Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601




Volume 27, Number 1                   Our 58th year of publication                                             September 2013



Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


5       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Hostess: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

6        The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

         by: Rachel Joyce

         Hostess: Barbara Markell (471-8810)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

7        Bridge 3: 10:00 am

  Hostess: Carol Mastropietro (221-8862)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner


7        Trekkers: 9:00 am at Dutchess Mall

         Hook Mountain/Nyack Beach State Park

         Organizer: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

9       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess: Linda Lurie (229-9397)

         Coordinator:  Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

10     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

         Movie: Group members will be notified the

         Thursday before - sign up with Sue.

         Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson

10      “The Branch” deadline for October

10      Poughkeepsie AAUW UN Women: 5:30 pm

           Cosimo's, details page 5.

12     General Membership Meeting: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to

          attend – see details below.

13      Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Invisible Bridge

         by Julie Orringer

         Location: Panera on South Road

         Coordinators: Pat Dogil (454-5441) 

                  & Diana Gleeson (229-8458) 

16      Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Round House

         by Louise Erdrich

         Hostess: Ellie Burch (297-7828)

         Coordinator: Ellie Burch (297-7828)


Calendar continued below...





Thursday, September 12, 2013

7 PM

Hellenic Community Center

54 Park Avenue, Poughkeepsie

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Henry Ford


  Come together to welcome our new members and make new  friends!

  Keep together by reconnecting with “old” friends!

  Work together by learning what AAUW has to offer and how you can participate!


Learn about our 18 Interest Groups, our 9 Community Outreach Programs/Initiatives, our 7 Annual Events and also enjoy delectable refreshments provided by our members.


Bring a friend, neighbor, or relative who may be interested in our branch. It is not too late to have a special invitation sent to these perspective members.

Contact: Kay Saderholm, Membership Vice President

845 229-8545


Directions:  The Open House will again be held at the Hellenic Center which provides adequate well-lit parking.  It is located off Hooker Avenue on Parker Avenue between Ziegler Avenue and Grand Avenue.  It is behind the Greek Orthodox Church and next door to Temple Beth-El, both of which face Grand Avenue.



October 10      Membership Meeting, more below

October 19      AAUW-NYS District IV at DCC, more below

October 26      Woman of the Year, page 3

November 2     Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference, two article below

April 13, 2014          Writers’ Tea, two articles below

April 25 – 27, 2014 AAUW-NYS Convention, more below



Calendar Continued from above…

Online Calendar at

17      Aventures en Soleil: 11:00 am Walking Tour

  Big Onion  “Hidden Times Square”

  Reservations: Marcine Humphrey (485-7697)

           Waiting list only.

         Coordinators: Peggy Lombardi (635-9091)

                  & Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

         17     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Mystery Pot Luck

         Hostess: Betty Olson (889-4836)

         Coordinator: Barbara Van Itallie (462-3924)

18      Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess:  Joan Fay (633-8856)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

                  & Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

18      Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Toma’s Restaurant, RT. 376

           & Robinson Lane, Hopewell Jct.

  Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


20 – 21 Girls Conference Work Sessions

           See details below

21      Kingston AAUW Luncheon

  Carolyn Donovan, former AAUW rep to UN

  Details at

21      Trekkers: 9:00 am at Dutchess Mall

         Doodletown hike near Bear Mountain

         Organizers: Pat Luczai, Peggy Kelland, Karen Haynes

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

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

         Book: Flight Behavior

         by Barbara Kingsolver

         Hostess: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

25      Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Sandcastle Girls

         by Chris Bohjalian

         Hostess: Chris Ansorge Eidel (485-7235)

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

25      Mah Jongg: 1:00 - 4:00 pm  

         Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454- 7262)

         Coordinators: Amy Schwed (462-2269) &

                  Gerry DiPompei (635-2050)

         26     Bridge II: 1:00 - 4:30 pm (note different time and place)

         Duplicate Bridge at Hellenic Community Center- $10.

         All AAUW players are welcome but reservations must be

         made with Cathy Kinn ( by Sept. 21.    

         Coordinators: Cathy Kinn &

                  Jackie Prusak (226-6049)

26      Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Project: Knitting with cable stitches

         Hostess: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       

27      Art on the Go:  10:00 am

         Carey Institute, Millbrook, bring a picnic lunch

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

Women’s Personal & Professional Development:  

         No meeting in September.  Check the October newsletter         and for future plans.

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


World Travelers: No meeting in September, Happy traveling!

         Coordinator: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish *471-7220*   


Recently I had to take a five hour airplane ride.  I prepared myself for the long trip by downloading copies of the classics that I could read on the trip onto my iPad.  I decided to reread Aesop Fables and was thrilled as I was when I read these as a teenager.  I enjoyed the lessons being taught by these seemingly “cute” stories and found one that illustrates my vision for the branch for 2013/2014 as we continue to “Broaden our Borders.”


The story is told of an old man who was dying.  He called his four sons to his bedside and provided them with a bundle of sticks.  He asked them to break the sticks as a bundle.  They were not permitted to separate the pieces.  All the sons tried but none of them could break the bundle of sticks.  The fable describes the boys as being strong and burly and the sticks as mere twigs.  The old man then separated the sticks and the boys were able to destroy the pile in a matter of seconds.  Aesop’s lesson is “unity is strength.”


The members of our branch are innovative, intellectually astute women who willing give of their talents and time to advance the goals and mission of the Branch, State, and National AAUW.  This year we want to provide opportunities for growth and development for all members.  We want to recognize the worth of all the women in the organization so that the Branch can be strengthened.  We know that it would be a pity if we are only able to meet the needs of a few or utilize the contributions of the minority.  Such a situation could minimize the effectiveness of the Branch.


This year Susie Blecker and Mary Coiteux, Vice Presidents of Programming, have created monthly programs that have something for everyone.  Let us place these on our calendars.  Kay Saderholm, Vice President of Membership, has planned a membership open house and a new members meeting which promises to provide information about the interest area groups and community groups.  The Woman of the Year program is scheduled for October 26 and the girls “Live Your Dream” conference on, November 2, is in its final planning stages.  We will be hosting the District IV annual conference on October 19 where we will be brainstorming and discussing ideas for programming for diversity in the branches.  Please consider volunteering to be a mentor for a DCC young woman.  Volunteer to chair or host a meeting.  Bake some cookies for a general membership meeting.  Call a new member and welcome her to our Branch or better still offer to give her a ride to a meeting.  There is something for everyone. 


This will be a great year!

Supporters of The Branch!!


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

Patrons ($25 or more)


Catherine Albanese, Marguerite Cotter,

Marion Effron, Joan Fay, Ruth Gau,

Margaret Ruggeri (In Memoriam),

Terry Schneider, Barbara Van Itallie


Sponsors ($10 or more)


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



Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


On July 25, committee chairs of the Writers’ Tea meet at Harney & Sons Tea Room in Millerton to wrap up this year’s Writers’ Tea and starts planning the next Tea.  Lula Allen had arranged for Michael Harney to stop by for us to say thank you for their help with our Tea.  He shared with us some history of the company and invited us for a tour at the plant, just a mile from Millerton.  At the plant we were taken on a tour by the founder of the company, John Harney, to the delight of everyone present.


Mark your calendar and plan to join us for “tea” on

April 13, 2014.


This event is a benefit for the AAUW Scholarship Funds, Community Initiatives and Events.



Marge Barton *897-0164*


These are a few words that describe our


2013 Woman of the Year

            Patti Peck


         Join us in honoring Patti on


                  October 26, 2013

                  Villa Borghese

                  12 noon – 3:00 pm


         Cost $40.00 (includes gratuity)


Reservations: send your name (use the name you would like on your name tag) and check to:


                           Pat Luczai

                           9 Bridgewater Way

                           Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Make checks payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW”


For the past 14 years, Patti's mission has been to serve those less fortunate.  She "works" 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  Her only "day off" is Christmas Day!  Patti receives no financial compensation, and relies solely on the generosity of others and her own resources to allow her charity, "His Table" Ministries, Inc. to operate.  This is an incredible feat, as she supports herself on her SS Disability income.


A typical 5 - 6 hour day will find Patti collecting food set aside for her at 2 local supermarkets.  Once her van is loaded, she visits and distributes this food to a variety of food banks, soup kitchens, churches, and homeless shelters.  The value of each day's food collection is between $2,000 - $2,500, and her resources help out approximately 1,000 people a month!


Patti also provides for approximately 22 single mothers with 2 or more children and many Senior Citizens.  For these families, she not only provides food, but clothing and furniture - especially baby items.  Besides the material things that Patti brings to them, she also is there to listen and give advice.


Various local agencies have recognized Patti's selfless efforts.  She has been named Volunteer of the Year by the American Red Cross (2010) and Citizen of the Year by the LaGrange Lion's Club (2002).  Patti has received the Town of Wappinger Supervisor's Award and The Good Neighbor Award from Bugaboo Creek (2006).


Patti Peck is living proof that "One person CAN make a difference!"



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Our Leading to Reading Project once again benefited from the generosity of local businesses and organizations.  The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library, one of our community partners, helped us to select a number of gently used books for children and adults at a nominal cost.  The books will be used for parent libraries in some of the pre-school centers as well as an adult library at Hudson River Lodging.  BJ's donated a gift card, which was used to purchase additional new books.


We truly appreciate all of the support for our outreach program!



Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


Hyde Park - Returning from a visit to the newly refurbished Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, I felt the need to share my experience.


Recently opened after 3 years, it is an exhibit not to be missed. From the wonderful letters as you enter the Library to the picture displays from all phrases of his four terms in office – from the short video presentations to the amazing technology displays – it a an exemplary treasure for the Hudson Valley.


As a true “fan” of Eleanor Roosevelt, I was happy to see the rightfully deserved place that Eleanor is given during the years of FDR’s presidency.  There is also an outstanding exhibit of Eleanor’s years after the death of FDR.  This includes an FBI file that J. Edgar Hoover kept on Eleanor – one of the largest ever compiled.  You can open the file drawer and read parts of the documents.


Museum hours are 9 am – 5 pm each day except national holidays.  The Museum and Library can be visited separately from the house.




Susie Blecker *462-7074* &

 Mary Coiteux *226-8275*


Details will appear in The Branch each month.  Do mark your calendar and plan to attend!


October 10      Technology and 21st Century Learning

                           Laura Graceffa and Shirley Rinaldi

November 14 Service Dogs in Court

                           Dr. David Crenshaw

December 12   The Local Effects of Climate Change

                           John (Skip) DeGilio

January 9        Socially Responsible Money Matters

                           Amy Pender

February 13    Celebrating International Women

                           Festival of food, song & dance

March 13                  Underserved Women in Dutchess County

                           Sabrina Jaar-Marzouka,

April 13            Writers' Tea

                           The Links at Union Vale

May 6               Annual Meeting


June 12             Music of the Holocaust Survivors

                           Dr. Marilynn Smiley 



Jeanette Cantwell *452-4188*

1 Eleanor Charwat

1 Mildred Jones

2 Barbara Markell


Congratulations to Mildred Jones, Barbara Markell, and Eleanor Charwat!!!


They won this year’s raffle drawing for a free AAUW National membership, and as a result, they each received a refund check for $49 for National dues already paid.


This past April, all of our members were given an opportunity to win this raffle if they submitted their dues EARLY.  And that’s exactly what these lucky women did.  Soooo, it really does pay to get those dues in early!



Decorating Party Committee *845-485-7697*


Can you wrap a pretty present?  Do you like “scrap booking?”   Can you glue?  Tie a bow?  Would you like to help with the preparations for the Girls’ Conference?  Each year we give the girls a journal which we decorate and a pretty “gift” which we wrap.


I am hosting work sessions in my home in LaGrange to decorate and wrap 100+ items. 


Dates: August 29 (Thursday),

August 30 (Friday) and

September 20th and 21st- (Friday and Saturday).


We will begin at 10:30 and end at 3:30.  You can come for

1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, one or two days!  There will be food, drink, laughter and great conversation.  Get to know some new members!  Bring your own scissors and leftover craft or scrap book supplies.  Please RSVP (so I can have enough snacks) or call 845-485-7697



JOIN US at Leading to Reading!

Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Thanks to a dedicated, fun-loving group of AAUW members, Leading to Reading completed an outstanding year.  We've distributed over 12,700 books since the project began, and last year provided family reading kits, book giveaways, and "Fuzzy Friend" kits.  Our community readers visited some of the Astor sites all year and are in great demand for this coming year.  Our Book Week Celebration was a great success and we are planning to expand it to other local centers.  We also worked with several residents at The Manor at Woodside and enjoyed our visits with them.


Our work sessions are 90 minutes and we laugh, talk, and put together book kits.  Our planning sessions are 3 times per year when we discuss funding options, determine our community partners, and decide the direction we'll be moving in the coming year.  We'd love to have you join us!  Please contact Betty Harrel at  or 462-2141


AAUW-NYS Convention April 25-27, 2014

AAUW-NYS President:

Mary Lou Davis (223-5544) 


Each April, AAUW-NYS holds a convention for the state.  The 2014 convention will be April 25-27, 2014 at the Honor’s Haven Resort, Ellenville.  The location, in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, is a short drive (35 miles) from Poughkeepsie. 


At Convention, we meet members from across the state, participate in workshops that help us grow as women and members of AAUW, hear from national and state leaders of AAUW and learn from recipients of AAUW national fellowships.  Good food and good times will abound.  Watch for details in the AAUW-NYS newsletter, Focus, and our local newsletter, The Branch. 


Your help will be needed with registration, workshop monitors, and many other details that go into holding a convention.  Please give me a call if you would like to help.



Cecilia Dinio- Durkin, International Chair,


After taking a bus trip to the UN last March to participate in the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW), a new initiative had begun to take root.  Started as a part of My Sister's Keeper, but with a focus on the progress of the UN, the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW UN Women's group/initiative was born.   At our first meeting, we discussed these topics:


1)     The Poughkeepsie Branch will participate in NYS AAUW's new international initiative called NYS AAUW UN Women ( not to be confused with simply "UN Women" which is an UN entity)


2)     Under the auspices of this initiative, we will maintain a focus on the UN.


3)     We will begin preparing for our attendance at next year's Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings which will convene from March 10 -21, 2014.  Just as this year's theme was Violence Against Women, next year's theme will be "Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Women and Girls"


4)     As we study this theme, we may want to participate in a variety of ways.  We discussed the fact that not all of us are interested in the same type of activity and that we could broadly divide our activities in the following manner:


a)      Some of us might review the theme and want to do a "hands-on" activity like collecting and sending goods that women and girls need or encouraging frontline NGOs that work with women and girls.

b)     Some of us may want to study the theme and create a discussion group that further researches the challenges and achievements of women and girls in developing countries and the policy decisions that affect their progress.

c)      Some us may want to join forces with NGOs and other women's organizations to petition the UN and the US government for policy that frames the interests of women abroad and here.


Naturally there are a number of overlapping areas among these groups and we may want to share information as we get further along in our preparations to attend CSW next year.


Please note that there is great deal of flexibility built into these options which leaves plenty of room for each of us to express our passion in the way we each see fit.  We will continuously review our progress and level of satisfaction as we move along.


Join us at our next meeting on

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

5:30 PM at Cosimo's

as we begin this exciting new program.


We will be meeting at Cosimo's in Poughkeepsie (opposite Marist College) at 5:30 PM, where we have reserved a private room.  Cosimo's does not require us to buy food or drink so we don't have to feel the compulsion to do so.  Those of us who would like to order a little something to eat and drink are, of course, welcome to do so.


Please email me to let me know if you will be attending.

Cecilia Dinio-Durkin


Thank you for your interest in international affairs and I look forward to seeing all of you.



Doris Kelly


New York’s AAUW was well-represented at the Women’s Equality Rally in Albany on June 4.  Legislation before the New York State Legislature included:

“While the New York State Assembly passed the 10-point Women’s Equality Act, the Senate leadership refused to introduce any bill that included abortion rights.  Instead, the Senate broke the bill into 10 separate measures and passed 9 with overwhelming, bipartisan support.  But, ultimately, the Senate and Assembly could not come to a final agreement, so none of the 10-points of the agenda became law.” 

NOW, June 23, 2013


This is a reminder why it’s so important to know about the candidates up for election.


Another disappointment for those of us who believe in the need for fairness in voting came with the Supreme Court’s overruling of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  This decision appears to have opened up a Pandora‘s Box for future elections.  Section 4 had mandated pre-approval from the US Justice Department before specific states and local jurisdictions could change their voting regulations.  Before the Supreme Court decision, the formula required reviews for all of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia; and parts of California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota. 


“The justices said in 5-4 vote that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.”  Mark Sherman, Associated Press


Several states immediately started passing laws which will disenfranchise many of their citizens. Government issued voter ID cards, reduction of time for voting, prevention of counties from extending voting hours even when there are long lines of voters waiting are just some of the changes included in the new North Carolina voting regulations.


We must be vigilant to make sure no changes take place which will affect the right to vote for New Yorkers.



Anthula Natsoulas *452-5946*


Welcome back from summer!  Discover what one of our newest outreach programs, Let’s Do Math, is all about at the September 12 Open House.  Come visit the display, ask questions and sign up to get involved!  You don't have to be a mathematician to join us – just an interest in helping young people.


OCTOBER 10, 2013

Technology and 21st Century Learning

Mary Coiteux *226-8275*




We read about how education is changing. What do teachers who are teaching in the 21st century do differently?  How does technology get used in a classroom?  What is the role of the teacher?  Of the student?


You are cordially invited to a special October 10, 2013 Membership Meeting at the Poughkeepsie Day School at

7 PM. 


Come listen to two "21st Century" teachers explain how their practice has changed in recent years.  Technology, a flexible schedule and flexible learning spaces have changed what school looks like while keeping the main values the same. 

Bring your smart phones, iPads, laptops (if you wish) and a friend.  Join in the fun with Laura Graceffa, former Poughkeepsie AAUW Branch President, and Shirley Rinaldi. Together they have over 50 years of teaching experience, straddling both centuries.


More information in the October Branch



Cathy Kinn, Interest Group Coordinator,


Our annual Writers’ Tea has so enriched my life.  I want to say thank you to Barbara Van Itallie and the members of the Cuisine Interest Group for their gift of a dinner to the auction.  I was the lucky winner of the auction item to join these sociable chefs.  It was a privilege and a pleasure.  With the theme “Not My Mother’s Pantry,” everything from the Yummus Hummus to the Lemon-Ricotta Cheesecake was out of this world wonderful!!!


Editor’s note:  The next Tea will be April 13, 2014 – mark your calendar as you can see the pleasure extends longer after the event.



Cecilia Dinio- Durkin,


Our plans are well on their way!


This will be the 8th Annual Live Your Dream Girls' Conference, once again being held at Dutchess Community College (DCC) on November 2, 2013 starting at 8:45 am.  Our partnership with DCC's Preschool Club will bring eager and experienced college volunteers helping our members to facilitate the day.  Tried and True workshops such as Marist College's Fashion Forward, lead by Lydia Biskup is once again being offered along with yoga, activism and Fair Trade chocolate tasting and Fair Trade Jewelry making.  We will once again be partnering with Family Services, Grace Smith House and Planned Parenthood to help with some of our workshops and Girl Talks.


After our very productive first meeting, we find we can use some help with the following to-do's:


Please contact Cecilia Dinio Durkin if you'd like to volunteer.


Another special need is funding.  Please send a check made payable to “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW” and mail to:

                  Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

                  8 Jonathan Lane, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


I would like to sponsor one girl’s (or more) attendance to the “Live your Dream” conference.


□$25  Covers the total cost of one girl’s attendance.

□$10  Buys a girl lunch and some supplies.

Name: __________________________________



Phone: ___________ Email:_____________________


Your name will be included in the program book

as a donor unless anonymity is requested.


* This is a tax-deductible contribution.


What is the Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference?



The annual event is an inspirational day designed specifically for 7th grade girls who face the challenges of the middle school years. Conference workshops focus on encouraging and empowering girls to dream about the future and provide them with resources, role models, and a chance to express themselves.


The conference, presented in partnership with Dutchess Community College, is primarily funded by the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. through fundraising and donations from individual members as well as some choice community partners interested in encouraging girls to live their dream.  The conference is organized and staffed by the women of AAUW and the facilitators donate their time.




Lula Allen *832-7140*,

Kay Bishop *797-4834*


Our newly formed committee is looking for volunteers for two healthcare projects!  Because we see healthcare as a critically important equity issue for families in Dutchess County, we have begun working on two women’s healthcare projects in the Poughkeepsie area.


There are many volunteer opportunities available.  Volunteer for one evening a month to help with our Mother’s Group for underserved women in Poughkeepsie, or join us to develop a community workshop on larger issues of healthcare access in our area


 Our first project is a Mothers’ Group, to meet every Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Poughkeepsie. We aim to provide information on preventive healthcare and parenting, as well as a forum where under-served new mothers can socialize and share experiences.  The meetings will draw on the expertise of AAUW member Kay Bishop, a local nurse-midwife, as well as speakers from the Department of Health and other local community agencies.


Our second project is a Healthcare Workshop, to be held in March, with the goal of raising AAUW members’ and community awareness of healthcare issues facing under-served women in the Poughkeepsie area


You do not need a medical background to participate in either of these initiatives.  All you really need is to believe that quality healthcare is the fundamental right of all women.  Please contact: Lula Allen, , 832-7140, or Kay Bishop,, 797-4834.


AAUW-NYS District IV Diversity in Programming


This conference is not to be missed!  Our presenters are outstanding women and you will learn about a highly successful project and help plan a ground breaking program.


October 19, 2013
Washington Hall, Dutchess Community College


Cost: $30

Includes continental breakfast and lunch


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


Kathy Brown, 8 Wilbur Blvd

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Questions: or 845/486-4605


Bring 2 or 3 gently used or new children’s books for the activity.


9:00 -  9:30 am                 Welcome, coffee, tea and bagels, etc.

9:30 - 10:00 am       3 minute sharing from branches attending

10:00 – 11:30 am    Workshops:

                                    Ethnicity Dr. Mia Mask

                                    Gender – Dr. Cathy Collins

                                    Culture – Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

11:30 – 12:00 noon          Activity led by "Leading to Reading"

12:00 – 1:00 pm      Lunch/ Speaker – Ellie Nieves

1:00 - 1:45 pm                 Program Planning Workshops

                                             Facilitators: Mary Coiteux,

                                    Marcine Humphrey and Ellie Charwat
1:45 – 2:00 pm                  Wrap up


More information at


NCCWSL – Dana Liu


The Irene Keyes Memorial Fund, is used to support young women to attend AAUW’s NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders) in Washington DC each year.


This year recipient was Dana Liu.  Dana is majoring in Fashion Design and Environmental Studies.  During her time at Marist she has been very involved in Student Government and has served on several advisory boards. She has already exhibited  her dedication to diversity, integrity, service fellowship, and the spirit of inquiry.  Diana’s goals include working as a fashion designer in a company dedicated to environmental and social responsibility.  She hopes to “implement change in an industry that relies on the exploitation of workers and destruction of the environment.”



Report from NCCWSL by Dana Liu


Attending the 2013 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland, College Park was a fantastic and unique experience that easily surpassed any and all expectations I had had about the long weekend.  Before embarking on my adventure to Washington, D.C. I had absolutely no idea of what the conference would be like.  I arrived at the University of Maryland after a long day of travel by train on Friday evening, and was greeted by a beautiful, but quiet campus.  The only thing planned for the evening was an ice-breaker gathering with the other students who arrived a day early to the conference.  Since I had been sitting on the train all day, I decided I would take the free time to explore the campus and went for a run, inevitably getting myself lost again.  Once I figured out which brick building was my dorm, I showered and settled in for the night, looking over the schedule for the days ahead.  I was overwhelmed and excited by all of the intriguing workshops and inspiring lectures and decided which events to attend.


Over the next couple of days, I attended a viewing and discussion of the film, Makers: Women Who Make America, the opening session and group networking, the Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony and Reception, Keynote Speakers and workshop sessions.  Not only were the workshops and lectures engaging, my fellow conference attendees were as well.  They were all friendly, enthusiastic and genuinely kind.  It was refreshing to be in an environment filled with women who wanted to support each other.  This environment was exactly what keynote speaker, Rachel Simmons encouraged.  Of all the events organized by the conference, Rachel Simmons’ lecture was my favorite.  I enjoyed her honest, candid and funny discussion of the challenges of being a girl and how to overcome them.  Some of the takeaways from her lecture included how to overcome the pressure of being the “good-girl” and how to build an “inner résumé.”  Her tips on how to build that “inner resume” were as follows: listen to your inner voice, practice taking risks and start small.  After her talk, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A.


After attending the 2013 National Conference for College Women Leaders, I am excited to apply the myriad of invaluable lessons to my involvement on campus at Marist College, to my future career endeavors and to volunteer opportunities.  The conference completely changed my outlook on the effects of women leadership and has provided me with a more positive attitude on my own potential impact and with the tools to achieve and accomplish positive change.  This conference was empowering for me not only as a woman, but also as a young and passionate individual.



Geeta Desai  *297-7589*


It is more obvious now than ever before that the world has shrunk to a fraction of its former size or so it seems. There was a time when we Americans were splendidly isolated from the rest of the world: separated by oceans and mind-sets.  But the rapid growth of information and communications technologies and global trade and finance agreements have brought the world to our doorstep and we can no longer ignore the impact that our actions have on the rest of the world or how economic, social, political and environmental events in the rest of the world affect us in our daily lives.


We live in a global village which irreversible fact raises the following questions: “How do we live with purpose and meaning in this new global environment?,” “How can we create a peaceful and sustainable future for our children when its very foundation is being influenced by unknown legions of people and countries?”


In response to these questions, I will tell you this: First, we must become knowledgeable about our new environment; we must develop a deep understanding of the people who share our global village.  Second, we must envision a shared future that in built on our collective values of humanity and mutual respect and third, we must develop critical thinking skills that can help us understand how vital decisions taken by international political, economic and financial representatives can affect our collective future.


Most of us, who attended the UN Status of Women Committee meetings earlier this year, were struck by the unjust treatment of women and girls in other parts of the world.  Our logical next step is to understand how this injustice encroaches on our fight for social justice for women and girls here at home and that to redress this injustice for others is to improve all of our lives in the global village.


To understand our interconnectedness, I’ve begun a weekly blog at that defines the issues, responses to these from the UN, civil society and other international bodies and ideas for individual and group involvement.


I invite you to read this blog so that we can continue this important dialogue within our AAUW.




Dutchess County Science Fair for grades 5-12 was held on April 6, 2013 at Dutchess Community College.  Jackie Goffe-McNish and Shelby Outwater served as judges for AAUW.  Awards were given to Abigail Gagnon-Vishnefsky, a fifth-grade student, for her project “Just Winging It:  Need a Lift?” and to Justina Sargios, a seventh-grader, for her project “How Bright Is That Light?”  Both girls attend St. Mary’s School in Fishkill.  Each girls was given a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble from AAUW.  Jackie and Shelby were both delighted to be judges and to see the work done in mathematics and science by young women in our county.



Webmaster:  Mary King *518/615-9573*

Website Updates: Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


Joanne Scolaro *592-8314*


Among the Contents:

- How to join the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW

- Current and back issues of our newsletter The Branch

- Online Calendar of local AAUW events

- Links to AAUW-NYS and AAUW National websites, elected officials

- Ongoing information about our Community Projects and Special Events

- Information on our membership and interest groups meetings

- Information on special funds and projects of the local branch

 -Biographies of all our Women of the Year since 1975 


If you have updates, please notify Margaret or Joanne.


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2013-2014


President                              Jacqueline Goffe-McNish     471-7220

Program V.P.                      Susie Blecker                        462-7074

                                             Mary Coiteux                        226-8275

Membership V.P.                 Kay Saderholm                     229-8545

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

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).