Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


“The Power of Membership”




Volume 28, Number 6          Our 59th year of publication                     February 2015




The Tea Committee is very excited to announce the authors for this year’s Writers’ Tea on April 26, 2015.  They are both Dutchess County residents.  Mark your calendars!


Patricia Beard


Patricia Beard is the author of nine non-fiction books, a first novel, and hundreds of nationally published magazine articles.  She is the former Features Editor of “Town & Country,” former editor-at-large of ELLE, and former style features editor of “Mirabella” magazine.  Her principal subjects include biography, social history, finance, politics and family dynamics.  Beard is also the founder and president of Willowbrook Partners, LLC, for which she writes, oversees the design, and produces privately commissioned books.  The main book featured will be  A Certain Summer, A Novel. (Simon & Schuster, paperback 2014).  “I am crazy about A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard…a perfect summer book.”


Quincy T. Mills


Quincy T. Mills is associate professor of history at Vassar College where he teaches African American history. Originally from Chicago, he earned his M.B.A. from DePaul University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  He teaches classes on Martin Luther King, Jr., race and segregation, the civil rights and black power movement, and consumer culture.   Professor Mills is author of Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (2013). This book chronicles the history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions, demonstrating their central role in civil rights struggles throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  He is currently at work on his second monograph, tentatively titled The Wages of Resistance: Financing the Black Freedom Movement, which examines the politics of grassroots fundraising among civil rights and black power organizations to support local activists and sustain movement building. 

"Quincy T. Mills's important book provides fascinating insight into the history of African American barbers. He vividly captures their culture, traditions, and perseverance to succeed against tremendous odds. A brilliant overview of this prestigious tradition."—Zariff, barber to President Obama■




Poughkeepsie AAUW will join with Vassar College and the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley for its presentation of the program, "Understanding the Female Fighter: Women in ISIS,"


February 4, 2015.

7 pm

Rockefeller Hall

Room 300

Vassar College*


This program is free and open to the public.  The speaker,

Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan, is an expert on gender and violence, and the creator of  She is currently a Visiting Research Professor at the Colin Powell Center for Global and Civic Leadership at City College New York, directing the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative.


She holds a BA in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Political Science from UCLA.  Continued below.


To better understand the program, additional information about Dr. Gowrinathan as well as the women of ISIS (in

Dr. Gowrinathan’s own words) can be found below.



To reach Rockefeller Hall, turn left on the sidewalk immediately after the Main Gate, pass the library and the first  building on the right is Rockefeller Hall.  From the North Lot (off Collegview) walk along the road past three buildings and Rockefeller Hall is the fourth building on the right (It sets back quite a distance back from the street).


Parking is always a problem so we suggest carpooling.  You might try the street as you enter through the Main Gate, or the lot off Collegeview Ave (North Gate).  The Collegeview lot (North Lot) can be reached after you enter the Main Gate by turning left and continue to North Gate (you will be passing Rockefeller Hall just after this left turn.)


Questions: Mary Coiteux 226-8275

Susie Blecker 462-7074



 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


2       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess:  Pat Luczai (463-4662)

         Coordinator:  Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

3        World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Teaching English in Brazil, Greece, Italy, & Thailand

         Presenter: Ellie Charwat

         Hostess: Ellie Charwat

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


4       General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend.

         See details on page 1, 4 & 6. 

         NOTE:  This is not our usual date.

5       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie

9       All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness

         Hostess: Ruth Kava (471-0480)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

10     “The Branch” deadline for March.

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

12     The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

         Hostess: Celia Serotsky (473-8426) or

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

13     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: George Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger &

         Identical by Scott Turow

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) &

                  Jackie Prusak (226-6049)

14     Bridge 3: 10:00 am- 12:00 noon

  Hostess: Raina Maissel (297-8466)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

16     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteygart

         Hostess: Jackie Klein (485-6530)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

17     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Italian Cuisine of Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich

         Recipes & Hostess: Mariellen Pangia (473-3545)


         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


18     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Debby Luders (223-7397)

         Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745) &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)


                                             JOIN a new interest group this month,

                              call the coordinator!


20     Poetry & Play Reading: 2:30 pm 

         Program: TBD, contact coordinators

         Hostess: TBD, contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney &

                  Carol Loizides

21     Aventures en Soleil: 10:45 am

  Downton Abbey Tour at Mills Mansion

  Contact: Janna Whearty (546-9190) or


  RSVP by February 11.  Send check for $8 to:

  Janna Whearty, 50 Merilina Ave, Kingston, NY 12401

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

24     Diversity, One Out of Many People: 5:30 pm

         Round Table for College Bound Students

         DCC, Bowne Hall, Room 122

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


25     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (226-6049) by Feb 23

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

25     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

         Hostess: TBD, contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

26     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch ($15)

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

26     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Project: Stitch In     

         Hostess: TBA – contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       

27     Art on the Go:

         TBD, contact coordinator

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Shadows on the Hudson, 176 Rinaldi Blvd, Poughkeepsie

  Date: TBD, contact coordinator

  Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)



         TBD, contact coordinator


         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)


         Pedal Pushers:

         Watch for our return on April 8.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*


When you join the Poughkeepsie branch you are also a member of the national and state AAUW organizations.  The National organization is our policy, philanthropy and advocacy arm, but more about that next month.  The New York State AAUW offers many services to the local branches and to individual members.


The annual AAUW-NYS convention offers speakers and workshops on AAUW issues as well as programs to help the leadership of the local branches serve their organizations.  The next convention will be held the weekend of April 17-19, 2015 in the Buffalo area.  Any of you may attend, and I encourage you to do so.  As you can see in the next column, some of the topics covered will be current education issues, empowering women in office, and domestic violence, all vital topics to us.  As our branch member and State Communications Director Cyd Averill says, “Convention brings us all together to celebrate our successes and energizes us with great ideas for promoting AAUW's mission!  Plus, it's great fun to gather with so many interesting women.”


Additionally, the State organizes a workshop each summer at Cazenovia College focusing on leadership issues.  And there are regional gatherings as well.  The next one for our region will be Saturday, March 21 focusing on Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  Again, all AAUW-NYS members are welcome and encouraged to attend.


AAUW-NYS provides funding to the local branches as well.  For example, our branch recently received a $500 grant from the state for our new Leading to Reading project, Books for Babies.


The State provides resources to help the branches.  Their “Leader on Loan” program is a speakers’ bureau where a NYS leader will come to a branch to provide assistance or offer a program.  The NYS Program Vice president assists branches with their programming.  And our own member Joan Monk, State Special Projects Director, organizes project for the state.  The book “Women Making a Difference,” about women in the history of New York, came from a NYS special project and will be the focus of our March program (see page 4).


Several Poughkeepsie Branch members are actively involved at the state level.  Serving on the AAUW-NYS Board are Cyd and Joan, as already mentioned, and Mary Lou Davis, immediate past State President, now serving as District Council Director.  Peggy Kelland and Joan Monk serve as District Coordinators, and Doris Kelly is a member of the State Nominating Committee.  Margaret Nijhuis and Betty Harrel recently held State Board positions as well.


Be sure to check out the AAUW-NYS website, for more information.  And I hope to see you at some of these AAUW-NYS events! ■




AAUW Leading the Way: Women Leadership in the 21st Century 


WHEN: April 1719, 2015

WHERE: Byblos Niagara Resort, Grand Island, NY


Special Recognition:

A celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Buffalo Branch.


Workshops will address topics such as: 


AAUW develops women leaders by strengthening their sense of empowerment. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity! ■



Mar 12, 2015: Historical Journey of Remarkable Women in

                  the Hudson Valley.  See below.

Mar 21, 2015: The District IV meeting will celebrate

                  the 200th birthday of Elizabeth C. Stanton

                  at Fort Montgomery Community College

Apr 16, 2015: AAUW-NYS Convention, Byblos

                  Niagara Resort and Spa on Grand Island,

                  Buffalo.  See above.

April 26, 2015: Writers' Tea.  See above and below.

June 11, 2015: Annual Dinner, 6:00 – 9:00 pm,

                  Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. 


According to a new study, most men would like women to occasionally pick up the check.  The study also found that most women would occasionally like to be paid as much as men for doing the same job.  Conan O’Brien


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, Lula Allen, Mary G. Bagley,

Mary Ann Boylan, Sharon Clarke, Lillian DePasquale,

Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs, Sandra Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel,

 Shaileen Kopec, Catherine Pété, Terry Schneider


Sponsors ($10 or more)

Marguerite Cotter, Christina Houghtaling, Cathleen Kinn


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



March 24, 25, 26

Call for Volunteers 

Zsuzsanna Szabo


Marist College undergraduate and graduate education students associations will organize a three-day Scholastic Book fair on the Marist campus between March 24 to 26, 2015 with daily open fair 10:00 am-5:00 pm.  The book fair has as its purpose to help new and current teachers to develop their classroom library.  We will invite K-8th grade teachers from the area, as well as parents and grandparents and children to browse and purchase their favorite books.  We call upon AAUW members to spread the news about the book fair and we are looking for several volunteers who could help and supervise our undergraduate teacher candidates across the three day sale.  Volunteers should email Dr. Szabo (Graduate Education Program director) with specific day and block of time the person could volunteer at:, or call 845-575-3000 x 2994.


Thank you in advance and we are looking forward to continue our collaboration with AAUW Poughkeepsie! ■



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


Hat’s Off to Michelle Donner the new Director of Operations for Mill Street Loft.  The announcement was made by Carole Wolfe, another member of AAUW. 



Continued from above.


Dr. Gowrinathan is the Executive Producer of the Vice News Women in/at War Series.  She has recently been the Gender Expert for the United Nations Human Development Report on Afghanistan and a policy consultant and analyst for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the International Crisis Group.  Her work included researching and analyzing gender inclusion in peace building and women’s insecurities in conflict zones.  She was formerly the Director of South Asia Programs and UN Representative for Operation USA, an international disaster relief organization.  In this capacity she has lived and worked in Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan monitoring small grants to community-based organizations.  Dr. Gowrinathan received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She has published both academic articles and journalistic pieces on humanitarian intervention and gender and violence for Foreign Affairs, Huffington Post,, Humanitarian Practice Network, Oxford’s STAIR Review, World Policy Institute, and among others.  Her most recent article in Foreign Affairs, "The Women of ISIS," examines the political identities of women in violent movements.





March 12, 7:00 pm,

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,

67 South Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie.


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW will join with Poughkeepsie Public Library District in the celebration of Women’s History Month.  Excerpts from the AAUW-NYS book Remarkable Women in New York State History will be presented.  Focus will be on the women who have ties to the Hudson Valley such as Anna Buchholz*, Lucille Pattison*, Sojourner Truth, Ruth Stafford Peale*, Jane Bolin, Maria Mitchell and Catharyna Brett.


To purchase "Remarkable Women in New York state History" go to


*These women have all been honored as Woman of the Year by our Poughkeepsie Branch.  More information on our website 




Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


Barbie Girl in a Barbie World?


Barbie and I finally have something in common.  It isn't a 36-18-33 figure, long hair, a resume that catalogues 82 jobs, 43 pets, or a designer wardrobe featuring Givenchy, Dolce Gabana and Vera Wang.  It isn't a pink corvette, a dream house, a Malibu mansion, or a scale frozen at 110 .  Her Facebook page is better than mine and she has 12,887,191 more followers.  Barbie Roberts and I have both been exposed as STEM deficient.


My expose unraveled in the Apple Store.  My iPad needed air so I went to the Apple Store in search of repair.  The Apple genius (his actual job title) presented a diagnosis and options:  beyond repair- buy a new one or buy a reconditioned replacement.  Before making a purchase, I told the genius I just wanted to check with my husband, my personal tech guru of sorts.  He relaxed his stance, smiled, and said, "Good.  Of course.  Do you need a phone? I will explain it to him if you want."  Ouch!  He concluded I couldn't independently function in the tech world and seemed relieved that the purchase would be approved by proxy.  I tried to convince myself that it was a household decision requiring input from two sources, but it wasn't.  I couldn’t feign denial.


It's true; I am STEM deficient.  Hiring statistics show I have lots of company.  Apple's work force is 70% male and 30% female with a majority of women in the work production force rather than in sales, management and leadership positions.   One woman sits on Apple's ten member board of directors .  Face book and Google share similar statistics.  The proof was on the Apple Store floor.  There were three women and nine men but no women with a genius name tag, the highest paid position for floor workers.  eBay, a shopping site, boasts the highest rate of female employment with 42%. 


Barbie's fall from grace is more self deprecating.  In the book

I Can Be A Computer Engineer, Barbie fails to establish her computer credentials.  In fact, they are falsified.  She infects her own and Skipper's pink computers with a virus and needs “the guys” to debug them.  She then admits to designing a computer game but needs Steve and Brian to do the coding and programming. This isn't the first time Barbie admits to being left brain dominant.  In 1997, AAUW protested to Mattel when Talking Barbie was programmed to say, "Math class is hard" followed by "I love shopping."  The company offered to replace the math challenged Barbies and removed the phrase from future Talking Barbie's repertoire.  This year, many women, especially women in the STEM fields, protested the book's portrayal of women and technology.  Mattel pulled the book from Amazon and issued a full apology on Barbie's Facebook page.  Barbie lost her $100,000 starting salary. 


STEM is the fast track-the EZ pass to financial and corporate success.  Companies are hungry to hire woman but their skill sets must mirror male resumes.  Women looking for "financial security, economic growth and global innovation" need to enter the science, tech, engineering and math fields or they will continue to make 77 cents for each male dollar earned.  They will be funneled into lower paying fields and minimum wage jobs.  Why STEM?  "At almost every step of the STEM education ladder, we see girls walk away.  By seventh grade, most girls have lost interest in these fields, and few high school girls plan to pursue STEM in college.  Stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of academic departments and workplaces continue to block women’s participation and progress."  Do STEM careers offer higher salaries than other fields because they are male dominated or because they are female exclusionary?  Ask Ken, he applied for her job.


AAUW continues to support STEM education for women.  We sponsor an award for the Dutchess County Science Fair, offer scholarships, and initiate programs to educate and train young girls and women in math, science, engineering (GEMS program) and technology.   Visit the Public Policy site for more information on STEM. 




The National Conference For College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is being held from May 28th to 30th at the University of Maryland.  At this exciting conference, students can choose from more than 50 workshops that prepare them for life after college.  They meet role models, listen to inspirational speakers and make connections for life.  Attendees have all said that it is a transformational experience!


Once again we are seeking young women to apply for a grant to attend the conference.  Money is provided annually with funds from the Irene Keyes Memorial Fund.  We reach out to college campuses, but “word of mouth” has helped us find the right young woman!  Just ask Laureen Scianimanico, last year’s grant recipient.  Our first recipient is now a member of our branch!


The grant is open to college women in their sophomore or junior year either from our area or attending local colleges.  For further information please contact: Marcine Humphrey at

845- 485-7697 or or visit (click on Scholarships and then Irene Keyes Memorial Fund or use the search function). ■



Nimmi Gowrinathan, PhD


Right Now:

I am currently a Visiting Professor at the Colin Powell Center for Civic and Global Leadership at City College, New York.  I will be directing the Politics of Sexual Violence Research Initiative, funded by the Novo Foundation.  I am also the Executive Producer for the Vice News Women in/at War Series currently in development.


I have tried, and continue to try, to take the lived experiences of women and insert them into multiple discourses and dialogues–highlighting insights with the potential to shift perspectives and policies.


As a humanitarian worker I have supported community-based organizations living and working in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and elsewhere while Director of South Asia Programs at Operation USA.  I have also facilitated collaboration between humanitarian and advocacy INGOs through local and international working groups.


As an advocate, I have been the UN Representative for Operation USA as well as an expert analyst, conducting briefings at the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Congress as well as for NGO collectives in the United States and abroad.


As a human rights researcher and policy analyst I have conducted field research, investigative interviews, and peace-building dialogues.  This work has situated testimonies of women’s insecurities and political exclusion into relevant policy frameworks.


As a scholar, I have examined the impact of militarization, displacement, and sexual violence on women’s political identities.  I am also interested in the overlapping discourses of civilian agency and a critique of humanitarian aid and intervention (PhD, Political Science. UCLA 2012).  I have also hosted conferences drawing together scholars and practitioners to broadly examine the politics of aid (Columbia SIPA), as well as addressing specific issues like re-imagining refugee camps (Rockefeller Foundation).


As an activist, I have been fortunate to work with deeply committed individuals and organizations.  I have hosted workshops and lectures, mobilizing women within various South Asian Diasporas and connecting them to community-based projects abroad.


As a writer, I have drawn on women’s stories to challenge perceptions in academic and policy spaces, while pulling out the richness of their narratives in nonfiction writings. ■



Nimmi Gowrinathan, PhD


To understand the women of ISIS and their motivations, it helps to place them in their historical context.  The conflict in Iraq is deeply rooted in identity: at its base, the fight is a sectarian struggle between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, with several smaller minorities caught in between.  The all-female al Khansaa Brigade of ISIS relies heavily on identity politics for recruitment, targeting young women who feel oppressed as Sunni Muslims.


Many women are driven to fight by a practical desire for safety. In war zones across the world, women absorb a disproportionate amount of the fallout from conflict, including material deprivation in refugee camps, daily harassment and fear in militarized zones, and a constant vulnerability to rape. Joining the fight is sometimes the only way to survive.


Iraqi women take up arms because they fear for their safety or because they feel ISIS represents their political interests.  In many cases, violence also appears to be the only available means of political expression.  For many women, and especially for women from the marginalized Sunni community, violence becomes a vehicle for political agency.


Ironically, female extremism rarely yields gains for women’s rights.  It appears likely that women in the envisioned Islamic State in Iraq will be marginalized after the conflict ends.


If the West is ever to truly understand the women of ISIS, it must also reevaluate its preconceptions about gender and violence.  Politicians and the media are quick to paint women as victims and men as violent perpetrators.  But that isn’t always true.  And this limited understanding of women’s role in violence has implications beyond the conflict itself.  Indeed, peacekeeping initiatives often leave women out of strategic discussions, relegating them to tasks explicitly concerning women’s rights.  This approach is unsustainable.  In the end, peace is built through the inclusion of diverse perspectives, and so long as gendered assumptions persist, female voices will go unheard.


Women fight for personal as well as political power, often sacrificing one for the other.  If the world ignores that fact, it will miss a chance to deal with the identity politics that sustain war. ■



Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Happy New Year everyone!

Now that it is 2015, it is time to get ready for our annual Writers’ Tea and Auction.


The auction committee will be meeting very shortly to get things rolling as now it is only a little over four months until the big day.  There is a lot to do between now and then in order for the event to be a success and for us to make a lot of money to help support all of the wonderful programs of AAUW.  Remember, this is the only fundraiser of the year and we need everyone to participate and help us.  Since we have almost 400 members in our Branch, we should be able to expect lots of help.


The first thing you can all do is to come to the Tea. Since the date, April 26, is later in the month than it has been, we're hoping that a lot of our members who head south for the winter, will be back.


The Auction needs a lot of help, mostly to get items for us to auction off.


Last month there were some pictures in the Branch of many of the kinds of items that are big sellers, I hope you had a chance to look at them.  Original art of any kind, handicrafts, things for babies and children, jewelry, gift certificates, are among things that sell well.  We would love to get a few big-ticket items like maybe a ski weekend or a night at an Inn somewhere if we could.


Please think outside the box of some unusual things we could add to our Auction.


We can collect things from you any time now until about a week before the auction when we will have a specific cut-off date as we have a lot of paperwork to do before the actual day.  We will give you that date at a later time.


Ask any place where you do business for a donation, it's good advertisement for them.  All they can say is no!  Put together a basket of teas, soaps, wines, etc.  If you have a particular skill maybe there is a way you could turn it into something to be auctioned off.


Cathy Kinn has been very helpful getting each of the interest groups to make donations.  We have gotten wonderful things from them.  Thanks.


You may contact any of our committee members list below with questions, suggestions, or items to be picked up.  They are all in the Directory.  Thanks so much for your support.

         Linda Roberts          Ginny Marcus

         Vivian Rose              Gloria Gibbs

         Donna Reichner      Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

         Doris Kelly               Barbara Mindel

         Suzi Stoller  




Imagine serving in the US Air Force, New York Air National Guard for 23 years and suddenly you find yourself a victim of sexual assault from a senior officer.  When Technical Sergeant Kimberly Davis sought justice she was ignored and her “duties became more difficult.”  Technical Sergeant Kimberly Davis left the service.  She would eventually become a plaintiff in the AAUW supported military sexual assault lawsuit, Hoffman et al v. Panetta et al, filed by lawyer Susan Burke in September 2012.


Imagine coaching a girls basketball team and you are told to “be quiet” when you asked why the girls could not share practice time with the boys in the brand new gym at your school instead of using the old gym with the leaky roof?  This coach was not quiet and lost his coaching job.  Where do people go for justice?  The Legal Advocacy Fund provided assistance to both of these individuals.


Every year that I attend the State Convention, I look forward to the LAF Luncheon.  The speakers are always so dynamic and compelling.  They fight for justice, but they need help, legal help, and often AAUW has stepped in and assisted them.  Whether it is assault, unfair treatment or unequal pay, these cases are all important as they set precedent and ultimately change laws and the way women are treated.


Legal Advocacy is just one of the many ways the AAUW continues to support women and girls as they strive to be all they wish to be.  I implore members to visit the AAUW website and read some of the stories.  Hopefully, you will be compelled to donate to the Fund.  I know you will be proud of the work AAUW does for equality in policies and practices on campuses, in the military, and all workplaces.


When people ask about AAUW don’t forget to tell them about the important work LAF. ■


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2014-2015


President                              Barbara Van Itallie                462-3924

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                             Katherine Friedman              485-8671

Treasurer                            Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Membership 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.