Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



“The Power of Membership”



Volume 28, Number 8

Our 59th year of publication

April 2015



TAKING CHARGE: What Parents And Students Should Know About Safety On Campus

Susie Blecker 462-7074


Poughkeepsie AAUW will join with the Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church and Shir Chadash Synagogue in presenting an informational program regarding Safety on Campus for Young Women, Model Campus Programs, and Legislative Issues regarding this issue.




7:00 pm



Route 55, opposite Arlington HS


The speaker at this program will be Anne Hedgepeth, National AAUW’s government relations manager.  Anne has become the AAUW spokesperson and congressional representative regarding sexual abuse on campus.


Also, as a part of her advocacy work, Anne establishes relationships with key congressional offices, the presidential administration, coalition partners, and AAUW’s network of members and supporters.  Anne amplifies AAUW’s voice on public policy priorities including paid sick days, paid leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act, career and technical education, workforce training, community colleges, higher education, nontraditional occupations for women, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Violence Against Women Act.  She also manages the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps, which organizes more than 30 local AAUW members and students who speak out on Capitol Hill weekly.  She has a bachelor of arts in economics from Davidson College and a master of public policy from George Mason University. 


This program is free and the community is welcomed.


Copy and paste this link into your browser to hear Anne speak at the AAUW-NYS Summer Conference or go to and view the video from our home page.


Additional Information:

Public Policy column page 6 Ending the Silence  and page 5 Campaign To Prevent Violence Against Women


Directions: Route 55 east from Poughkeepsie.  The Freedom Plains church is across the road from Arlington High School.  Take the first exit (Stringham) in the third traffic circle and then take the first left into the parking lot. ■



6th Annual Writers' Tea


Sunday, April 26, 2015

2:30 ~ 6:00 pm


The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY



Featured Writers


Quincy T. Mills

author of "Cutting Along the Color Lines”




Patricia Beard

author of "A Certain Summer"



Please RSVP by

April 16, 2015


For more information on authors and their writings go to 


v Reservations: Page 3

v Schedule and Menu for the event: Page 4 

v Directions: Page 4

v  Auction: Page 5



 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


1        The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Book of Unknown Americans

          By: Christina Henriquez

         Hostess: Cathy Lane (229-1036)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

2       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

6       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

         Coordinator:  Ellie Charwat (462-7061)

7       World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Australia and Tasmania

         Presenter: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)


8       Pedal Pushers: 10:00 am  

  Bike to Hopewell Jct. (12-13 miles)

  Meet: Gold’s Gym Rail Trail parking lot

  Leader: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

10     “The Branch” deadline for May.

10     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Light between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Diana Gleeson (229-8458) &

                  Jackie Prusak (226-6049)

11     Trekkers: 9:00 am Meet: Dutchess Mall

         Indian Hill Look Trail Hike,

         Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo, NY

         Leader: Peggy Kelland (297-0507)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

13     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: Tristam Shandy by Laurence Sterne

         Hostess: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

14     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

15     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454-7262)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)      &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

16     Aventures en Soleil: 9:30 am

  Dutchess County Scenic and Historic Driving Tour

  Millbrook, NY

  Register by April 13 with a $5 check payable to Barbara

 Van Itallie, 17 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

  Contact:  Barbara Van Itallie,

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

16     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Bluestone Bistro, Poughkeepsie NY

  Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


17     Poetry & Play Readings: 2:00 pm 

         Hostess: Maria DeWald (266-4960)

         Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney &

                  Carol Loizides

18     Bridge 3: 10:00 am

  Hostess: Gail Watson (946-1632) at

           Gloria Gibbs’ home (454-7262)

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

18     Trekkers: 9:00 am Meet: inside the cemetery gate

         Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery Historical Walk

         Leader:  Karen Haynes (297-5700)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

20     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

         Book: Tuscan Rose by Belinda Alexandra

         Hostess: Betsy Kopstein-Stuts (485-7044)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

21     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Turkish Dinner

         Recipes:  Maria DeWald, 

         Hostess:  Linda Lurie (229-9397)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


22     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm  

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (226-6049) by 3/20/21015

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

22     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

         Hostess: Contact coordinators

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

23     Bridge II: 12:15-4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch ($15)

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

23     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Project: Punch Needle

  Hostess: Sue Osterhoudt (889-4469)       

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Jane Toll (463-2712)       

24     Art on the Go: 11:00 am 

         Fabric Painting

         Hostess:  Ellie Burch (297-7828)

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

25     Trekkers: Time (TBA) Meet: Toys-R-Us, Route 9

         Saugerties Lighthouse & Turkey Point State Park Hike

         Leaders:  Karen Haynes (297-5700) and

                  Pat Luczai (463-4662)

         Coordinator: Karen Haynes (297-5700)

26     Writers’ Tea: 2:30 pm.  Details on page 1,3,4.5.

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend.

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

         Lecture/Discussion: Women of Africa 

         DCC, Bowne Hall, Room 122

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


28     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend.

         See details on page 1, 5,7.


6th Annual Writers' Tea


Sunday, April 26, 2015

2:30 ~ 6:00 pm


The Links at Union Vale

153 North Parliman Rd., Lagrangeville, NY/


Featured Writers

Meet two Hudson Valley authors who will share stories from their books and their lives.  Before the tea the authors will be available for questions and with their books for purchase and signing.


            Patricia Beard,                              Quincy T. Mills,

     author of "A Certain Summer"                author of "Cutting Along the Color Lines”


High Tea                               Silent -Auction

We will be welcomed with champagne, light                                     A silent auction of hand-crafted items and

drinks and hors d'oeuvres as we arrive and                                      services donated by our members, local

browse the silent auction items. The writers'                                    businesses and craftsmen. Checks or cash only.
presentations will be accompanied by high tea.



Please RSVP by April 16, 2015


A literary benefit for the AAUW Scholarship Funds, Community Initiatives and Events.


Name____________________________________________________             Phone_____________




If you making reservations for more than one person list all additional names on the back,


The cost is $50 per person.  Enclosed $__________ for_____ attendee(s).


Make checks payable to: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” [$20 of the fee is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law]


Mail to:  Mariellen Pangia, 109 Sleight Plass Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Questions: 845/473-3545 or


Open seating, no table reservations.


If you are unable to attend but would like to support our scholarship funds, community initiatives and events please write a check payable to "Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc." and mail it to Mariellen Pangia at the address above.


Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc. is a nonprofit organization [501(c)(3)] that works to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research .


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*

Where does the money go? 


One of our major annual events, the Writers’ Tea, is coming up in a few weeks.  Not only is this a fun and interesting event but also the major fund raiser for our branch.  But where does the money go that you raise?  Here is a bit about each of the projects that YOUR contribution supports:


Every month, a team of dedicated volunteers from our Stand Up to Domestic Violence program sit in a courtroom in the city of Poughkeepsie, observing  and documenting Family Court proceedings.  Thus making sure that families and victims of domestic violence are treated fairly and justly.


During its 10 year history, Leading to Reading  has provided over 17,000 books to children from low and moderate income families, and the new Books for Babies program will deliver a book to each newborn at Vassar Hospital


Since women and minorities are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers, our GEMS (Girls for  ...) promotes interest and achievement in STEM subjects for 6th grade girls.  Our AAUW partnership with Marist College is providing STEM inspiration to at-risk Poughkeepsie High School students.


Two women graduating from Dutchess Community College are given scholarships to pursue their four year degrees.  Our donations to the National AAUW Educational Opportunity Fund help provide fellowships and grants to women in a wide range of disciplines


The Healthcare Initiative’s "Poughkeepsie Mother's Group" meets to provide parenting education, family health education and social support to underserved new mothers.  AAUW volunteers work along with volunteers from other community organizations.


Our Live Your Dream 7th Grade Girls’ Conference held each fall focuses on encouraging and empowering girls to dream about the future and provides them with resources, role models, and a chance to express themselves.  It is designed specifically for 7th grade girls who face the challenges of the middle school years.


In cooperation with the Girls Scouts, our Extending Girls' Horizons offers a variety of stand-alone monthly events and short event series in leadership development and S.T.E.A.M. (STEM + Arts) to girls in grades 6-12.


Let’s Do Math is an initiative whose goal is to encourage girls to participate in and feel positive about mathematics in their lives, using literature as a jumping off point.


Should you wish to learn more about the community initiatives or to volunteer, please go to our website and click on Programs then Community Outreach.


Although contributions to local and national AAUW programs are always welcome, our branch tries to limit our fund raising efforts.  So please support our one major fund raiser of the year, the Writers Tea, by attending, bringing friends, and supporting the auction.



Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*

Tea in the Afternoon


*      Our tea starts at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. 

*      You will be greeted by our wonderful team from “Leading to Reading.” 

*      You may then proceed to the dining room and select your seat for the afternoon (cards will be provided for you to place at the seat of your choice).

*      Please continue to the auction area where you will be greeted with a glass of champagne or light drinks and a selection of hors d’oeuves. 

*      Once the program starts, your first course will be scones with clotted cream and jam accompanied by tea from Harney & Sons Fine Teas. 

*      Following the first author there will be a short intermission for final bids on our auction items. 

*      Then back for more food in the form of tea sandwiches (Turkey on Mini Croissant with Cranberry Mayo, smoked Salmon with Dill, Cucumber Rounds with cream cheese and mint, and Ham and Apricot Preserves).  There will be a gluten free option but must be ordered when you make your reservation.

*      Following the second author, we will have dessert of lemon bars, petit fours, and fruit with or without chocolate.

*      The afternoon concludes with the awarding of the auction items. 

*      Remember to bring your checkbook.  Be sure to pick up any items that you have won before you leave.■



Ø  After the intersection of  the Taconic State Parkway and route 55 take a left at the first light to Route 82 North.

Ø  Next make a right onto County Route 89.

Ø  Then take the first right onto North Parliman Road

 after 1 mile.

Ø  Golf Course is 1/2 mile on right.



For GPS: 153 North Parliman Road, Union Vale, NY 12540 ■




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

                     Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.  See page 6.

June 18-21: National AAUW Convention in San Diego

July 24-26:  AAUW-NYS Summer Conference at Cazenovia




Please remember that the personal information of our members found in our directory is for the exclusive use of AAUW.  Please do not share it with any other organization.


Thank you in this effort to keep our personal information private.



Linda Roberts *227-5287*


Spring isn't too far away and neither is our Tea and Auction! 


Please send in your reservations for the Tea!


Our committee and so many of you are busy getting or

creating items for the auction.  We really appreciate everyone's efforts.  We do still need more donations.  So far we have some very exciting things including a week's stay at a Time-Share donated by Barbara Van Itallie and a beautiful quilt made by Dina Gleeson.  Its theme is Patriots in Petticoats, each square representing a famous woman in the Revolutionary War.  It truly is a work of art.  There is so much talent in our organization and so many of our artists are donating their work.


We want to remind everyone that we would like to use April 10th as our cut-off date for donated items.  We have a lot to do to organize things between then and the Auction.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I will try to address them.  If you have any items to donate please let me know and I will make arrangements for your items to be picked up by someone on our committee.  Our raffle basket is still a work in progress.  The theme has evolved into two basic parts: International and Indulge.  It will include a wide variety of things.  I will be accepting items for the basket  up until the week before the Tea.


We hope to see you all at the Tea and thank you for all of the hard work you do.



Tuesday, May 5th

Joan Monk  *914-245-7704*


Join me to welcome New Jersey AAUW at the conclusion of their Val-Kill Road Trip on Tuesday, May 5th.


Meet us on the Walkway @ 4:00 pm


dinner at The Ice House @ 5:00 pm

(Dinner is $37)


Members of NJ AAUW are concluding Phase 2 of the NY/NJ AAUW WILD  Project (Women in Leadership Development).  This ‘leadership read’ features Robin Gerber’s book, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way.  Please contact me to join the fun on May 5th or to learn more about Phase 3 of the project.  Remember that Eleanor believed that we are ‘born to be WILD.”



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

Source: AAUW's Outlook, Fall 2014,  Sexual Assault: An Unspoken Barrier to Higher Education


The Poughkeepsie Branch Program Committee is very excited to be bringing our members a unique program this April 28th.


We will be hearing Anne Hedgepeth, National AAUW’s government relations manager and AAUW’s spokesperson, talk about sexual abuse on campus.  For more information, please see the article about Ms. Hedgepeth and the program on page 1.


It is important to note that AAUW has long been in the forefront of taking steps to end sexual violence.  Members have been working to raise awareness of how individuals and bystanders can help prevent violence and how to support survivors.  AAUW has partnered with the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Center for American Progress to launch the “Its on us Campaign” to help end the culture of victim-blaming.  An engaging video encourages friends and bystanders to look out for each other and intervene to prevent sexual assault.  This video can be viewed from Poughkeepsie AAUW home page at


At the national, state and local level, AAUW members have advocated for the proper implementation and enforcement of laws designed to protect our students.  We applaud the publishing of “Not Alone. The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault.”  It can be found at and it outlines student rights, consolidates resources, and highlights promising practices & prevention programs.


After years of hard work with key congressional offices, the presidential administration, and coalition partners, AAUW is proud that the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAMA) is law.


As local high schools, colleges and universities make provisions to comply with the regulations for campus safety under the Campus SaVE Act (Campus Sexual Violence Elimination), has directions on how we can check a school’s annual security report.


We encourage you to invite family and friends, especially high school seniors and their parents to this informative program.  This and all of our monthly programs are free and open to the public. ■




President Dutchess Community College


Speaker, Poughkeepsie AAUW Annual Dinner Meeting on  June 11, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY


On August 1, 2014, Dr. Edington began her presidency at Dutchess Community College as the fifth president of the college.  She has already had a tremendous positive impact on everyone at the college – from staff to students.


Pamela R. Edington is an experienced educator with more than 27 years of service in community colleges in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  As the Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs at Norwalk Community College (NCC) in Connecticut, she led NCC’s student success agenda in the Achieving the Dream and Developmental Education Initiatives, earning the institution national recognition as a Leader College for accomplishing significant results in improving student retention and persistence.


A strong proponent of creating strategic partnerships to leverage institutional resources, Dr. Edington has fostered collaborations with a wide range of organizations including

K-12 schools, universities, non-profits, businesses and public agencies.  She served as a community leader in the Cradle to Career initiative in Norwalk, CT, a coalition of 50 community organizations which aims to improve educational outcomes for youth throughout the learning continuum.  Dr. Edington is also at the forefront of developing strong STEM educational pathways.  She spearheaded NCC’s participation in a national STEM Collaborative, as well as helping to launch the first

P-TECH program in CT in partnership with Norwalk High School and IBM.


Dr. Edington launched service learning programs at both Middlesex Community College (MA) and at Norwalk, and acted as a consultant on service learning issues for colleges throughout the Northeast.  She participated as a founding member of the Massachusetts Campus Compact, and served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Campus Compact.  She was instrumental in NCC earning the Carnegie Elective Classification of Community Engagement, and was cited by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement for her contributions as a visionary leader in community colleges and civic engagement.


Throughout her career, Dr. Edington has succeeded in securing substantial external support through competitive grant funding for her institutions from both public and private agencies, as well as soliciting institutional support through local individual philanthropy.  These funds were dedicated to the creation and implementation of innovative educational initiatives in such areas as workforce development, student support, professional development, and curriculum change.


Born and raised in Minnesota, Pamela Edington earned her Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Research and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; a M.A. in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame; and a B.A. cum laude from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.  She is married to William Edington, a career research administrator. They have two daughters, Claire who resides in Cambridge, MA, and Billie who lives in New York City. They also have a golden retriever, Charlie, and a 17 year-old cat, Lulu. ■



Kay Saderholm *229-8545*


We have two new members: Linda Eagleton and Carol Barman.  They have spoken enthusiastically about their interest in AAUW.  Please welcome them and invite them to join with you in attending our many activities – branch meetings, interest groups, and initiatives.  We extend a warm welcome to both of them


April is the month when our branch is involved in two important events.  The first is membership renewal.  During the latter part of April you will receive in the mail your membership renewal for the coming membership year which runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  Dues are $78.00 for the year.  Make life easy for yourself – and for those involved in branch membership records – and immediately write out a check for that amount and send it off to Mary Anne Hogarty.  There will be an envelope with her address on it included with the renewal forms.  Thank you so much for taking care of this in a timely fashion.


The other important event is the Writers’ Tea on April 26 at the Links at Union Vale.  We rely on the monies we receive from this – our only fundraiser – to support our many programs and initiatives during the year.  Your support of the Tea is vital to the success of our organization.  The location is lovely, the afternoon tea is a special thing, the authors are a pleasure to hear and the silent auction promises many exciting items.  Other details can be found in this newsletter.  Make a special afternoon of it by inviting a friend come with you. 




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, Patricia DeLeo

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



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


Ending the Silence


From hero to anti hero, Bill Cosby has fallen from grace.  But stop!    Don't confuse him with Cliff Huxtable, a fictional personification of the perfect husband and dad.  Cliff Huxtable lives in syndication.  He is alive and well, ageless and ever inspiring, while Bill Cosby lives in the real world, and the times have changed.


Bill Cosby has not been legally charged with any crimes. He refuses to acknowledge or discuss any of the sexual allegations and "innuendoes."  This is his right: he is entitled to maintain his position, status and privacy until legally challenged.


Then why have so many presumed him guilty, convicted him, and  condemned him?  Because women share a common history.  Sexual violence against women has been routine.  We may have grown up imagining life as a Huxtable, but unfortunately, life has been more like Law and Order: SVU.  Too many women have stories like those reported about Cosby.  The female collective conscience is without challenge.


But something has been challenged: silence is not golden.


Girls' rites of passage did not include education addressing sexual violence.  Girls were instructed to keep it private, to say nothing.  "Shhhhhhhh......what did you do to make him think he could do that to you?"  Rape?  "What were you wearing?  Did you lead him on?  Were you teasing him?"  Molested?  "Where did you learn that word?  You must be mistaken."  Abused?  "What did you do?"  Victims were told that if they went public, few would believe them, reputations would disintegrate, the family would suffer, and the cost of complaining was higher, more embarrassing and self defeating than the cost of silence.  Now, instruction and actions to combat sexual violence are part of today's coming of age.  The conversation has changed as women have stopped whispering and exposed the degradation. The actions of the past will not be a model for today's women.


Colleges and universities are talking.  Thanks to VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and CAMPUS ACCOUNTABILITY AND SAFETY ACT, educational institutions must provide clear policies and procedures for adjudicating charges of sexual misconduct and violence and reports must be made publicly available.  Freshman must receive awareness training.  The U.S. Department of Defense is talking.  It estimated that 26,000 men and women in the military were sexually assaulted in 2013, with only 3200 being formally reported, with less than 8% of attackers being prosecuted.  The STOP Act (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act) proposes the formation of an independent, professional, military office with a professional military staff who are trained to investigate and prosecute sexual assault crimes that occur in the military.  The workplace is no longer a casting couch for employment.  Laws and regulations to protect women from harassment, discrimination and bias have improved, but full implementation is still underway.  Women are talking.  Like the Cosby accusers, victims are sharing tragic stories of sexual violence and abuse in the hope that history won't repeat itself.


Stay part of the conversation and be part of the solution.  Use the Two Minute Activist to thank your representatives for passing the CAMPUS ACCOUNTABILITY AND SAFETY ACT and  support for International - VAWA.  Post on your representative's Facebook page or web site.  It's as easy as making Jello.  AND bring family and friends to the April 28th program.  See program announcement on page 1.■



Marcine Humphrey said of her attendance at an International Women’s Day event in Madrid, Spain, “That was a parade!

Men, women, drums and trumpets....lots of signs and banners... 5 blocks crammed!  Purple everywhere!  I got to cheer and clap, not sure exactly what they said!..I cannot tell you how excited I was today!  It was huge.  I loved the young women in purple with their drums!”


Note: It is a worldwide event!  Those of you that missed it on March 7th at the Walkway Over the Hudson, plan to attend next year!  It is always March 8 or close to that.



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




Registration forms are now available on the AAUW-NYS website.  Join other women from Poughkeepsie AAUW for a great week-end.  Questions contact Mary Lou Davis 223-5544 or


WHEN: April 1719, 2015

WHERE: Byblos Niagara Resort, Grand Island, NY


Detailed information available in the FOCUS, AAUW-NYS newsletter, that was sent to each of you in February and is available on our  website and type FOCUS in the search box. ■

LORRAINE ROBERTS (1930 - 2015)

Taken from the “Poughkeepsie Journal,” February 2015


Lorraine Roberts was born Philadelphia and educated in the Philadelphia Public School System.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in 1952.  She went on to receive her Master's degree from Columbia University.  She also studied at SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany as well as Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.


In 1952, Lorraine had her first teaching job at Union High School in Bowling Green, Virginia.  She left, Bowling Green to marry Arthur M. Roberts in 1954.  They moved to Rochester, NY were their sons, Kevin and Harlan were born.  They moved the family to Wappingers Falls in 1963 and she became a substitute teacher with the Arlington School District and her husband worked with IBM.  In 1966, she began teaching business at Poughkeepsie High School; ultimately retiring as Occupational Education Chairperson in 1996.  After her retirement from Poughkeepsie City School District, she became a consultant for the New York State Department of Education until 2002.


Lorraine loved to travel the world and would catalog all of her trips through picture and caption.  She loved to learn of new places and the culture of different peoples.  Her involvement with the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, her faith in God and church, along with countless community groups and organizations kept her endlessly involved.  She was a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Wappingers Falls, where she faithfully served as church historian and as a member of the Black History Ministry.

She was a member of the board of the Catherine Street Community Center, the Dutchess County Historical Society (past president) and chairperson of its Black History Committee, the Dutchess County Girls Scouts, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, the March of Dimes, the United Way, Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW as well as numerous other organizations.  She received countless awards and honors including the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award in 2011, the Alexis de Tocqueville award presented by the Dutchess County United Way in 2010, was a 2007 Legends of the Hudson Valley honoree, was a 1997 Catherine Street Community Center MLK breakfast honoree, as well as a 1992 Black Achievers Award, presented by Beulah Baptist Church. In 2008, she led a campaign to honor Jane Bolin, the first black female judge in the United States and Poughkeepsie resident with the unveiling of her portrait which hangs at the Dutchess County Family Court building.


She will be remembered as a faithful servant of God, community activist, educator, historian, and voice of reason. ■



Cathleen Kinn


In the news a while ago, there was an article concerning a parent’s complaint about a book being used in her child’s class.  She took the complaint to the principal who, following written procedures in place, set up a hearing for the parent and the book.  The parent was respected and heard in a calm setting as were the book’s advocates, and a decision was reached.


Did you know that this procedure worked out so well because of our Poughkeepsie AAUW branch?  Back in the late 80’s, national AAUW saw increasing challenges to books used in schools and calls for censorship and asked AAUW members to take this on as a project.  What was happening too often was that when an angry parent approached the school administration, the book would be removed rather than risk confrontation.


I remember writing to every Dutchess County superintendent and principal and asking if they had a procedure for handling these cases.  (This was done on my PC AT  and the Pro-printer was used to produce them – a revolutionary technique.)  Only one school had attempted to set something up but had not followed through.  We then sent them a magnificent model for their perusal produced by AAUW, which was adopted and for the most part is still in use today. ■


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.


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).