Category Archives: AAUW NYS Convention

Empire State Virtual Branch Won Many Awards !

Congrats to all the ESVB members and friends who made possible winning many awards at the AAUW NYS Convention
April 21-23, 2017
Doubletree, Syracuse, NY


1) Award of Platinum for our Programs

2) Award of Merit for our quarterly Empire Virtual Times newsletter

3) Membership Award with 7% increase for recruiting and maintaining members

Team Building and Collaboration Workshop AAUW NYS Convention, April 22, 2017

        Mary Holland

This workshop, with participants working together in a creative environment, focused on interactive problem-solving, hands-on-activity. As a result, we learned the importance of collaboration and team-building in achieving a common goal.  The workshop was led by Mary Holland, a Program Coordinator in the Office of Student Activities at Syracuse University where she assists over 300 student organizations. She holds a B.A. in political science and economics and an M.A. in higher education. Cate O’Connor is a graduate student developing and implementing leadership workshops for student leaders.  She has been selected as the Assistant Director of Evening and Weekend Programs at the University of North Carolina.

We began the exercise with everyone trying to shake hands with someone as if they didn’t want to! So we rose from our chairs and walked around pretending not to like shaking hands! Not easy and impossible for yours truly! Then we took a quiz that established whether we were blue, gold, green or orange as category of our basic personalities.  Although all of us have bits and pieces of the four color personality types, it is interesting to me to see what challenges each of these four groups face.

For instance, Gold is goal oriented, organized, structure oriented and punctual.  Golds tend to be very frustrated with lateness, lack of an agenda and see themselves as responsible, reliable, etc. Golds also dislike inefficiency, procrastination, lack of control and changes.

Whereas Oranges are spontaneous, optimistic, flexible, easy-going, using humor to lessen tension and are adaptable and understanding. They dislike interruptions, deadlines, criticism and micro-managing.

Blues, mediators, are relationship oriented, nurturing, sympathetic. Blues see when other people are being hurt.

Greens are logical, independent, interactive, calm etc. and dislike noise, unfairness, control. They resist being boxed in.

The workshop leaders asked us, What are your strengths? What makes you feel successful and satisfied?  Are you confident, persistent, insightful and inventive?  What areas do we need to stretch in?  Are you challenged and stressed?  Their advice, let it go!  Agree to disagree!  Discuss: what can we do to make this better?

Respect the other person’s gifts.  Be aware of buttons you may push that annoy other people.

So, take a deep breath, know thyself and try to see things through the lens of the personality of the person you are working with for optimum results!

Julie Klesczewski
ESVB Member

2017 AAUW NYS Convention Pictures



  AAUW-NYS President  Roli Wendorf

AAUW-NYS Past Presidents: Edwina Martin, Diane Haney, Nancy Mion

Interim Executive Officer Mark Hopkins
AAUW-NYS President Roli Wendorf


Louise Bernikow                                                                      Susan Daria Landino (formerly Burhans)
Saturday morning the opening plenary                           LAF litigant, speaker at the Saturday lunch

Michelle Rivera Clonch, PhD
director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center
The keynote speaker for Saturday dinner

Convention Attendees


A Tour and High Tea at the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

We know we are right; we know we shall be successful, we know the day is not far distant, when this government and the world will acknowledge the exact and permanent political equality of
man and woman.
– Matilda Joslyn Gage


Eleanor Aronstein, President, Schenectady AAUW

ESVB enjoyed the High Tea touring the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation!


2016 AAUW NYS Emerging Leader Award

2016 AAUW NYS Emerging Leader Award

Michelle Messenger photo

Michelle Messenger is a member of the Empire State Virtual NY Branch who was approved by the AAUW NYS Board during our 2016 Fall board meeting to be the 1st member of the AAUW NYS Student Advisory Board.  Michelle will be participating in our AAUW NYS Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY and will also be working with the Empire State Virtual Branch and the New York Institute of Technology on a one day joint conference on Friday, April 22, 2016 featuring the Start Smart workshop and a Career Fair.

Michelle is a senior at the New York Institute of Technology and will be graduating as an Engineer in May 2016.  She loves Math and Science and she founded the Society of Women Engineers at the NYIT. She was drawn to engineering because both her mom and grandmother were computer programmers. Michelle’s career aspiration is to create better things for people who need them. Michelle interested in bionics and would like to work on creating a device to help people walk or hear again!

AAUW-NYS Convention

Do you have concerns about handling your finances and college loans after college?


APRIL 16, 2016 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM

 The American Association of University Women New York State Board is pleased to announce and welcomes ALL College and University students to join us for a day of learning and inspiration!

Come and hear great speakers including our keynote speaker, Dean Nada Marie Anid, Professor and Dean of the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Her expertise includes Industry-academic partnerships; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Emerging Technologies; Sustainability; Global Engineering Education and STEM K-12 Outreach.

Dean Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., is the first female dean of NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (SoECS). In this role, she oversees 77 engineering and computing sciences faculty members and approximately 1,700 graduate and undergraduate students at campuses located in Manhattan and Old Westbury, N.Y., the Middle East, and China.

To pre-register for this educational and fun event, email Maria Ellis, AAUW NYS College & University Director at or for more information call 973-216-4181.


Do you have concerns about handling your finances and college loans after college?
This student conference includes a workshop with financial counselors.

AAUW-NYS 2015 Convention Speakers

Nancy Mion, our Empire State Virtual Branch Public Policy Director and AAUW Islip Area Branch Long Island Suffragists Committee Chair. Nancy comes by this naturally for her grandfather, Nathaniel Schmidt, a professor at Cornell, was an active suffragist. She is a member of the statewide NYCHTN Women, Right’s Committee. Nancy is currently: Islip Area Branch Program Vice-President & Public Policy Director; L.I. Interbranch Secretary/Treasurer; NYS Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Director; and a National AAUW LAF Committee Member. She is a past NYS President and Public Policy Director. She has been an involved dedicated committed AAUW member for 40 years. Her other abiding interest is the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Nancy was a librarian who received her BBA in Management from Hofstra University and her MS in LS from SUNY Albany.

If you would like a copy of Nancy’s Powerpoint presentation on the history of the suffrage movement especially as it applies to New York. Contact Nancy Mion at


If you were not able to attend Joan Monk’s presentation about Eleanor Roosevelt and Leadership: “Eleanor’s Alphabet Soup”, you can e-mail Joan at about interesting program(s) for your branch.

As you know, Joan is a fairy tale/happiness/play enthusiast engaging students of all ages in what has heart and meaning for her. With an e-mail moniker of ‘ftmaven’ she has been dubbed the “AAUW NYS Unofficial Director of Whimsy” because of her passion for fairy tales. As the former Education Director of the Peter Pan Children’s Fund, she has unlimited access to pixie dust, sprinkling it wherever she goes!

Her latest fairy tale endeavor is “The Wonder & Wisdom of Oz,” celebrating the 75th Anniversary of America’s favorite fairy tale with students from age 4-104. As a Master Teacher in the Yonkers Public Schools, Joan “worked her magic” lovingly there for nearly four decades. She considers herself “an inspired not retired” educator, having worked as an early childhood teacher, parent trainer, workshop leader and college professor. Now she is putting put volunteer work center stage in her encore career. Jacob Burns Film Center, Westchester Children’s Museum and The Academy for Character Education at Sage College all benefit from her energy and enthusiasm.

Inspired by the mission of AAUW, she joined as a ‘lifetime member” twenty years ago. She is a member of four branches in NYS: Westchester, Kingston, Poughkeepsie and ESVVB. At present, Joan is Special Projects Director, District V Coordinator and is chairing the NY/NJ WILD Project. She served as District Director, International Affairs Chair and Cultural Interests Director also. She lives in Yorktown with Rob the prince, Toto the dog, and Mushy the cat.

Congratulations to the AAUW NYS Convention Team!

Jane Russell

Jane Pfeiffer Russell

Congratulations and thanks to Jane Pfeiffer Russell, AAUW-NYS Program VP and the Convention Team for an excellent AAUW NYS Convention held on April 17-19, 2015 at the Byblos Niagara Resort and Spa Grand Island, NY.  Jane was the Moderator on Saturday Morning Panel of Municipal Leaders which included special guest, Kathy Hochul, NYS Lt Governor; Marjory Jaeger, Amherst Town Clerk; Julie Huntsman, Otsego Town Council; Crystal Peoples-Stokes, NYS Assembly; Lovely Warren, Mayor of Rochester.  The speakers were very informative and inspirational.

As you may know, in 2011, Jane was elected Supervisor for the Town of Pulteney. When taking office the Town was in arrears financially $20,000 and upon leaving office at the end of 2013 the coffers held over $300,000.  She has been a staunch advocate for antifracking in NY and held a position on the steering committee for Elected Officials to Protect NY.  During that two years much time was spend in lobbying the Governor,   the NYS DEC and the NYS DOH as well as local advocacy events. Jane joined AAUW in 1976 when she moved back to Steuben County and has held many local and state offices, including that of AAUW NYS Program Vice President in the early 2000’s.   She was part of the then widely visible “Living the Mission” program developed by the NYS Board under Evvie Currie’s presidency.

AAUW-NYS 2015 Convention Pictures

Maria and Others with Poster
     Kimberly & Others

Kim, Maria & Friends1     Maria and Edwina

Rani, Eileen, Maria, Joan   Roli and JaneHeide in Costume with 3 friends (s)       Rani and friend