Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



Volume 32, Number 3                                                                                                                                                                                                             63rd year of publication                                                                                                                                                                  

Follow us at                                                                                      November 2018




Diana Babington *471-5385*


Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference


Know a middle school girl? A daughter, a niece, a granddaughter or just a special friend?  Someone you love and want to experience a day filled with wonder, joy and dreams?


Encourage her to register


Want to help a young girl leave her cocoon and transform into a butterfly? Send her the special invitation on page 5.




Join us on November 3rd


Just want to experience the joy of watching middle school girls spread their wings?


Be a part of this great day and come away, happy, energized, and with a renewed spirit.


To join us for a part of the day, or the whole day


Email Diana at


Or call 845-471-5385


We need your help on

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Dutchess Community College


Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. – Harriet Tubman

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. – Yoko Ono

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah

“Beyond Betty Crocker: How Americans Learned to Love Chow Mein, Stir-Fries, and Chinese Food”


Presented by

Dr. Willa Zhen* 


Thursday, Nov 8, 2018


7:00 pm


Unitarian Fellowship**

67 S Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie


Chinese food is one of the most popular types of cuisine in America.  Yet it was not always part of the American diet and for many Americans, Chinese food was foreign and exotic. When did Americans learn about chow mein, stir-fries, potstickers, and other beloved Chinese-American dishes?  How did they learn? And how did they learn to embrace these new flavors?


Dr. Willa Zhen, food anthropologist and professor at The Culinary Institute of America, will answer these questions at our November 8th meeting.  Offered in partnership with The NEA Big Read, this month’s program will tap into an underlying theme of the 2018 Big Read book selection, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.  The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


*More information below


**Directions: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie at 67 South Randolph Ave. can be accessed from Hooker Ave. OR take Route 9 to Sharon Dr. (near Holiday Inn).  At the end of Sharon turn left onto Beechwood then the first right onto Ferris Lane, next an immediate left to

S. Randolph.  The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie is on the right.


Questions: Monique Jones, 849-1692, Sandy Lash, 227-4650,



 Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


1       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

         Vassar Hospital, first floor conference room B

3       “Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference, see p. 1 and below

5       International Relations Committee: 3-5 pm

Location: Home of Chair, Marti Madory

13 Greenbush Drive, Hyde Park.  See below

5       Word Games: 1:30 pm

         Hostess: Sharon Fleury (471-7261)

         Coordinator: Susan Doyle (914/474-1232)

6       VOTE!  VOTE!  VOTE!

6       World Travelers: 7:00 pm

         Japan’s Cultural Treasures, Sheila Zwiefler

         Hostess: Barbara Van Itallie

         Coordinator: Bonnie Auchincloss (635-5191)

7       Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

         The Artist’s Palate, Poughkeepsie

         Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545) 

8       Canasta: 1:00 pm

         Hostess: Barbara Cohen

         Coordinator: Barbara Cohen

8       General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on p. 1 & below.

9       Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: Kathy Friedman (485-8671) &

Susan Fink (473-3168)

10     “The Branch” deadline for December

10     Bridge III: 10:00 am

         Hostess: TBA

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner (298-7732)


12     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Persuasion by Jane Austin

Hostess: Karin Fein

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

13     Movie Night: 4:00 pm (Time TBD by show)

Movie: Group members will be notified the

         Thursday or Friday before - sign up with Linnea.

         Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Linnea Masson

14     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm

          Red Lobster, Route 9, Poughkeepsie

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by November 12

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

14     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Debby Luders (223-7397)

         Coordinator: Linda Ronayne (897-9745

15     Aventures en Soleil: 1:00 pm

         Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh, NY

Contact:  Janna Whearty

         Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

16     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 1:45 pm

         Inspirations from the Dodge Festival

Hostess: TBA

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

                  Barbara Hugo

17     Days for Girls: 1:30-4:30 pm

         Friends Meeting House, Hooker Avenue

Chair: Sabashnee Govender (914/850-0195)

19     Manderley Literary Society: 7:00 pm

         The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Hostess: Linda Lurie (229-9397)

         Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

28     Contemporary Literature: 4:00 pm

         Contact Coordinators for book and hostess.

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

29     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

         Project: Origami Star

Hostess: Pat Luczai

         Coordinators: Pat Luczai (463-4662) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)        



         Contact Coordinator for date, time & place.

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)





Art on the Go:

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

Bridge II:

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 


         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


Pedal Pushers: Watch for our return in April.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler

Photography Club:

         Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553)




Dec 7: Observance of 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, see below

Dec 13: “More Beautiful for Having Been Broken,” a discussion of “Unshattered," a nonprofit social enterprise that employs women who are “winning their fight against addiction.”  Presented by Kelly Lyndgaard, founder and Rachel Hermosillo, Sales Lead. See below.

Apr 14, 2019: Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction, The Links,

Apr 26-28, 2019: AAUW-NYS Convention,

The Otesaga Resort, Cooperstown



Diane Jablonski  *485-6228*  


The new national AAUW strategy includes as one of its values: Inclusivity and Intersectionality.  My conclusion is that the intent is to expand and build on diversity which was used in the past.  Inclusivity is easy for us to understand – it means including people of all races, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religion, economic status as a foundation for everything we do.  Intersectionality is a new term, not part of our normal vocabulary. 


My research on intersectionality found the following explanation from the IWDA (International Women’s Development Agency):  Intersectionality is “the complex, cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect.”  Essentially discrimination doesn’t exist in a bubble – different kinds of prejudice can be amplified in different ways when put together.


On the AAUW website, they discuss “intersectionality as acknowledging multiple overlapping social identities and related systems of oppression.  As women, we are oppressed by the patriarchal societal culture, but there is still a difference in how and to what extent we experience oppression based on our race, ethnicity, ability, appearance, culture, economic status, gender expression, sexual orientation, and more.” 


In the past, we used the term “diversity” and we had a diversity committee; I applaud the work they did to sensitize our membership to multiple issues of ethnicity, race, and economic status.  After some personal reflection, reviewing the new national strategy, and considering all our current efforts I determined that we need diversity - really inclusivity and intersectionality – in all aspects of our work in the AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch.  It is the responsibility of every board member, every member, every leader in whatever position, to reflect and understand their own biases and then work to ensure that the activities they lead are inclusive. it is unrealistic to expect that one committee will make us “diverse.”


I am heartened to see that many of our programs are inclusive.  Just reviewing our program meetings for several years, we see many topics that address different religious, ethnic, and class issues.  Our Woman of the Year last year represented the Latina community.  Our initiatives are very inclusive.  The program that the International Committee is planning for this year is called “International in your Own Back Yard” which will address the many differences and perspectives in our own community. 


So, where do we go from here?  At our October board meeting we discussed how we should go about updating our branch strategy (last updated for the 2014-16 period) to bring it into line with our current programs and align with the national goals encompassing inclusion and intersectionality.  Several board members volunteered to form a committee that will begin working on our strategy over the next few months.  If you are interested in helping to update the strategy, please let me know and I will invite you to our first meeting.  We need perspectives that help us address inclusivity with a multi-dimensional perspective – so please step forward and help us create a robust strategy where inclusion is truly a value exemplified throughout everything we do.




Dr. Zhen will take us on a journey that explores the culinary world beyond Betty Crocker to help us understand the role that food plays in the assimilation of cultures.  Her talk will specifically highlight some essential Chinese and American cookbooks of the novel’s time period to examine how Chinese food became part of the American diet.


Interestingly, with Chinese food now fully incorporated into the United States’ culinary repertoire, Dr. Zhen’s talk will also examine the struggles that first generation Chinese-Americans experienced when seeking to embrace standard American fare while still honoring the traditional cuisine of their immigrant parents.


Trained as a social anthropologist, Willa Zhen holds a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of London.  Her research has focused on culinary training, skills, and identity among cooks in Guangzhou, China. Her book, Food Studies: A Hands-on Guide, takes an experiential approach to teaching food studies concepts and is due for release in December 2018.


Named Amazon’s # 1 Best Book of 2014, Everything I Never Told You was Celeste Ng’s debut novel.  Set in Ohio during the 1970’s, the story explores “the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family.” ■




Monique Jones *849-1692*


December 13th @ 7 pm: Founder Kelly Lyndgaard and Rachel Hermosillo, Sales Lead, will speak about “Unshattered,” a nonprofit social enterprise that employs women who are “winning their fight against addiction.” Remember to bring your holiday shopping lists, as handbags and other products made by the women of “Unshattered” will be available for purchase. ■



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


We Must Persist


Disappointment disparages.  Injustice infuriates.  Frustration confuses. Anger blindsides.  Discrimination disenfranchises.  Sexism segregates.  Embarrassment breeds shame.  Anxiety triggers self-doubt.  Defeat surrenders. 


Surrender?  Surrender?  Well this Dorothy is not surrendering.  It’s not my circus and they are not my monkeys and I’m ready to challenge.  I have my own flying squadron and they are called women voters.


The appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court defies logic, reason and decency.  Long before the Ford testimony was heard and the callous attitude toward sexual assault victims was put center stage, AAUW was opposed to his appointment.  Despite repeated national attempts by citizens, universities, professional associations and politicians, the voice of the majority was ignored.  In what amounts to a kangaroo court, partisan politics elected a candidate with predisposed political opinions, a questionable pattern of temperamental behavior (sexual assault, alcohol abuse and gambling) and judicial inexperience.  It is further believed Kavanaugh will be implementing a personal and conservative executive agenda that overturns Roe v Wade, grants presidential pardon power for state crimes and exempts the President from being charged with any crime and testifying in any court. 


Today, for just the day, I will wallow in melancholy.  But tomorrow, the warrior rises.  I will invigorate my urgency to change frustration to purpose.  I will not be blindsided but focused.  I will not bypass an instance of discrimination or allow sexism to deny equal rights or set anyone apart.  I’ll listen to my inner voice and squelch anxiety.  Embarrassment and shame will dissipate as confidence and self-worth challenge oppressors. 


My signs are ready:

“I will not go back.”

“I can’t believe I still have to protest this @#$&*+% @#$&.”

“I was here in 1970 and I’m not leaving.”

”Nasty Woman.”

“Oh no you won’t!”

“Thank you, Grandma...I’m continuing your fight.”

I’m ready to walk the Walkway, the streets, Constitution and Pennsylvania Ave. 


I will tell every women I encounter to vote on November 6.  My social media sites will remind women to vote.  I will notify my representatives why I will be or will not be voting for her/him. 


What we thought was a war seems to have been a battle, and “she who continues the attack, wins.”  We can win this.  Vote on November 6.



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Several of our Leading to Reading supporters have been donating funds each year.  They are happy to sponsor programs which expand our early literacy efforts.


A big thank you again goes to the Wappingers Congress of Retired Teachers (WCRT).  They have made a donation each year.  In addition, many WCRT members are some of our most devoted volunteers and have help deliver books, read to young children, and put many beautiful books in the hands of needy children in our area.


We truly appreciate their ongoing support! ■





Marti Madory *471-8577*


Based on responses to a survey, the International Relations Committee of the Poughkeepsie Branch will look first at issues related to religion, immigration, and refugees.  But there will be opportunities for a variety of interesting activities within those topics.  They will take form on various levels, ranging from world to community to branch to personal.  The Committee will continue to support Days for Girls, and recently helped assemble 30 feminine hygiene kits for girls in Tanzania – our contribution to the organization’s goal of 100,000 kits distributed worldwide.


Other activities to be considered are the screening of a film followed by speakers and discussion, and the establishment of an internet-based International Community Bulletin Board, available to sponsoring organizations and the public that features international activities taking place within the Mid-Hudson area as well as related resources at local libraries and colleges, etc.  This page would have links to sponsors’ pages, and feature a calendar for international events open to the public (like our Branch’s monthly programs).


We also expect to participate in the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the International Human Rights Declaration on December 7 (See below), as well as International Women’s Day and woman-centered sessions at the United Nations in March.  The opening of the sake factory being built by a Japanese company in Hyde Park, in conjunction with an expansion of the Asian cooking curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America, will present opportunities for cultural enrichment.  Finally, we can launch a Global Friends program that will enable women from various religious and international backgrounds to gather in home settings to discuss their differences and discover their similarities – with the goal of building personal relationships and understanding.


For further information, please contact Marti Madory, Chair of the International Relations Committee. ■


KNOW A 6th, 7th, 8th GRADE GIRL? Invite her to join us and send her the following invitation:


HAVE YOU EVER                  

...thought about how others see you?


...thought about how to stand up for yourself and others?


...thought about how to become successful?


...thought about how others can make a difference in your life?


...thought about your future?





...wanted to have lunch with influential women?


...had an opportunity to interact with college students?




...Meet Senator Sue Serino, Assemblymember Didi Barrett, and many other women leaders.


JOIN US on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Dutchess Community College to find the answers to your questions!


Email us at to reserve your seat. Or go to for information.


Registration is filling up…SIGN UP TODAY!



Betty Harrel *462-2141*


Each year, we have the opportunity to honor a few of our dedicated members.  Some are in leadership roles and others stay in the background to help projects and events run smoothly.  All of them forward our AAUW mission.


When we donate $500 to one of the national AAUW funds, we are able to name a grant in a member’s honor.  Last year we were able to commemorate six of our members.  In addition, for the past several years we have presented the Cornerstone Award.  It is given to a member who embodies the spirit of AAUW and acts as a “cornerstone” of our organization.  Past recipients include Margaret Nijhuis, Gloria Gibbs and Mary Coiteux.


If you would like to serve on the selection committee or have someone in mind as an honoree, please contact Betty Harrel at or 845-462-2141.  We generally hold one meeting and do the rest of our work through emails.


Thanks for your help!



Barbara Hespenheide *452-3241*


Occasional sharing of information from our AAUW Poughkeepsie Branch History Boxes - housed in the Local History Room at Adriance Library.


Before Eleanor Peck, MD was honored as our Woman of the Year in 1979, she was on our membership list of 1939-40.  All phone listings of that year had four digits!


In 1971-72 we had programs on "Crisis in Public Education", "A Dollar's Worth", "This Beleaguered Earth" and "We the People". ■



Susie Blecker *462-7074*

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478*


Our New Member Reception on October 11th was a huge success.  Many of our new members joined us and had an opportunity to get to know each other and our board, as well as being treated to great food and a fantastic program.  As we have said before, the secret to getting the most out of membership in our organization is to become involved, so we were thrilled to see so many of you at the meeting.


We want to thank the following people for making our New Member Reception a success, our Program Chairs, Sandy Lash and Monique Jones for presenting their fabulous program, Margaret Nijhuis who helped publicize our event within our organization, the AAUW Board Members who brought the yummy desserts and the Poughkeepsie Children’s Home for providing the food, speaker and venue for our event.


Finally, welcome to our latest new members:


Paula Fagan             Elva Adams

Judith Longacre      Phyllis Cort



International in your Own Back Yard

Marti Madory *845-337-6177*


The International Relations Committee would like you to make note of these two events and plan to join us.

·        Wednesday, December 7: The observance of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the FDR Library’s Wallace Center.  More information will be available in the AAUW December newsletter, AAUW website, and Facebook.

·        Monday, November 5: The next meeting of the Committee will be at 3-5 pm, at the home of the Chair, Marti Madory, 13 Greenbush Drive in Hyde Park.  For further information, check the website or contact Marti at 845-337-6177.■




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)

Lula Allen, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs, Sandra Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel, Margaret Nijhuis, Terry Schneider


Sponsors ($10 or more)

Mary Ann Ryan


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


Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2018-2019


President                              Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Program Co-VPs                 Monique Jones                      849-1692

                                             Sandy Lash                           227-4650

Membership Co-VPs           Susie Blecker                        462-7074

                                             Sheila Zweifler                      462-6478

Development VP                  Jocelynn Banfield                 454-5551

Communications VP            Bonnie Auchincloss              635-5191

Secretary                             Ruth Sheets                           473-6202

Treasurer                            Patricia Luczai                      463-4662

Membership Treasurer       Mary Anne Hogarty              221-0203

Association website:                                

Poughkeepsie Branch website: 


To advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.


In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks an inclusive membership, workforce, leadership team, and board of directors. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographical location, national origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.