Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar & Dec 8 general meeting on My Sister’s Keeper.

       Coordinators: Kim Butwell &

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

Aventures en Soleil:

       No trip planned for December.

       Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091) &  

              Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

Tee Off Play will continue in the Spring.

Coordinators: Dorothy Evangelista (677-9046) &

               Linda Ronayne (897-9745)






Second Great Event of December



“A Fair Trade Holiday Bazaar”


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Poughkeepsie Plaza

2600 South Road, Poughkeepsie


As we approach the holiday season and remember women less fortunate than us in countries across the world, AAUW members have organized a “Fair Trade” Holiday Bazaar for you on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at the Poughkeepsie Plaza. The sale of “fair trade” items in the USA helps the makers of these products (mostly women) to earn a fairer living wage than if their products were sold through conventional distribution channels. Fair trade focuses on handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold exports - Wikipedia. To qualify as “Fair Trade” items, products must also adhere to social and environmental standards which make production more sustainable.


At the holiday bazaar, there will be over 20 vendors and nonprofit organizations selling fair trade products, disseminating information for activism, volunteerism, and awareness as it pertains to issues of women and girls. Included will be AAUW Initiatives, Heifer International, Goody Goodies, Safe Passage, Marist Praxivus, Domingo Wire and Bead Creations, BoldGirlz, Leilani Beads from Tibet, Catskill Animal sanctuary and more.


Come join the fun and celebration! Why not put your gift dollars to work, buying gifts that give back? That’s the gift of fair trade!!


Cecilia Dino-Durkin (518-2713 or

Joan Monk (914/245-7704 or


Jan 12 Kathy Beckmann, conductor of the Northern Dutchess

Symphony Orchestra, will present a short overview of the organization’s musical offerings and excerpts from Madame Butterfly. Kathy will accompany the singers on the piano. See page 5.

Apr 10 Writers’ Tea - watch for more details in January.

Apr 15-17 AAUW-NYS Convention, Long Island.

              See page 4. 

May 22 AAUW Sunday afternoon concert at The Howland Cultural Center in Beacon. Mark your calendar. Details later.

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














PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                  

Geeta Desai *297-7589 *


Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister said, “You can tell how well a country is doing just by looking at the status of its women.” So, what would Nehru say about countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, The Sudan and a host of others? What would he think about his beloved India? In all of these countries, a very large proportion of women has been stripped of basic human rights and is forced to live in abject poverty. I believe, that had he been alive, Nehru would have wept for the souls of these countries.


In 1995 and again in 2000, we the international community, wrote the most far-reaching accords to affirm the unique rights of women; The Beijing Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These documents show that the best way to achieve broad social development and to stimulate economic growth in underdeveloped countries is to invest in women. According to the World Bank, “Greater economic and educational opportunities for a woman mean her daughters are more likely to go to school, her babies are more likely to survive infancy and her family is more likely to eat nutritious meals.” Also, the children of educated mothers are 40% more likely to live beyond the age of 5 and 50% more likely to be immunized.


Unfortunately, fifteen years after Beijing and ten years into the MDGs, America is spending less than 4% of its foreign assistance funds on women and girls in under-developed countries. You may well ask why the US owes these women. We owe these women because they work for the industrialized nations of the world of which the US is the largest. In fact, they do 66% of the world’s work, producing 50% of the world’s food and 90% of the world’s staple food crops. Yet, they earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than 2% of its land. Clearly, we owe them our gratitude but we also owe them the kind of social justice and education that can make their lives bearable again.


So what can you and I can do to help women facing such staggering odds? We can begin by understanding what connects us to them. We can get some perspective on the scope of problems and we can build a broader awareness about them within our community. We can let them know that we are moved by their stories. We can open a small window on the world for women who have lived their entire lives in airless rooms with little or no hope. Most importantly, we can help by remembering that all women are born with a special obligation towards each other and to help those less fortunate than us is to reinforce that bond for all time.


AAUW’s initiative, “My Sister’s Keeper,” can help us do all of the above. Come to our My Sister’s Keeper Celebration a Fair Trade Marketplace fair trade bazaar on December 1 and our monthly program on December 8 to become more informed and involved.





Marcine Humphrey, Chair, Nominating Committee


The Nominating Committee would like suggestions from the membership to fill the following positions for the year 2011-2012. Please send your suggestions to


First Vice President, Program

The 1st VP’s responsibility is to have an overall understanding of how the Branch serves its mission, members and the local community. Based on her knowledge, she should be able to enhance the board’s understanding of our programs relative to our mission and if necessary be able to advise appointed officers in program development. She is also responsible for the Monthly Program and should have a committee to help her with the tasks associated with this responsibility. Tasks include identifying appropriate programs, creating a program timeline, supporting members developing monthly programs, supporting the Publicity Chair in marketing monthly programs and arranging for the venue, set-up and hospitality.


Second Co-Vice Presidents, Membership

Two VPs for Membership share the position of 2nd Vice-President. The VP for Membership is responsible for member recruitment and her Co-VP is responsible for member retention, although these areas do overlap. Both VPs should have committees to help with the tasks associated with their responsibilities and should work closely with each other. Recruitment tasks include: identifying and contacting eligible members, receiving applications, member profiles and forwarding dues to the Branch Treasurer, maintaining referral records, providing updates for local, state and national databases, providing state and national with required reports. Retention tasks include: ensuring members are involved in Branch activities, maintaining member contact on a year-round basis, updating membership nametags, ensuring members renew. Shared tasks include: developing and implementing recruitment and retention strategies, convening Open House and Orientation, preparing the Membership Directory.


Third Vice-President, Education Opportunities Fund

The VP for EOF is responsible for maintaining the Branch’s focus on higher education for women and girls, raising funds for two annual scholarships to Dutchess Community College, the DCC Scholarship Endowment Fund and the national Education Opportunities Fund. She should have a committee to help her with the tasks associated with this responsibility. Tasks include supporting the Branch’s annual fundraiser, additional fundraising if necessary, supporting Membership’s campus outreach and working with the publicity Chair to raise awareness of AAUW’s commitment to help women in higher learning.


All VPs are encouraged to communicate with the membership through the newsletter. Their Board responsibilities are to attend meetings, participate on the Executive Committee, support the organization’s strategic plan and submit brief year-end annual reports. The 1st VP chairs Board meetings in the absence of the President and so on.


AAUW Members: If you are going to show a film to your group, committee or another broader audience, please make sure that you have written permission to do so. Copyright infringement is a serious offense under the law and individual members as well as the Branch can be sued to the fullest extent of the law.

For permission, go to the Internet Movie Database. Type your film in the search area on the left, and choose the correct film out of the results. Once you choose your film, go to “Company Credits” and look up “Distribution.” Follow directions.


Betty Harrel, Leading to Reading Coordinator,


The Leading to Reading project has moved! Thanks to the generosity of The Manor at Woodside, we now have our own storage closet there and have access to a large workroom whenever we set up our work sessions. A big plus is the involvement of some of the residents. Linda Freisitzer’s father came for his first session as a volunteer, and we hope to have him join us again!


The move was another step in increasing the scope and visibility of our community literacy project. Future plans include involving more residents and sponsoring some multi-generational activities. Watch for future events!



Cathy Lane * 229-1036*


This column will give us the news of “What’s Happening” in our Interest Groups. Each month features a different interest group.


All those books...

Carol Loizides


This is a classic literature interest group that started in 2009. We are a small group of women who enjoy reading classics that are new to us and re-reading classics that we read in high school or college. We meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. from September through June. I have found that some of my old favorites from High School, such as The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, still have an impact on me, but I view them from a very different perspective as an older woman. I have also discovered some classic authors I never read, but now love including Willa Cather and Wallace Stegner. Other authors who I always meant to read, but never did until now include Emile Zola and D.H. Lawrence. Although I did not love their works, I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and was very glad to have read them. We would love to attract new members. If you are interested in joining, please contact me at


An expression of admiration for someone's achievement or

contribution and our acknowledgment for it.

Mary Coiteux *226-8275*


“Hats Off” to Carole Chambers who will be presented the 2010 Candlelight Award by the Friends Committee at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill for outstanding community service. The award is given once a year to an area volunteer who has contributed in the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. Carole has had long service on the Hyde Park Library Board, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, and Mills Mansion. The event will be December 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm at the Offices & Conference Center of ERVK. Call 454-0811 for reservations - there is no charge but donations are welcome.


“Hats Off” to Didi Barrett who committed so many months to a courageous run for New York State Senator. We thank you for your campaign to, in your own words, “bring common sense, accountability and transparency to Albany.”  Despite the election’s outcome, you are a champion in the eyes of all of us.


“Hats Off” to Jackie Goffe-McNish the 2010 recipient of the Orcutt Endowed Chair in Humanities from Dutchess Community College. Jackie is Professor of English and Humanities. We applaud her achievements and thank her for the enjoyable programs she has presented for the Women’s Networking Group, Diversity Initiative, and the Girls’ Conference.



New Features

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


At by selecting the page ABOUT US, you will find the minutes of the Board posted. Minutes will only be posted after they are approved.


On this same page you will find a “printer friendly” version of the booklet, “An A to Z Presentation of our AmaZing Organization” distributed at Open House.


While on the site, check out the other web pages that you will find listed in the left column of the Home Page.


Membership Directory 2011


Correction: Word Games interest group meets on the FIRST Monday of each month. Please correct your directory.


When you receive your directory, PLEASE either put the old one in your car for "on the go" reference, OR SHRED IT. Protect your privacy and that of others.




AAUW New York State Convention April 15-17, 2011

Peggy Kelland, AAUW-NYS VP Program,


This spring's convention will be held on Long Island's Gold Coast (made famous in "The Great Gatsby") at the Glen Cove Mansion, once celebrated as among "the twelve best country houses in America" and for over forty years an award-winning conference center. This classic Georgian style manor house has been completely renovated, with an indoor pool and fitness center and walking paths through the extensive grounds. An optional excursion to Teddy Roosevelt's nearby home, Sagamore Hill, is planned.


The keynote will be given by Association President Carolyn Garfein, originally from New York, an open, insightful, and dynamic speaker. Hope to see many of you there.



Terry Schneider *849-1122*


A person dies of suicide every 16 minutes in the US, claiming more than 33,000 lives each year. Steve Muccio, executive director of People Inc. (a not for profit mental health advocacy organization), addressed our membership meeting on October 13, 2010. He gave an enlighten presentation on the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and People Inc. Steve stated that suicide is now the second major cause of death among high school and college students. He gave us an overview of People Inc. which included advocacy and support, community integration and crisis diversion. I would like to thank Steve Muccio for sharing the story of his life as he told the story of People Inc. My thanks also to those members who attended our meeting. I hope it shed some light on this crucial issue. Remember – with one candle we can light the way for a few. With many, many, many candles we can become a beacon of hope to lead many people out the darkness of depression.

















Eleanor Aronstein *462-6452*  


On January 12, AAUW members will have an introduction to this beautiful opera at our general meeting. Later in the month, you have the opportunity to hear the full production with first rate artists in a semi-staged presentation of Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. Local musician, Kathy Beckmann will conduct a full orchestra of professional musicians. There will be English supertitles for those who like to follow the story closely.


Rhinebeck High School

45 North Park Rd, Rhinebeck, NY


Saturday, January 22, 2011

7:30 pm


Opera Ritaglia


Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly


Maryann Mootos, Soprano

Antonella Delli Carpini, Mezzo-soprano

Victor Khodadad, Tenor

Vince Vincent, Baritone

Matthew King, Tenor

Bonnie Brown King, Vocal Director


A BIG Thank You!


The Woman of the Year celebration was an incredible event. I was overwhelmed by the honor of being selected, the scope of the arrangements, and the many members and friends who attended. It was a day I’ll always remember, and it’s a privilege to join those who have been honored in the past.

A special thank you goes to Mary Lou Davis and her whole committee for making it so special, to Geeta Desai for her outstanding presentation on the AAUW STEM study, and to Margaret Nijhuis for her wonderful introduction. I’m very fortunate to be part of the Poughkeepsie AAUW Branch!


Betty Harrel 


























Diane Browne-Sterdt


"...for all those on the front lines around the globe, saving the world, one woman at a time."


This is a part of the dedication inside a powerful, widely read book....a book that has moved--deeply so--most, if not all, of its' readers.


The book is Half The Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn...journalists, humanitarians, doers. The central and critical thesis of Mr. Kristof's and Ms. WuDunn's is that economic progress, the defeat of horrific and widespread poverty, and the survival of community life all lie in utilizing women's nurture, to be educated, to start and run small, as it is said in an old Chinese proverb, to "hold up half the sky."


Has this book moved any of its' readers across that proverbial bridge between compassion, outrage, a longing to help---and activism? Undoubtedly it has, and there have been those who were building schools and giving microloans online before Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn sought to inspire them.


Please do not forget, nevertheless, that hundreds of millions of women are missing around the world---primarily from many impoverished countries of Asia and Africa. There are well-founded fears of their enslavement, brutalization, and/or death by neglect or murder.


As one reads Half The Sky, she learns of the lives of Srey, Meena, Naina, Usha and Zoya, among others, who suffered in inconceivable ways....but who triumphed with help from various foundations, activists and women's solidarity groups. One becomes acquainted with each girl and woman, and with those who help, as Half The Sky compels the reader onward...


...And then, on Page 251, there are steps the reader can take immediately...all manageable, all spelled out clearly. Working within the CARE Action Network (with other AAUW members) can be a first step. Microlending to women in the developing world who wish to be entrepreneurs is another suggested venue.


Please, if you haven't, read or listen to Half The Sky and cross that bridge, no matter how inconvenient in time, or unfamiliar, or devoid of gratitude from those around you.


Saving the world, one woman at a time...


Please join us at St. John’s on December 8 to hear about My Sister’s Keeper and projects and possibilities inspired by this compelling narrative.






Betty Harrel, Leading to Reading Coordinator,


Once again, Hudson River Lodging has asked us to wrap gifts for their children. The center, run by Hudson River Housing, provides a home for families for up to two years until they’re able to live on their own in the community.


We will be wrapping on Wednesday, December 15 and Friday, December 17 from 9:00-11:00. The center is located at the former Edison Motor Inn on Route 55, opposite Page Lumber Co. Each volunteer is asked to bring wrapping paper, gift tags, ribbon, and any needed supplies.


All AAUW members are welcome! To make a reservation, please contact Patty Cerniglia ( or 298-7655) or Ellie Burch ( or 297-7828). Join us for good times and good deeds!



A Special Note of Thanks..

from Phyllis Teasdale ( with a special nod to the Daytime Book Group and the Word Game Solvers)...

              When the woes of the world

              seem determined to trouble you,

              Don’t forget you have friends

                            in the A.A.U.W.

              They will cosset you, counsel you,

              Keep you from feeling blue -

              those wonderful friends

                            in the A.A.U.W.

              They will not fade away,

              or just burst like a bubble - you

              can count on your friends

                            in the A.A.U.W.

Thanks for the card, notes, phone calls and visits while I’m recouping from my broken hip.

              I miss you all, Phyllis

















Share the spirit of the season:



Donate Funds, page 8

Join My Sister’s Keeper Initiative,

            page 1 &2

Serve on the Board, page 3

Wrap Gifts, page 6












CULTURAL INTERESTS                       

Margaret Prescott *462-5363*


Editor’s Note:

A second review of the book Half the Sky seems justified to give our members a yet fuller view of this work on which our December 8 program and our My Sister’s Keeper Initiative is based.


Half The Sky:

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women World Wide


My enthusiasm for this book is hard to express…it is spell-binding, fascinating and an absolute read for each of us. Once one starts the book it is difficult to put it down.


The authors, Nicholos Kristol and his wife Sheryl Wu Dunn, have done an incredible amount of research into gender inequality and injustices to women to make this book the wonder that it is. They take their readers on a trip through Africa and Asia to meet many outstanding women and see what they are doing to improve the lives of girls and women in their countries. The reader sees how just a little help was instrumental in transforming the lives of these women. Unleashing the potential in women is the cornerstone in bringing about major changes in their lives.


The book lays out an agenda for the world’s women and identifies three major abuses that must be abolished: sex trafficking, gender based violence and maternal mortality. The authors, in each chapter, augment the interviews and stories with photographs. The stories are told by the courageous women who have bravely improved the lives of women in their countries.


Reading the book made me realize that women the world over face challenges that we here in America never have to face. This book is an excellent read for any of our several book-study groups and supports our commitment to increase awareness of the major abuses against women in the world.


Half The Sky is an absolute read. It is beautifully written, shocking and pleading to be read. It cries out for us to each be active in bringing about change. Or as more elegantly stated by Gandi…”We must be the change we wish to see.”


Continue dancing, singing, reading and enjoying the plethora of cultural events in our beautiful Hudson Valley.


December 3 8 pm Howland Cultural Center, Beacon

       Poets Kenaya Massaline and Susan Hoover

December 3 8 pm Vassar College, Skinner Hall

       Vassar College Jazz Ensemble

December 4, 1 pm Rhinebeck The Dutch Sinterklaas Festival Cappella Festiva Treble Choir performs

December 5, 7 pm Vassar College Chapel

Vassar College Choir, Women’s Chorus, Madrigal Singers Cappella Festiva and Treble Choir, “A Service of Lessons and Carols”

January 22, 2011 Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra, Rhinebeck High School, 7:30 pm: Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly”


Supporters of The Branch!!

Patrons ($25 or more)

  Catherine Albanese Lula Allen Mary G. Bagley Joan Cordani Joan Fay Betty Harrel Irene Keyes Leola Mason Jean Miller Lila Mitchell

Ellenora Oberhofer Jacqueline Prusak

 Esther Reisman Margaret Ruggeri

 Phyllis Teasdale Mary Louise Van Winkle

Sponsors ($10 or more)

 Marion Effron Ruth Gau Gloria Gibbs

Sandra Goldberg Vicki Greenburg

Peggy Lombardi Catherine Pété Terry Schneider

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



















Happy Hanukkah!



Merry Christmas!



Happy Kwanzaa!




Marcine Humphrey


Our fifth Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference had the most attendees! Once again, Dutchess Community College provided us with an excellent space, and staff members were willing to go above and beyond expectations. The college women from the Early Childhood Education Club were terrific, jumping in whenever they were needed and engaging the girls in good conversation.


This year we had 94 girls registered, and it was the most diverse gathering: 17 different middle schools, both private and public, were represented. The majority (94%) of the girls rated the experience “Excellent” or “Good.” I believe we accomplished our mission!


The facilitators were very pleased, with many remarking that they enjoyed the girls who all seemed engaged and involved. “Fashion Forward,” presented by Lydia Biskup and her

fashion students, was a hit as always! The college women enjoyed the day as much as the girls did. Overall, every workshop received ratings of “excellent” and “good.” Gwen Higgins sent them off waving their multicolored, bejeweled, “hands” and a positive message. Watching the girls enthusiastically greeting their parents was thrilling. Over 20 parents and girls took the college tour!


I am overwhelmed by the number of professional women willing to give up a Saturday to do a workshop, handle registration, monitor girls’ movements, hang craft projects, lug materials, put up signs, take photos and act as facilitators. We owe a special debt of gratitude to the Guidance counselors from Poughkeepsie Middle School, especially Ann Marie Healy, for promoting the workshop and riding the school bus; and Joan Henry, from Mill Street Loft, who encouraged and transported girls from Beacon and facilitated a Girl Talk. Once again “Girl Talk Circle” was a “fav” with many saying there was just not enough time.


Finally, this is the work of many members of AAUW, and we should all feel proud as we live the mission of AAUW!




Check your email

each day!!






Pat Luczai, Education Foundation VP, *463-4662*


We have two opportunities for you to be a ‘fairy Godmother’ to a deserving college student.


First is the Educational Opportunities Fund (EOF). This fund is an national AAUW fund that last year provided more than $3 million in funding for more than 200 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit organizations. The fund supports educational and lifelong learning opportunities that give women a chance for a lifetime of success.


Second is the DCC Endowment Fund (DCC). We currently have $4,225 and our goal is $10,000. This goal will ensure that we provide, in perpetuity, one $500 scholarship to a student graduating from Dutchess Community College. Last year and for many year, Poughkeepsie AAUW Inc. has given two $500 scholarships to a non-traditional graduate of DCC that plans to continue her education at a four year institution.


Please consider being a 'fairy godmother' that helps make another woman's dreams of higher education a reality.


To contribute to either of these funds, mail your check made out to Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc. to our treasurer:

Barbara Van Itallie

17 Croft Road

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


Indicate in the memo line of your check which fund (DCC or EOF). Contributions to either fund is a tax deductible donation.



If you would like to donate in someone’s name for either of these scholarship funds (DCC or EOF), send their name, address, and preferred greeting, along with your check to Barbara Van Itallie. A card will be sent to the recipient.


 Doris Kelly *229-5369*


∙ Some of us joined AAUW to participate in social activities.

∙ Some of us joined because it is a chance to meet and socialize with many diverse, very talented, intelligent women.

∙ Finally, some of us joined because we believe strongly in the AAUW mission:

The public policy program underscores AAUW’s mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research and speaks to women’s needs, aspirations, and concerns across the life span.

              - from AAUW Principles and Priorities


Action priorities include:

∙ Supporting a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity

∙ Achieving economic self-sufficiency for all women

∙ Guaranteeing equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society


More details on priorities can be found at:


During this Congressional session, it is still possible to get some important things done before seats change hands in January. What can we do to promote these priorities during the final weeks of the 111th Congress?


Join the AAUW Action Network:

Make your voice heard in just minutes. Subscribe to Action Network to receive urgent e-mail notices to contact your members of Congress, find detailed information on legislation currently under consideration, and write letters to the editor of your local paper


∙ When our new representatives are in place, we can continue contacting them through the Two-Minute Activist on the AAUW Action Network.


∙ We can write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and lobby our state and federal representatives at their local offices in person and by telephone.













Welcome to our newest members:


Maria Ong

Shelby Outwater

Kristina Puzza

Marjorie Smith

Carol Stevens

Johnna Touma

Barbara Walker-Brickhouse

Sally Weglinski












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.

The Branch is published ten times a year, September through June, by the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.. Send articles to the editor: Margaret Nijhuis, (635-8612).