Tag Archives: Women’s rights

Empire State Virtual Branch NY AAUW Emerging Leader

 Congratulations to Jan Lisa Huttner!

Jan Huttner

After 35 years in Chicago, Jan Lisa Huttner and her husband Rich moved to Brooklyn in late 2012. And as soon as she had unpacked most of her boxes, Jan reached out to us and became a member of ESVB. An active member of AAUW Chicago Branch since 1983, Jan served as Membership VP, Program VP, and Historian. She also served on the AAUW-Illinois Board as Director of Leadership Development, Director of College/University Relations, and Director of International Relations.

During her tenure as Director of College/University Relations, Jan organized the WITASWAN Project (Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now), which was originally created an opportunity for joint programming between Illinois branches and their local campuses. The project was such a success that AAUW-Illinois soon found itself collaborating with WomenArts—the Fund for Women Artists—to go global. Since 2008, International SWAN Day has been celebrated at over 1,200 separate events in 20 countries (plus the USA). The next International SWAN Day is March 28, 2015, so plans for an ESVB celebration will be announced soon.

“My Dad was ‘a joiner,’ so I was raised to be ‘a joiner’ too,” says Jan. “But as an adult, especially in my work with AAUW, I have organized my own life around one single principle: Invisible Women. Too many women—not only in the past but also in the present—are ‘invisible,’ that is, not given their due either by their own cultures or by the world community at large. I want to give voice to these women not only for their sake, but on behalf of the women of the future. Women need to believe in themselves more than they do now, and one way to help them do that is to give voice to all the wonderful women who have paved the way.”
To learn more about WITASWAN and International SWAN Day, read Jan’s Book: Penny’s Picks: Fifty Movies by Women Filmmakers available from Amazon on Kindle and POD.

Caption: Jan gives us her introduction to the WITASWAN Project on October 18, 2014 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. (Photo Credit: Laura Fieber-Minogue)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Symposium / District IV Conference

Cady StantonPlanning committee for the ECSWC Symposium/ District IV Conference
Members of others local women’s organizations collaborating to plan the event  are pictured along with AGJ AAUW members -seated Sandra Maceyka and Helen Martin
Standing third from left – Bev Alves, Jennifer Garren, Jahnn Gibson and
second from right Laurie Kozakiewicz

SAVE THE DATE!  March 21
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Symposium / District IV Conference
Saturday, March 21 from 8:30am-3:30pm
Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery County BOCES Center, Rt 67 Johnstown,NY
Deadline to register- March 6
Registration fee – $35 and $15 for students

The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown AAUW branch invites all  to  attend the 5th Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Symposium at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery County BOCES Center, Rt 67 Johnstown (next to the Fulton Montgomery Community College)  on Saturday, March 21 from 8:30am-3:30pm.  The event will also serve as the AAUW NYS District IV Conference.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, NY in 1815. A year of events have been planned by the ECSWomen’s Consortium member organizations in celebration of the women’s suffrage leader’s  birth 200 years ago. The ECSWomen’s Symposium is the main event of the year.

We hope to have many AAUW members present to increase our visibility. (AAUW members will be given AAUW badges to wear at the event)  The conference is open to the public. The registration fee is $35 and $15 for students and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Registration forms with  3 workshops choices and  checks payable to ECSWC should be mailed by  March 6. Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown is the host branch and they are collaborating with other women’s organizations  who are also members of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium to present the Symposium. A registration form with more details is attached.
Here is a preview of the days offerings:
Session A Workshop Choices
1 Women on the Page (Greta Nettleton, Heidi Sprouse, Ruth Holland Scott)
2 Midwifery: the Second Oldest Profession (Julie Testi)
3 From Corsets to Spanx™ (“Victorian Lady” Sue McLane)

Luncheon Program: A Conversation with Coline Jenkins,
the Great-Great Granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Conducted by Stanton biographer Penny Coleman
Session B Workshop Choices
1 Johnstown’s Radical Daughter (ECStanton interpreter Melinda Grube)
2 RX for Better Health – Get Outdoors (Kelly Stang)
3 You Won’t Feel a Thing (Acupunture-Jennifer Voohees)
Session C Workshop Choices
1 A Glorious Woman – Getting to Know Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Penny Coleman)
2 Color: Then and Now ( makeup of the past and present-Sherry Wieszchowski)
3 For the Dancer Within You (Learn a new step- Carol Mattioni)

2015 Great Decisions

Great Decision Topics



1. Russia and the Near Abroad 4th Thurs, Jan. 29 Julie Kleszczewski
2. Privacy in the Digital Age 2nd Thurs, Feb.12 Dr. Elaine Fenton
3. Sectarianism in the Middle East 4th Thurs, Feb. 26 TBA
4. India Changes Course 2nd Thurs, March 12 Dr. C.S. Rani
5. The U.S. and Africa: The rise and fall of 4th Thurs, March 26 Nnenna Agba
6. Syria’s Refugee Crisis 2nd Thurs, April 9 Jayne Herrick
7. Human Trafficking: A serious challenge 4th Thurs, April 23 Maria Ellis
8. Brazil’s Metamorphosis 2nd Thurs, May 14 TBA
Charles Room, The Harvard Club, 27 W 44th St., 5:30—7:30 p.m.
For more information, email Julie K:  juliek@msn.com

Title IX

What is title IX?


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in education. It covers women and men, girls and boys, and staff and students in any educational institution or program that receives federal funds. This includes local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, career and technical education agencies, libraries, and museums. Music classes or choirs, sex education classes, and sports involving bodily contact are exempt from Title IX, as are religious institutions if the law would violate their religious tenets. Admissions policies at private undergraduate institutions are also exempt.

Did you know that Title IX requires recipients of federal education funding to evaluate their current policies and practices, adopt and publish a policy against sex discrimination, and implement grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee discrimination complaints? All schools must publicly appoint at least one employee to coordinate Title IX compliance.

Title IX affects all areas of education, including:

  • recruitment, admissions and housing;
  • career and technical education;
  • pregnant, parenting, and/or married students;
  • science, technology, engineering, and math education;
  • sexual harassment and assault;
  • comparable facilities and access to course offerings;
  • financial assistance;
  • student health services and insurance benefits;
  • harassment based on gender identity; and
  • athletics.

For more information about Title IX, email connect@AAUW.org.

Explore Your Opportunities: The Sky’s the Limit!

  EYO Balloon                          EYO 2014 Conference
                                    April 12, 2014 
                     College of Mount Saint Vincent
                        Riverdale (Bronx), New York

Congratulations to Lorrin Johnson, Wilma Gitchel and Marilee Scheuneman for another successful Explore Your Opportunities: the Sky’s the Limit Conference held on April 12, 2014 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York.

According to Lorrin, we have received great reviews from our 7th grade participants about all the 16 workshops given at this Conference including but not limited to 1) Flower Hour- Observe and describe flowers and discover similarities that group them and differences that make them unique. Elizabeth McCarthy, B.A., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Assistant, The New York Botanical Garden; 2.Brain Games- Learn about some of the mind boggling things a brain can do from making memories to controlling emotions.

Jenny Libien, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY; 3. Build A Paper Circuit – Make your own paper flashlight by conducting electricity with graphite and learn the engineering principles behind the experiment.

Valerie Myers, B.A., B.S., and Kristin Alfieri, M.S., Entergy’s Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant; 4. It’s a Sugar…It’s a Base…It’s DNA! – Discover the structure of DNA and learn how to isolate DNA from your own cells painlessly.

Jeanette Sutherland, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Sandra Aedo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Rockefeller University; 5. Playing Games in Alice World – Learn to create interactive games using “Alice” programming.

Mirkeya Capellan, BA, MS, DPS, Adjunct Professor, Pace University, IT Training, Resource Management & Strategic Project Specialist, Mercedes-Benz USA; 6. Build-a-Bot – Program a robot to respond to its environment and play “Keep Away”.Abigail A. Flower, Ph.D., Senior Member Research Staff, Philips Research North America.

All the workshop speakers got great reviews but our key note speaker, the Australian GPS girl, Karen Jabosen received the most accolades from our students. We were all very engaged and enjoyed her “Recalculate” motivational talk. I thought it would be fun to share with you that we just received a “thank you” note from the “GPS Girl” who went to Australia on business the very same day of our EYO Conference, quote “I have just returned from travels to Australia. It was such a pleasure to spend time with you and your team on April 12th. I hope the event was a huge success. Looking forward to staying connected. Thought you would enjoy seeing our son Hayden’s first picture with a Koala on our recent trip to Australia.  As you may know this is a real rite of passage for Aussie kids, especially in Queensland at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is where this was taken”.


 The GPS Girl

NY/NJ AAUW “WILD” Women Project

Eleanor Roosevelt
NY/NJ AAUW WILD” WomenProject

(Women In Leadership Development)

“Embracing Eleanor in
the 21
st Century”

1.  “Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way”

  • Robin Gerber’s keynote resonated with the membership at the AAUW National Convention in New Orleans in June. She agreed to support us in a year long/month by month/chapter by chapter study of her book “Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way.”
    Branch participation is encouraged via conference call by: -having a single member/6 members sharing calls & reporting back -Westchester Branch is mentoring college students with this book
  • This initiative will begin in January of 2014 for NY AAUW.
    If book groups are interested in reading this book, there is a reading guide by Robin.

2. Celebrating the International Day of the Girl on October 11th
There is no better way to honor the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt than promoting this celebration of girls that falls on her birthday, October 11th. This celebration is in its’ second year and we are delighted to spread the word.

The Youtube video “The Girl Effect” is a good way to educate your members of the plight of young girls in developing countries. www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e8xgF0JtVg
Be sure to visit The Girl Effect website for more information.  www.girleffect.org
Build on the last two years to create a platform for this program – Girls Speak Out; 11 Days of Action; Celebrate Girls on 11th of Every Month.
For many branches, this may be their first introduction to this special day.  Remember to start small/expand gradually/think in terms of year.

3.  Developing your own Branch ‘UN Women” Initiative
It is our hope that branches will take these ideas and design programs/projects that speak to their membership and community.

We have two AAUW NYS members working at the UN – Melissa Guardaro, the AAUW Representative and Geeta Desai, on the Membership Committee of the IFUW (International Federation of University Women).

Geeta is also the Public Policy Convener for Women Graduates – USA and has a blog that focuses on current issues facing women and girls. Here is the website for interested members– www.wg-usa.org/advocacyblog.

The CTAUN Conference this year is on Friday, 1/31/14 and members are welcome to attend. Its focus is “Promoting Peace through Education.” (www.ctaun.org)

Mark your calendars – you are cordially invited to attend the parallel events that will accompany the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings during the first two weeks of March 2014.

Interested in becoming a WILD Woman?
Contact Joan Monk, AAUW NYS District Director – ftmaven@gmail.com or 914 245 7704

The Women’s Equality Agenda Once Again Has Governor Cuomo’s Support

NY Women’s Equality Coalition is in
Full Swing to work for its passage

Good News-We have another opportunity to achieve the passage of the Women’s Equality Agenda. The Governor in his State of the State Address committed himself to advancing women’s equality. Did you know that 89% of NY Voters agreed that equal pay for women should be a high priority for state leaders and 80% support updating New York’s abortion laws

The Women’s Equality Coalition, which includes the support of 860 women’s groups, one of which is the Empire State Virtual Branch, businesses, religious organizations, medical groups, and advocacy organizations from across the state, is united in its efforts to mobilize New Yorkers and push legislators to get the job done in 2014. AAUW-NYS is on the Steering Committee. The measures of the Women’s Equality Agenda reflect the complexity of women’s lives–securing equal pay, access to reproductive health care, and freedom from discrimination and violence are all essential to women’s equality. New York State needs to update and strengthen its laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives today.

The coalition formed last year almost succeeded in having the WEA passed in 2013. They have continued to be very active. This fall they developed a grassroots campaign utilizing social media to spread the word each week about various issues in the 10 point WEA, calling for an upgrade in NYS’s outmoded laws. They created a satiric two-minute video Illegal or Just Sleazy that everyone must see. View the video and share it with others http://nywomensequality.org/?utm_source=SOTS+WEA+Press+Release&utm_campaign=SOTS+Presser+WEA&utm_medium=email

NYWEC plans to build on the fall campaign and throw its full weight behind advancing women’s rights and making the Women’s Equality Agenda law.  Please do all you can to raise awareness among those you know. Encourage all to contact their NYS Legislators asking them to pass this needed legislation that will make a difference for so many.

Nancy Mion, Empire State Virtual Branch Public Policy Chair Myown220@aol.com

2014 Great Decisions

2014 Great Decisions

Great Decision Topics



1. Defense Technology 4th Thurs, Jan. 30 Julie Kleszczewski
2. Turkey 4th Thurs, Feb. 27 Jayne Herrick
3. Islamic Awakening 2nd Thurs, March 13 Liz Voss
4. Energy Independence 4th Thurs, March 27 Dr. C.S. Rani
5. Food and Climate 2nd Thurs, April 10 Dr. Elaine Fenton
6. U.S. Trade Policy 2nd Thurs, May 8 Diane Daniels
7. Israel and the U.S. 2nd Thurs, May.22 Barbara Rossman
Charles Room, The Harvard Club, 27 W 44th St., 5:30—7:00 p.m.For more information, email Julie K:  juliek@msn.com

Empire’s Founders’ Day

Maria Ellis, President

It is with great excitement that I announce the creation of AAUW NYS Empire State Virtual Branch!  Our 1st founders’ meeting was held at Cazenovia College on July 19, 2012 during our AAUW NYS Summer Leadership Conference in beautiful town of Cazenovia in upstate New York.  We elected our officers, board of directors and welcomed all of our 25 founding members!  

Our 1st founders’ members’ meeting was very special because Mary Lou Davis, AAUW NYS president and Eileen Hartmann, Nancy Mion, Diane Haney AAUW NYS past presidents as well as AAUW NYS state board members and branch presidents participated in our 1st founders’ meeting.  Also, there was representation from our many branches throughout our seven districts including the North Shore Branch, the Islip Area Branch, Westchester Branch, Staten Island Branch, Rockland County Branch, Kingston Branch, Poughkeepsie Branch, Amsterdam, Gloversville & Johnstown Branch (AGJ) , Oswego Branch, Jefferson County Branch, St. Lawrence Branch, Fairport Area Branch, Greater Rochester Branch, Buffalo Branch.

There are many AAUW friends that I would like to especially thank for their support in the creation of the AUW NYS Empire State Virtual Branch including Ruth Wahtera, Donna Seymour, Phoebe Forbes, Joan Monk, Ruth King, Melissa Guardaro, Roli Wendorf, Jean Havens, Doris McLallen, Dayra Bernal-Lederer, Dr. C.S. Rani, Lorrin Johnson and countless others.

Special thanks to the president of the Greater Rochester Branch, my friend Marilyn Tedeschi, who reminded us that “July 19th is a Special Day for AAUW Empire State Virtual Branch and a Special Day for Women’s Rights!”

First Women’s Rights Convention, Held July 19 & 20, 1848.

This Convention issued the first Declaration of Independence for Women, declaring that “all men and women are created equal.”  While this may not seem radical now, in 1848 the new “women’s right movement” was  very radical and the woman who started it met with much abuse.  The Convention, which was organized in just a few weeks, took place in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York, and proves that “a small group of dedicated people have the power to change the world.” And, indeed, they did.

We, the women and men of AAUW now walk in these brave women’s shoes!

AAUW – Women Determined to Succeed

The 17 women who founded AAUW in 1881 were college graduates with great potential in a world that seemed reluctant to let them succeed. They were determined to make their own pathways and refused to wait for someone to do it for them. Thus, they founded the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in Boston. Forty years later, the organization would merge with the Southern Association of College Women to become the American Association of University Women.  Currently, AAUW is composed of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 600 college/university institutional partners. From the beginning, our mission has always been to provide education and opportunities for women and AAUW’s fellowship and grant recipients exceeds 11,000 women.

Welcome to the Empire Virtual Branch

As your Empire Virtual Branch president, I welcome you and invite you to embrace our AAUW mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our Vision is to continue to grow and to be a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education through research, philanthropy, and measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls. As an active member of AAUW NYS Empire State Virtual Branch, you belong to a community that breaks educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance. In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership including men and women. 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.

If you are reading these welcoming remarks and you are not yet a member, I encourage you to join us by clicking on the membership tab and becoming part of AAUW’s powerful voice!

Gratefully yours,
Maria Ellis, President
Empire Virtual Branch

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