Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Celebrating Our          Legacy, Enhancing Our Future



Volume 30, Number 10                                                             61st year of publication                         

Follow us at                                                                                             June 2017




Judy Linville *889-4802*


Thursday JUNE 8, 2017






If you are making reservations for more than one person, list all additional names.


Cost: $45 per person / if using PayPal (Credit Card) $47

Enclosed is __$_______________for ________attendee(s).


Make checks payable to Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.


Mail Reservations and checks to:

Judy Linville

PO Box 55

Staatsburg, NY  12580


To make reservations using PayPal, on, select the yellow (PayPal -Donate) button and follow the onscreen directions.  When PayPal asks for special instructions to Seller, click in that box and type Annual Dinner, your phone number and the full name(s) of those included in your reservation.  You do not need a PayPal account to use this method.  You do not have to contact the tea committee separately.  The cost for the event when using PayPal is $47 per person.


Reservations are due no later than May 29th and there will be no refunds after June 1st


Open seating, no table reservations





Betty Harrel *462-2141*


For the past few years, our members have generously donated small stuffed animals for the “Leading to Reading” project.  They are used in our Fuzzy Friend kits, which go to young children who are in stressful situations.  They provide something warm and comfortableto cuddle while the children enjoy their new books.


We’ll be collecting the animals at the annual dinner on Thursday, June 8.  They need to be small (up to 8”) so they can fit in one of our family reading kits and must be new. Please keep these young children in mind while you’re doing your springtime shopping!



You are cordially invited to attend the

Annual Meeting and Installation Dinner


Guest speaker

Sandra Opdycke

 will discuss

“When Women Won the Vote”


Thursday, June 8, 2017


Cash Bar at 6:00 pm

Dinner at 6:30 pm

Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel




Biography of Dr. Opdycke below.


Reservations Required: $45 / PayPal (Credit Card) $47


Reservations due no later than May 29th

(No refunds after June 1st)


Make checks payable: Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW Inc.

Mail check and reservation* to:


Judy Linville

PO Box 55

Staatsburg, NY 12580



Fruit Cup

Garden Salad


         Rib-Eye Steak or

         Sole Meuniere or

         Chicken Marsala or

         Pasta Primavera

Hudson Valley apple Crisp ala Mode

Coffee or Tea




*Mail reservations form is in the left column. 

Credit card reservations go to:




 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


1       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

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

5       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess: Bonnie Auchincloss (635-5191)

         Coordinator: Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

5       Live Your Dream Conference Committee: 5:30 pm

         DCC, Hudson Hall, Room 315.  See below

         Contact and Co-Chair:  Diana Babington (471-5385)

8       General Membership Program: 6:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on page 1.

9       Daytime Literature: 11:30 am


         Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

12     All those books...: 1:00 pm

         Lunch and Book Selection

         Shadows on the Hudson

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

13     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

14     Pedal Pushers: 10:00 am

         Bike to Millerton, 16 miles

         Meeting point: Rail Trail parking lot off Rt. 343, Amenia

         Leader: Sheila Zweifler

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

15     Aventures en Soleil: Call contact for time

         Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY

         Contact: Betsy Vivas (485-2379) 

         Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

16     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 1:00 pm

         Lunch and planning meeting

         Location: TBD

         Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney (518/947-6682) &

                  Barbara Hugo

19     Manderley Literary Society: 6:00 pm

         Pot Luck Dinner

         Hostess:  TBD

         Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

19     AAUW National

         Voting ends at 9 pm.  See below.

20     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Hawaiian BBQ

         Hostess: Maria DeWald (226-4960)

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


21     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Susan Fink (473-3168)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)

21     Photography Club: 7:00 pm

         Hostess: TBD

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553)

22     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

23     Art on the Go:


         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

24     Bridge 3: 10:00 am

         Hostess:  TBD

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

27     The Ediss Book Group: 6:00 pm

         Book selection planning session and dinner

         Hostess: Betsy Kopstein (485-7044)

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

28     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm  

         Location: TBD

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by 6/26

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)


Will meet but location and date TBD


         Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504) &

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 


No Meeting in June


         Contemporary Literature:

                  Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                           Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

         Diversity: Out of One Many People

                  Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


         Pins & Needles:

                  Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                           Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)      


                  Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)

         World Travelers:

                  Coordinators: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)



The Summer Events will be online and continually updated with any information sent by the Coordinators and Chairs!




July 21-23: AAUW-NYS Summer Leadership Conference,

                  Cazenovia, NY.  See below.


Sept: Open House – check for date later in the summer. Send

          names of perspective members to membership

         committee. See below.


Nov 4: Live Your Dream Girls' Conference, DCC


April 15, 2017:  Writers’ Tea & Auction, The Links



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960*


I was listening to NPR today and was lucky enough to catch at least part of an interview with David McCullough, perhaps the most honored of American historians, regarding his new book, The American Spirit: Who We are and What We Believe.  It is a brief but timely collection of his most important speeches designed to “identify core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background.”  He expressed that it was his hope that it would remind us who we are and help to guide us as we find our way forward in these reflective times.  He also noted that history is a series of stories, all of which are repeated over time.  When asked about one important lesson we might learn from these stories, he said it seemed clear that to accomplish anything, we needed to work together.


Having just returned home from the AAUW-NYS Convention this past weekend, the stories, reflections, history of AAUW are still with me.  Here are a few highlights:


Ø  The theme of Women & Power was represented powerfully through, for example, new insights into the suffrage movement (it wasn’t just the names we know, but the second phase of suffragists who finally won the day) or a real-life story of abuses in the workplace (from Yale administrator to whistleblower to years of retaliation to termination and personal loss to legal victory) or the many mission-based works showcased on the various AAUW Branch displays.

Ø  AAUW members are extraordinarily generous.  On-site fundraisers which included things like a basket/purse auction with items donated by the branches, a talent show, a Legal Advocacy Fund luncheon (the aforementioned Yale speaker could not have persisted without this), a swim-a-thon complete with the winning Mermaid and Merman, and so forth, raised over $5000.  Wow!

Ø  Workshops included themes such as Team Building and Collaboration, the Rochester COPE Project (Coalition on Pay Equity), A Blueprint for Intention and Actions, Sparrow’s Nest: One Women’s Passionate Journey to Fulfill Her Purpose, Getting the Inside Scoop, and Policing in the 21st Century.  In all cases, the presenters reflected on projects that can lead to success if individuals, branches, communities work together.

Ø  Gaining a deeper insight into AAUW through a Town Hall with National interim CEO Mark Hopkins (our new CEO arrives in July), State leaders (including many of our own!) who conducted a professional annual meeting with many bylaws changes and election of officers, counterpart and District (we are District 4) planning sessions, a reception for the State’s Emerging Leaders (including our own Sheila Zweifler) and other networking opportunities.


Continued on page 9...





Annual contributions from members help defray the expense of publishing The Branch and other communication expenses.  A special thank you to the members listed below who gave their support this year and, in the case of most, for many years in the past!


Anonymous, Catherine Albanese, Lula Allen,

Carol Barmann, Mary Ann Boylan, Marguerite Cotter,

Lillian DePasquale, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs,

Sandra Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel, Joanne Long,

Jacqueline Prusak, Terry Schneider


To continue your support or to add your name to the list for 2017-18, mail a check payable: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” to Margaret Nijhuis, 9 McAllister Drive, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569




Building Vitality


Summer Leadership Conference

July 21-23, 2017

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia, NY


Ø  Speakers:

                  Cordy Galligan, AAUW VP for Marketing and                           Communications: Harnessing our Energy!

                  Dr. Karen Pastorello, Professor: Labor Feminism

Ø  Programming

                  Small but Mighty: Simple projects for branch

                  Skillbuilding for Success: concrete skills for all

Ø  Participation: 

                  ALL AAUW members are invited!

                  Subsidized by AAUW-NYS

                  $115 for the entire weekend (2 nights, 6 meals),
                  $120 for paper registration

Ø  Register NOW!  Go to


Calling all AAUW Members – The world needs more women leaders.  The world needs YOU!



Betsy Kopstein-Stuts *485-7044*


At the annual meeting on June 8, 2017 the following members will be nominated by the nominating committee to serve on the board from 2017-2019.  Nomination can be made from the floor with the written permission of the nominee.


Program Vice President – Monique Jones


Born and raised in Fishkill, New York, Monique graduated from Boston University and subsequently received a Masters in Public Health from New York Medical College in 2009.  Currently residing in Hyde Park, she has worked at the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (formerly the Dutchess County Department of Health) for sixteen years.  In 2012 and 2013, in an effort to build community, Monique worked with her neighborhood Clubhouse Committee to help plan and organize programs for residents to attend.  She has been a member of the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW since 2015 and, through her membership, volunteered at Rib Fest 2015 and also assisted with the Girls’ Conference in 2016.  Along with her interest in history, Monique enjoys continuing education opportunities, cooking, and reading.


Program Vice President – Sandy Lash


Sandy Lash joined AAUW in 2009 and has enjoyed participating regularly in book club and attending the Writers Tea & Auction.  Her most intense involvement is with the Poughkeepsie Branch’s Court Monitoring Initiative.  After receiving training, Sandy has been monitoring cases involving domestic violence and orders of protection in Dutchess County Family Court and works with coordinator, Ann Pinna, and the other court monitoring team members, to develop training, improve the process and analyze data.  In July, 2016, she presented our chapter’s Court Watch Initiative at the AAUW Leadership Conference in Cazenovia, NY,


Sandy enjoys the stimulating discussions, friendliness and dedication of the women of AAUW and is looking forward to working with Monique Jones and the Program Committee to bring great programs to our 2016/2017 meetings.


Sandy received a BA from SUNY Stony Brook and an MSW from Adelphi University.  She is a NYS Licensed Certified Social Worker and enjoyed a 36 year career, mostly in the clinical administration of mental health clinics.  She continues to have a strong interest in clinical issues and in ensuring access to high quality services for vulnerable populations. 


Membership Vice President – Susie Blecker


Susie grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and was educated at Florida State University.  She taught secondary English in rural schools in Clewiston, FL and at a predominately black high school in Jeffersonville, GA.  Susie is particularly proud of the time she spent in Twiggs County, GA when she worked on desegregation of the library and other public facilities


Susie has lived in Poughkeepsie for 28 years and was a stay-at-home Mom for many years during which time she volunteered in the Spackenkill schools and was very active in the PTA serving as the district president.  Susie worked at Spackenkill High School for 11 years as a Teaching Assistant with Special Education students.


She has been AAUW's Program co-chair, "Emerging Leader 2015" and served Membership Vice President the past 2 years.


Membership Vice President – Sheila Zweifler


I was born in the Bronx. I received my BA from Queens College in Early Childhood Education.  My career began in Brooklyn. In 1970, my husband and I moved to Poughkeepsie. I received my MS in Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz. I continued to teach. My career spanned 32 years. After retiring in 2002, I went to work with my husband in his dental office. In 2010, I totally retired. I joined AAUW IN 2011. I started the interest group Pedal Pushers and was in charge of the Annual Dinner for two years. Currently, I am the assistant to the Membership VP.


Development Vice President – Jocelynn Banfield


Born in Monticello, NY, Jocelynn Kole Banfield moved to Poughkeepsie at the age of fifteen.  A 1963 graduate of Poughkeepsie High School, she attended SUNY Albany, transferred and graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1969.  She obtained a Masters of Humanistic Education in 1988 from the same university.


Jocelynn taught for thirty years in the Arlington School District, predominately as an eighth grade English teacher until her retirement in 2001.  On major accomplishment was coauthoring "The History of the Arlington School District" while on sabbatical in 1996.


Married with two children and two granddaughters, Jocelynn spends her time reading, playing Mah Jongg, entertaining, and working very part time at Route 9 Lamp and Light, a family owned business. ■



Susie Blecker *462-7074*

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478*




By now, you should have received the dues renewal notice in the mail with a return envelope.  Please send a check with your member profile to Mary Anne Hogarty or you can pay using PayPal/Donate and just mail your profile to her.  The directions for using PayPal are on the AAUW website.  There is a $2.00 surcharge if you use PayPal.  Returning the member profile is very important since it is our way to update any changes and to keep track of your interests and abilities.  This way we can contact you if we can use your special skills or if there is a pending activity we think might interest you.


If you feel you cannot renew we will be so very sorry to see you go but please let us know.  You can either check off the box on the renewal notice and return the form to Mary Anne Hogarty or call or email either Susie Blecker or Sheila Zweifler.


There is a June 4th renewal payment deadline to be eligible for the free National dues drawing at the Annual Dinner.  In addition, there is a September 15th payment deadline.  After that date, if you have not renewed for the 2017-2018 year, you will no longer receive the Branch newsletters, be able to participate in interest group activities, nor be listed in the Membership Directory.  Once you renew, your privileges will be reinstated.




Please remember, that in September we will be having our annual Open House.  Interest groups and Initiatives will set up tables to explain to prospective members what AAUW is all about.  No details yet as to date and place.  But, please think of those friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues who may wish to join our organization.  You can submit their names, addresses, and emails to Sheila Zweifler at  and they will be sent an invitation to the Open House.


We want to wish all our members a happy and healthy summer.  Hope to see you all at our Open House.



Mary Coiteux *226-8275*

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


Hats Off to our members who have been active at the state level for the convention and beyond.  Board members: Geeta Desai, Program Vice Pres.; Diane Jablonski, Treasurer; Betty Harrel, Administrative Director; Mary Lou Davis, Co-Director Convention.  Off board members: Margaret Nijhuis, Administrative Liaison; Peggy Kelland, District 4 Coordinator and Cyd Averill, Communications Liaison.  Convention Committee members: Marcine Humphrey who made 22 table decorations with a broken wrist and Linda Roberts as Treasurer of the convention.


Hats Off to Linda Roberts who has served as Poughkeepsie EOF Vice President (now Development VP) since 2011 and Chair the Auction Committee since 2009 – Co-Chair of the Tea since 2012.  She has worked tirelessly to provide funds for our scholarships and Community Service Initiatives.


Hats Off to Sandy Goldberg and Betsy Kopstein-Stuts for 2 years of amazing membership programs! And to Sheila Zweifler and Susie Blecker for serving and continuing to serve as Membership VPs.


Hats Off to all the women who headed up our special events, our Community Service Initiatives and our Interest Groups this past 12 months.  You are in a “Legion of Your Own!” ■



Judy Linville


Sandra Opdycke graduated from Vassar College in 1957.  After raising three daughters, she worked in mental health for a number of years and then in her fifties, earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History at Columbia University.  Ms. Opdycke taught at Bard, Vassar, and Marist Colleges.  She also wrote a history of Bellevue Hospital and the Routledge Historical Atlas of Women in America, as well as co-authoring several books on social policy.  In retirement, Ms. Opdycke continues to write and is currently working on a book about women’s suffrage.  She is an occasional lecturer at Bard’s Center for Lifelong Learning.


Ms. Opdycke’s talk at the AAUW dinner, “When Women Won the Vote” will describe the 70-plus year campaign that culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. She will discuss the notable energy and creativity of the New York State suffrage campaign, 1912-17.  In addition, Ms. Opdycke will highlight dilemmas the suffragists faced that are still relevant today—such as whether to pursue reforms at the state or federal level, how to widen the circle of involvement, and whether the best way to change people’s minds is through conciliation or confrontation.  Having the vote was certainly no magic bullet, but winning it was an essential step forward in the long history of American women’s struggle for equal rights. ■



Interest Groups


Art on the Go

July 28 & August 25: Though-out the summer, on the 4th Friday of the month, Art on the Go will be choosing scenic areas to paint, journal, or photograph. Anyone interested may join us. For information about the meeting locations, contact Mary.

Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


Aventures en Soleil

July 20: Harney Tea Tour Millerton, NY

          Contact: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

August 18: Crane Museum of Papermaking, Dalton, MA

         Contact: Betty Harrel (462-2141)

Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)


Pedal Pushers

July 12: 9:00 am

         Lagrange to Hopewell Jct., 16 miles

Meeting Point:  LaGrange Rail Trail

          parking lot on Old Manchester Rd.

August 9:  9:00 am

         Bike to Town of Lloyd, 14

         Meeting Point: Rail Trail parking lot on Overocker Rd.

Leader: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)


Movie Night

Time TBD by show.

The movie group does not usually meet in the summer months, but keep an eye out for a “pop up” movie night if a great movie is released. 

Director: Susan Osterhoudt


Producer: Diana Gleeson


Mah Jongg 12:00 – 4:00 pm

July 27 & August 24  

Location TBD

Coordinator: Blanche Bergman



Bridge 3 10:00 am-12:00 pm 

July 8: Hostess: Raina Maissel (297-8466)

August 13: Hostess: Mary Lou Davis (223-5544)

Coordinator: Donna Reichner (298-7732)


Bridge II

July 27 & August 24: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Red Lobster, Poughkeepsie.

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn


Bridge I 1:00-4:00 pm

July 19:  Hostess: Sandy Goldberg (297-7670)

August 16:  Hostess: Gloria Gibbs (454-7262)

Coordinators: Linda Ronayne (897-9745)



Walks & Hikes: TBD

If you can organize a walk or hike please call Tori.

Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)


“The Branch” Deadline

Aug 10 for the September issue.

No July or August newsletter.


Ediss Book Group 7:00 pm

July 25: Outline by Rachel Cusk,

         Location:  Mapleview Café for ice cream

August 22:All Things Cease to Appear

         by Elizabeth Brundage

         Hostess:  Cyd Averill

Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426 or )



July and August TBD

         Contact: Kay Saderholm (229-8545)


         Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)


Photography Club

Contact Carol Demicco (204-9553) about upcoming meetings in the summer




We are proud to announce that Qadan Mohamed, a sophomore at Marist College, has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Irene Keyes Memorial Scholarship to attend NCCWSL.  Qadan is one of 12 siblings born in the country of Somaliland and is the first in her family to finish high school and attend college.


Highly recommended by her professors, she became a member of and a top student in the Honors Program at Marist College.  The Honors Program at Marist provides students with academic and cultural enrichment through a series of seminars, events, and research opportunities.


Ms. Mohamed has quickly become one of the best students in the program.  Ms. Mohamed has helped plan an event bringing the headmaster of her Somali academy, Jonathan Starr, to Marist to discuss his work in Africa with the Honors Program students.  Starr gave a talk to the Honors students on April 3rd.  “Ms. Mohamed has been the heart and soul behind this event, and it was a profound experience for students contemplating how they can make an impact on the problems of our world.”  Qadan is involved in a wide range of organizations on the campus. 


Jonathan Star, founder of the Abarasso School in Somaliland, wrote that Qadan is from the countryside of Somaliland in the breakaway region of Somalia which is one of the “poorest and most war torn places on earth.”  As a girl in a conservative Muslim country, which prefers to invest in its boys, she obtained a scholarship to attend school.  If her gender “wasn’t challenging enough, she was born with one arm.”


Whether she is tutoring, volunteering at the Campus Ministry, or maintaining her 4.0 GPA, she is passionate about empowering women and girls.  She is hoping “to leave this conference empowered by all the women leaders in attendance, having formed lasting connections, and with a better vision of how to accomplish my plan to fight for the rights of women and young girls…”  Her dream is to someday put an end to the extreme practice of Female Genital Mutilation, all too common in her home country.



Contact: Sharon Clarke *473-9468*


August 18, 19 & 20


Hudson Valley Ribfest


Our Ribfest volunteers have raised money for Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) for 12 years!  We have been very lucky to have this opportunity to raise significant funds & have fun!


There will be an email to members in June about signing up as volunteers.  Ask friends and family if they would like to help.  Thanks to all the members who have volunteered over the years & new members who have just joined us.


Join us for





Sandy Lash & Monique Jones


June 15, 7:00 pm


As the new co-chairs of the program committee, Sandy and I invite you to join us in planning exciting and informative programs for the next two years.


A brainstorming meeting will be held on June 15th at 7:00 at Betsy Kopstein-Stuts’ home


100 Frost Hill Road

Pleasant Valley 12569


Please RSVP to Monique at or




Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Community readers.  Family reading kits.  Book Week celebrations.  Books for Babies.  Smiling faces and lots and lots of books.  These are all part of our Leading to Reading community initiative.


The project started in 2004 with a small group of enthusiastic volunteers.  Over the years, it has thrived and now includes many who read, sort, pack, wrap and deliver. Funds from members, the AAUW Writers’ Tea, AAUW-NYS, Little Kindness Fund, and Cuisine have supported our work.  More than 29,000 books have been donated to children from low and moderate income families in the Dutchess County area!


Community support has been a big part of our success.  This year we have received donations from Adams Fairacre Farms, Enterprise Process Service, Mid-Hudson Panhellenic, Wappingers Congress of Teachers, Wappingers Congress of Retired Teachers,  Kohl’s Associates in Action, Stewart’s Shops, Books for Kids, Love Effron, and several grants.  We work with a number of agencies, including Astor Early Education Programs, Abilities First, Community Family Development Center, AgriBusiness Child Development Center, Book Buddies, Grace Smith House, Tubman Terrace Academic Skills Program, Rural and Migrant Ministry, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center.  Our newest outreach, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, will place books in public areas where children often spend time.  Look for our crates in laundromats and courts.


Thanks to all who took part or supported Leading to Reading.   You’ve helped to build both literacy skills and AAUW visibility in our community! ■



Eileen Hayden *485-4399*


Searching the Branch archives is a great way to document the contributions made by our Poughkeepsie Branch to our community over the past ninety-two years. The following is a short sketch of AAUW involvement in county activism.


The Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW, along with the League of Women Voters (LWV) and Taconic PTA played an important role in the formation of Dutchess County Community College. Branch minutes from August, 1955 indicate considerable interest in the possibility of establishing a community college to fill a growing need for education beyond high school.  The Education Committee organized a program to acquaint members more fully with the purpose of such an institution.  In coordination with the Vassar College Field Work Office, a survey was constructed that would be sent to area PTAs for distribution to parents; to LWV members, and to industry and professional groups as a guide to future planning. October Board minutes note that the survey questionnaire will be distributed at the membership meeting along with a fact sheet listing need for a community college in Dutchess.  Member Leslie Koempel spearheaded the formulation of the survey.  Education beyond high school for the technical demands of business and industry, affordability and governance were key components of the fact sheet.


At the November Branch meeting, highlighted by a talk by the Dean of Orange County Community College explaining purpose and organization of OCCC, the surveys and fact sheets were distributed.  The Westchester Community College president spoke of his experience as head of a similar school at a following meeting.  Minutes through 1957 continued to report the progress of the proposal.


A letter voicing AAUW’s support and an offer to assist in the planning was sent to Board of Supervisors (now County Legislature).  The Supervisors were not instantly taken with the idea of supporting a community college but eventually saw the benefit to be derived and gave approval and formed a committee to consider logistics and a suitable site.  Funding would come from the State of New York, Dutchess County and student tuition.  By October of 1956 the site of Bowne Memorial Hospital had been chosen


Board minutes for August 1957 include a motion to send a letter of congratulations to new Board of Trustees of the fledgling community college including the interest of AAUW in higher education and still offering our service.  At the September meeting of the Board, a letter to New York Governor Averill Harriman endorsed AAUW member Martha Reifler to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees of the college and to inform him ”…that our 450 members were highly interested in education and have a continuing interest in the community college.”


Finally, in 1958, the first students matriculated.


The activism of AAUW in coordination with the aforementioned women’s groups, the “mothers of the community college,” played a key role in the formation of DCCC, an institution that has served our county for sixty years.  AAUW members, now as then, continue this tradition of activism in our programs and initiatives. ■




Diana Babington *471-5385*


Our meeting dates: Mark Your Calendar!


June 5, 2017

September 11, 2017 (the 4th is Labor Day Weekend)

October 2, 2017

October 16, 2017

October 30, 2016


All our meetings are at 5:30 pm at DCC in Hudson Hall, Room 315.



We need many volunteer to attend school open houses in September!


We need volunteer on the day of the

event (November 4).


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Continued from above...


Ø  Learning about important programs such as Becoming a Title IX Champion or Work Smart/Think Smart (salary negotiations) or the many fellowships and grants or leadership resources such as the Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit or that the National AAUW magazine, Outlook, will be digitally available starting in July. 


So many stories, so much history, so many fine members working together to sustain AAUW and its mission.  Well done all, especially our own Mary Lou Davis, Convention Coordinator, and her team which included several of our 10 delegates.


Don’t forget to vote on-line for National officers and bylaws changes.  Don’t forget our Annual meeting in June and please don’t forget to renew your membership so that the AAUW story can continue for a very long time!  Maria


VOTE! VOTE! You can still vote Online!

National AAUW election of officers and Board Members and bylaw amendments.


Ends June 19 at 9 pm


Your membership number and special voting number are on the back of summer issue of Outlook magazine or in an email you received April 17 from Mark Hopkins.


Questions: 800/326-2289



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2016-2017


President                              Maria DeWald                      266-4960

Program V.P.                               Sandy Goldberg           297-7670

                                             Betsy Kopstein-Stuts             485-7044

Membership V.P.                 Susie Blecker                        462-7074

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

Communications V.P.          Bonnie Auchincloss              635-5191

Secretary                             Katherine Friedman              485-8671

Treasurer                            Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Membership Treasurer       Mary Anne Hogarty              221-0203

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).