The Branch

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Volume 26, Number 3                 

Our 57th year of publication                                

November  2012




 Online Calendar at

 1      Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

3       Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference

         DCC, 8:45 am – 3 pm

3       Trekkers:  9:00 am (Dutchess Mall)

         Doodletown Hike

         Organizers:  Pat Luczai (463-4662),

        Peggy Kelland (297-0507) & Karen Haynes

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

5       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess:  Eleanor Aronstein (462-6452)

         Coordinator:  Eleanor Aronstein (4626452)

6       World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Presentation: Southern Spain

         Presenter: Sheila Zweifler

         Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

7       Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm  

         Hostess: Jackie Prusak (226-6049)

         Coordinators: Amy Schwed (462-2269) &

         Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

7       The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: Running the Rift

         by: Naomi Bernaron

         Hostess: Cathy Kinn (462-3196)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

8       General Membership Meeting:  7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to

        attend – see details below.

9       Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: Molokai

         by: Alan Brennert

         The Manor at Woodside,.
Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458)

         & Tiz Hanson (229-9394)

9       Adventures en Soleil: 11:30-12:30

  Good Housekeeping Research Inst. NYC

  Reservations: Maria DeWald (266-4960)

         Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091)

                  & Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

10     Bridge 3: 10:00 am

  Hostess: Noreen Rothman (452-2670)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

Calendar continued below...




Actor/Psychologist/Poet Dr. Michael Fowlin


“You Don't know Me Until You Know Me”


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Poughkeepsie Day School Auditorium

260 Boardman Rd.  Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


One Night Only!


“There were times when I laughed along with the audience.

And then there were moments of silence when I was really

moved to consider another person's perspective.”

                                             Wendy Maragh Taylor



“Every once in a while, an artist comes along who illuminates

 our experience with such accuracy and heart, we are changed
forever by his performance.  Michael Fowlin is that kind of artist.”

                                           Barbara Hugo


Michael's performance is like a camera that illuminates a life from the inside.  He is elastic.  He becomes people entirely different from himself in race, ethnicity, and gender, and the result is both entertaining and deeply moving.      


When Michael unmasks those we label as “other”, he creates a silent clearing where we can consider bias from the standpoint of one who has experienced it, and by asking how we might have perpetuated it ourselves.   In those moments, our natural embracing humanity surfaces, and this endures long after the evening ends.    


Michael's program is about bias, but it is not a workshop.  There are no theories espoused, no charts or historical findings.  It is a psychodrama that mines self-revelation and acceptance from the very qualities we find strange, unlikeable or even frightening in other people, and ourselves.


Please come and join us for this extraordinary evening. 



Calendar   Continued from above…

Online Calendar at

10     “The Branch” deadline for December. 

12     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

Movie: Group members will be notified theThursday before - sign up with Sue.

Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson

13     Cuisine: 6:30 pm  (Note different date)

         Noveau Thanksgiving

         Recipes: Joann Clark

         Hostess: Betty Olson (889-4836)

Coordinator: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)

12      Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

Joseph’s Steakhouse, 728 Violet Ave, Rt 9G

Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


14      Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess:  Debbie Luders (223-7397)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

         &  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

15      All those books...: 7:00 pm     

         Book: Tender is the Night

         by  F. Scott Fitzgerald

         Hostess: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

17      Trekkers:  9:00 am (cemetery, Rt. 9)

         Fishkill Rural Cemetery Walk

         Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

19      Manderley Literary Society:  7:30 pm

         Book: Calebs Crossing

         by Geraldine Brooks

         Hostess: Patty Cerniglia (298-7655)

         Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

27      Women’s Personal & Professional        

  Development:          5:30-7:30 pm

  DCC, Washington Hall, Room 136

         Journaling by Angela Batchelor, Coordinators:  Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


28      Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: In the Garden of Beasts

         By Erik Larson

         Hostess:  Arlene Seligman (297-0006)

         Coordinator: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

29      Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Project: Picture frames & paper beads   

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006)

                  & Jane Toll (463-2712)  

30      Art on the Go: 11:00 am  Limited to 15

         Tour Eirik Johnson’s “Sawdust Mountain”

         Reservations: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

         Frances Lehman Loeb Museum, Vassar College

         Coordinator:  Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

Bridge II: no meeting in November

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

                  Janet White (462-6675)

Tee Off:  Play will continue in June, 2013.

Coordinators:  Terry Schneider (849-1122) &

                  Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)



Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*   

No one can walk though the Galleria Mall without noticing the many advertisements for Pandora jewelry at multiple jewelry stores.  The same can be said for other jewelry stores that are scattered throughout the county.   These are necklaces and bracelets that, even though by themselves are beautiful, become even more so with the addition of charms.  The charms add depth, beauty and excitement to the bracelet or necklace.  We, who remember the seventies and the early eighties, remember Charm bracelets and necklaces.  They served the same function.  We added charms, which corresponded to the important people in our lives, successes, hobbies, goals and sometimes just our favorite “things”. 

I believe this is a wonderful metaphor for the AAUW.  The AAUW; national, state, and local, can be seen as the bracelet or necklace.  Being a part of this organization provides membership in an organization that is dedicated to promoting empowerment for women and girls.  This organization has a proven record of creating and supporting legislation that has provided access to professions that were sometimes hostile to women and girls. It has also given women and girls a place where their voices can be heard, especially in areas that affect their progress in the political life of our country.  But, what about adding some charms?

Adding charms is relatively easy at the branch level.  Interest groups can be one set of charms.  The branch offers art, travel, crafts, and book interest groups.  Professional development and networking is another charm one could add.  This will provide an avenue to develop our talents and meet other members of the branch.  Community events are many and varied in this branch.  There are opportunities to work with girls on academic subjects and influence the success of future generations.  There are also social events like the Writers’ Tea and Woman of the Year Luncheon, where all can be a part of eating and having fun and also raising money for projects in the branch.  As we participate in these activities we help to fulfill the goals of the organization, we add some charms to our bracelet or necklace and we “Broaden our Borders”.    



Amy Schwed *462-2269*

Kay Saderholm *229-9679*


The group of women who joined our branch this fall have gotten off to a great start to “broaden their borders”.  As I thumbed through community outreach lists, initiative lists, some of the special interest group lists and lists of volunteers willing to drive, provide food, etc., 22 of our 32 new members had already signed up to become involved!  Now, it’s entirely possible that all 32 new women have signed up for things, because I don’t have all the lists yet.  That’s the spirit, gals!  As I’ve said - the more you do, the more you’ll get from AAUW.  If the other 10 new members haven’t yet made a decision to try something new - it’s time!


Here’s another opportunity to meet and learn more about us.  A “New Member Reception” will be held on Thursday, November 15th, at 7 PM.  It will be  at the Zion Episcopal Church, 12 Satterlee Place (and Main Street), Wappingers Falls.  The church is across the street from the Grinnell Library.  All members are encouraged to join us and get to know everyone better.  I promise you, it will be a fun evening and you’ll come away with a greater appreciation of each other.  New members - “this one’s for you” (as the commercial used to say).  Invitations will be emailed to all new members, so check your computers. 


Another part of your membership is the ability to attend our monthly meetings and programs.  We have a very special program being presented on November 8th that you won’t want to miss.  Dr. Michael Fowlin will be presenting a powerful performance piece, “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me” that will show us how to celebrate our differences, not our biases.  In case you didn’t know this - all our programs are open to the public, so invite a friend to join you for this unique evening.  Learn more about it as you read The Branch this month.  You may even be inspired enough by the program to want to join the Diversity Initiative that was instrumental in bringing us Dr. Fowlin.  This is just one of the many ideas the Diversity committee has for our community to broaden its borders and grow.  We look forward to seeing you there.



From the North: Route 9 South to Route 9D (Just past South Hills Mall).  Turn right on 9D and follow the road through the village.  The road will go down a long hill, cross a bridge, then up a hill through downtown.  The Grinnell Library will be on your left.  The church is opposite the library.  Turn right on Satterlee.


From the South: Route 9 North to E. Main Street.  (Turn left just BEFORE the Dairy Queen.)  Follow Main Street   past the light.  You will see the church ahead on your left.  Turn left onto Satterlee.



Major thanks go out to the following women who provided the most astoundingly delicious refreshments for the Open House on September 13th:


Kay Saderholm, Barbara Lemberger, Nancy Smith, Joanne Clark, Pat Luczai, Gloria Gibbs, Estella Schmidt, Linda Roberts, Peggy Hansen, Jackie Goffe-McNish, Gwen Higgins, Sharon Clarke, Joanne Scolaro, Maria DeWald, Cecilia Dinio-Durkin, Betty Harrel, Doris Kelly, Barbara Cohen, Cathy Celtruda, Carol Mastropietro, Gerry DiPompei, Barbara Van Itallie, Gail Bock, Gabriella Drasny, Lorraine Roberts, Mary Ann Ryan, Margaret Lombardi, Sandy Goldberg, Shirley Granda, Judy Dym, Brenda Baker, Barbara Hugo, Margaret Nijhuis, Eileen Hayden, Sherry Fischman, Ruth Sheets,Robin Rabideau and Shelby Outwater.



Special thanks go to Marcine Humphrey who did an incredible job decorating the refreshment tables so beautifully, arranging the array of fruits, cheeses and desserts artfully, placing platters at different display tables so that the browsers could talk to the different chairwomen and nibble at the same time and even walking around the room, serving up delicious plates of food!    In addition, Marcine arrived super early to help with the entire set up of the room, and stayed late as we returned the room to its original condition.





Susie Blecker                     Mary Ann Boylan

Francesca Caldwell           Barbara Durniak

Sharon Fleury                    Natalia Garrity

Susan Haight                      Lucy M. Hawkins

Elisha Johnson                           Nancy Johnson

Shirley J. Jones                           Diana Kezis

Georgia Kustas                           Julia M. Litchock

Linda Lurie                        Mary Lyon

Vicky Marrone                           Eleanor Maslinoff

Cheryl L. Moreau              Carol K. Nectow

Janet Petrone                     Stephanie Pyrek

Emily Ray                           Vicki Rivera

Erica Salzmann-Talbi       Sheila Samuels

Marlene Straus                           Zsuzsanna Szabo

Elizabeth Villanti              Sandy Weidner

Gail Whiting                      Ellen Zelig




Seventh Annual Poughkeepsie Area Girls’ Conference

 for 7th grade girls sponsored by

Poughkeepsie Branch

of the American Association of University Women, Inc.


Dutchess Community College

Saturday, November 3, 2012


You can help inspire a girl to be strong, smart and bold by sponsoring her attendance at the Seventh Girls’ Conference this fall. Our members’ generosity in the past six years has made the difference.  Your help can come in many forms, but we are asking for sponsorships for individual girls. 


In addition to your sponsorship, each girl will pay $7.  We feel this small fee will ensure that each girl makes a personal commitment to the conference.  


Please fill out the following form and mail it with your check payable to:

“Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.”


Mail to: Cecilia Dinio Durkin, Women’s Work, 2600 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Questions: Contact Cecilia or 845.849.1858



I would like to sponsor a girl’s attendance to the “Live your Dream” conference.


   *Diva  $25          Covers the cost of one girl’s 


   *Dreamer   $10    Buys a girl lunch

   *Darling      $8     Gives a girl a journal and a

                                    memory gift.


Name: ____________________________________

Address: __________________________________________


Phone: ___________________________________________

Email: ___________________________________________


Your name will be included in the program book as a donor unless anonymity is requested.



Holiday time is coming, and it’s time to gather our AAUW gift-wrapping volunteers!  Hudson River Lodging, the short term housing service run by Hudson River Housing, has again asked us to wrap donated gifts.  In addition, we’ll be providing each child with a new book donated by our Leading to Reading project.


Each volunteer is asked to arrive with wrapping paper, ribbon, scotch tape, scissors, and gift tags.  Small  Post Its are used to list information about the gift.  The sessions will be held on Monday, December 10 and Thursday, December 13 from 9:00-11:30.  We meet at Hudson River Lodging, 391 Manchester Road (Route 55) opposite Page Lumber Company.


Coordinators are Ellie Burch and Patty Cerniglia.  To sign up, please contact Ellie Burch at or 297-7828.  We hope you’ll join us in this fun activity which brings big smiles to children’s faces!


Betty Harrel 462-2141




December 13, 2012

What Is a Locavore?


A panel of distinguished local experts will explore the impact of the farm-to-table movement on health, culture, and the economy. 




We want to welcome Barbara Lemberger and Fran Raucci as our new Hospitality Co-Chairs.  They have graciously accepted the position and will do a spectacular job.  As our branch has grown, so has this job.  If you are available and willing to assist Barbara and Fran, plan to join their hospitality committee and help them do all the tasks required.  (New members - this is a great way to get to know people!)  Everyone who signed up that they would be “willing to provide food” for our meetings, please be sure to follow through when a committee member calls!



Geeta Desai  *297-7589*

On an achingly beautiful late–July morning, I found myself standing in front of seventy-eight AAUW members from across the state, assembled for the Summer Leadership Conference. NYS President Mary Lou Davis had asked me to share a day-long workshop on personal growth and development and in a moment of utter bravado I had agreed. Now standing in the classroom, I felt downright presumptuous. Even the workshop title “Unlock Your Potential- Personal and Professional Development Strategies for Success” seemed impossibly grand. As I stood there, I wondered if I could speak convincingly about the behaviors that contribute to personal growth. And, could I convince all of these women, in one short day, that the daily practice of these behaviors could, in fact, unimaginably enrich and strengthen their lives?


What followed was an eye-opener for me. Over the course of the day, we discussed a number of concepts: the power of potential and critically important behaviors and self – management practices that lead to personal and professional growth. It was easy to explain these concepts to my audience not because of my own communication skills, but because all of the women in that room were so incredibly open-minded, receptive and eager to participate in the discussion. Working in small groups, we reviewed hypothetical but realistic scenarios about problems that we as women experience at work, within the family, with friends and colleagues and as volunteers. This was followed by a spirited discussion of problem –solving strategies rooted in an understanding of ourselves and others.


Amid the exuberance and high-spiritedness of the day, I made an important discovery: I discovered that all women are continuously searching for answers to life’s dilemmas. Women have an unquenchable thirst for information that can help them live their best lives. And, within a community of common purpose such as the Summer Leadership Conference, women can be incredibly giving, exhorting themselves to some of their most creative thinking for the benefit of the group.


I would like to replicate the magic of that day for all of us at the Poughkeepsie AAUW. Therefore, I would like to suggest the following: I will make a commitment to write each month on one of many topics on personal development that I think may be useful to you and in return I encourage you to email me strategies that are helping you live your best life. With your permission I will share these strategies in my next column. My hope is that as we share our best thoughts with each other, we can become a closer-knit community of women, strengthened by a common purpose of personal growth, professional fulfillment and a greater joy of living.




Doris Kelly


There are only a few more days before it's time to vote in this year's election. The big day is Tuesday, November 6. Polls will be open from 6 am until 9 pm.


Every four years we hear, “This is the most important election of our lives.” And every four years it seems to become more and more important.


This year we've seen many state governments passing laws, which put women in jeopardy. Laws in some states condemn those women who can't prove a miscarriage was natural. In some states new laws prevent women from having the full healthcare we were promised in the past.


The federal government was unable to pass the Violence Against Women Act or the Pay Equity Act during the year. One of the most egregious events just a week ago was the inability to pass the Veterans' Jobs Act in the US Senate. Once again the 60 vote filibuster came into play, so even with a 58 to 40 vote in favor of its passage, the bill failed.


We have a chance to decide on a president who will hold office until 2016. We've certainly learned from past experience what a difference four years can make.


We will be voting for our Congressional Representatives in the House and one US Senate position. Those who are chosen will have an impact on human rights, the economy, healthcare, campaign funding, the environment, corporate regulations, and education along with a multitude of other issues affecting our future.


Other offices on our ballot include New York State Senate, Assembly, judges for your New York State Judicial District, as well as some local offices.


AAUW gives us the tools we need to find out how Congress voted on important bills affecting women. Use it before you cast your ballot.


Read the party platforms to see what their priorities are.


Find out about the candidates and give those who represent your concerns your vote



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


Congratulations to two of our members, who are candidates for public  office!  Maria Rosa is a candidate for NYS Supreme Court Justice in the 9th judicial district.  She has been serving as the principal court attorney to a New York State Supreme Court Justice. DiDi Barrett is a candidate for re-election in the NYS  Assembly's 106th district which covers parts of Dutchess and Columbia Counties.  She was elected to her current term in March


Hat’s Off to Wendy Maragh Taylor for her book, "This Part Of The Sky" which has been published.

It is available at






Journaling From the Heart

Dutchess Community College

Washington Hall, Room 136, 5:30-7:30 pm


Journaling From the Heart: What happens when you write it down a workshop by Angela Batchelor.


An interactive journaling workshop where participants learn:

       How to activate the brain for play

       Turn dreams into reality

       Polish goals and ideas

       Create a memorial stone

       Wake up! Pay attention! Don't miss this detail!


Studies have shown that when you show your earnestness and intention by writing it down, something opens up.  The word gets out. Then activity in one area generates movement in another.


If you have never kept a journal, it’s time to start.  If you are seasoned, enhance your journaling.


Bring a pen, notebook, laptop, Ipad, Iphone; whatever you need to write it down and make it happen.  Angela, the workshop leader, will also share the pages of her journal and how when she wrote it down….amazing things happened.


Angela, author of The Other Side of Motherhood, Mercy on the Journey and WWJD?, is a journal-keeper and blogs her stories weekly at  Her essays has been anthologized in Contemporary American Women:  On Defining Passages, The Truth about the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction, and A Cup of Comfort for Christians.  Her work has also appeared in Hudson Valley Parent, Dutchess Magazine, Poughkeepsie Journal, Upscale, and other publications.  When she’s not chronicling her tales, she’s writing other stuff, teaching and speaking about writing.  Angela, an adjunct instructor of English at Dutchess Community College, holds a MA in Creative Writing, which she is now converting to an MFA and is currently shopping around a historical young adult fiction novel, and her memoirs about journal writing.  Visit her website . Of course you may know her as Angela Batchelor.





Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


This issue of The Branch was edited by Joanne Scolaro!  My thanks to Joanne for all time and effort to come on board to do this job!  As with anything, the first time is the hardest and this was her first!  It takes untold hours to get a newsletter formatted,  edited, proofed, sent to the printer, mailed and emailed.  Please let her know you appreciate her work. 


Thanks to Kathy Friedman

Kathy will also be mailing the copies of the newsletter that are sent by USPS.  These two tasks are very time consuming and I cannot say thank you often enough to Kathy for her willingness to take on this position.




Dec 13 General Membership Meeting What Is a Locavore?


Jan 10  From Inertia to Vitality – A Woman’s Journey to Mental Health


Feb 14  Miss Representation – documentary


Mar 14 The Global Woman’s Crisis – An evening with Geeta Desai


Apr 7 Writers’ Tea, The Links at Union Vale


The Branch

Calendar and Article submission changing!

Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


Commencing with the December issue of the newsletter (deadline November 10, 2012), submission of news articles and calendar postings will be separated.


Kathy Friedman will become the Assistant Editor of The Branch.  One of her duties will be to collect the information from the Interest Groups that they would like to appear in the Calendar section of the newsletter.


Interest Group Coordinators take note: start sending your details to Kathy!  Kathy Friedman (485-8671)


However, please continue to send all articles to Margaret at the email above.





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.                                 



Catherine Albanese  Lula Allen  Mary Bagley

Marge Barton  Joan Cordani  Marguerite Cotter

Lillian DePasquale  Ruth Gau  Gloria Gibbs

Sandra Goldberg  Betty Harrel  Doris Kelly  Jean Miller  Cathy Pété  Jacqueline Prusak  Esther Reisman

Margaret Ruggeri  Terry Schneider

Mary Louise Van Winkle



Brenda Schaffer


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


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2012-2013


President                              Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


Program V.P.                      Barbara Hugo              876-6686

                                             Shelby Outwater          206-2083

Membership V.P.                 Kay Saderholm             229-8545

                                             Amy Schwed                462-2269

Educ. Foundation V.P.        Linda Roberts               227-5287

Communication V.P.            Joanne Scolaro             592-8314

Secretary                             Peggy Hansen               473-8453

Treasurer                            Barbara Van Itallie         462-3924

Assistant Treasurer             Jeanette Cantwell           452-4188

Association website:                               

NY State website:

Poughkeepsie Branch 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).