Friday, July 27, 2007

International Committee Report - July 2007

Jeanne Townsend reports:

Our Branch has contributed $1,000 to the IFUW Bina Roy Projects. We gave $250 to four countries.

Zimbabwe-A national scholarship program aims to assist girls whose families cannot afford to continue to keep them at school. Many are sponsored to take exams which enable them to go to university.

Sierra Leone- This is a country where many girls do not go to school at all, or are taken out prematurely because of the cost of their education. This is compounded by the devastating civil war. This scholarship supplies one or more of the following, tuition, books, study materials, uniforms, examinations ,lodging and transportation.

Cameroon- Cameroon continues to advocate for the improvement of the status of girls and women, to encourage life-long learning and to encourage female graduates to use their expertise to effect change in society. They give awards to motivate high school students who have excelled both academically and through their sporting successes.

Bangladesh.-Health, education and vocational project for women and children living in a rural community. Emphasis on primary education, literacy courses and tailoring skills.

Sept. '07 Meeting: The Kodi Children of Miyuga, Kenya

Last September our speaker was Christine Dinsmore who spoke to us about the Kodi Kids of Miyuga, Kenya.
The father of these five children died and their mother is ill. An uncle promised his brother on his deathbed that he would make sure the children finish school. Christine Dinsmore has rallied Ulster County to "adopt" them. She will give us an up-to-date picture of this family and their needs. There are two additional projects that are looking for support. One is to bring safe water to the village and the other supplies solar cookers and training to women in the village. It is possible that the uncle can also join us.

David Marrell explained the difficulties families in Miyuga face in ensuring they have wood for cooking and water for sustenance and cleaning.He is working to provide solar cookers and hopes to drill a well in the town.

Peggy Kelland, the NYS AAUW International Officer,
answered many of our questions on AAUW International Projects and the new relationship between AAUW and CARE.

Convention Attendees Affirm Bylaws Changes

Thanks to Jeanne Townsend for sending this on for posting:

In case you both missed this, it looks as if our efforts to bring about one member/one vote have succeeded--that we will not have to attend a national convention to have our voices heard. A big cause for celebration! But regarding the complete separation of IFUW, I'm so glad we have your committee, Jeanne, to find our own links to this important work of helping women abroad.

Best wishes--ViVi

Sweeping changes to AAUW’s organizational structure were approved on Sunday, July 1 at the National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Passed by a unanimous vote, the dramatic changes will move the organization forward.

The largest alteration is structural in nature—AAUW and the AAUW Educational Foundation will combine most their assets and programs to work effectively around a single mission. There will be one board of directors for this new conglomeration. Between now and 2009, a transitional board of directors will oversee the changeover. AAUW will be better positioned to proceed in a sustainable and successful way.

In other changes, online balloting was approved realizing a “one member, one vote” system for future elections. Maximum terms for elected officials, new procedures for filling vacancies, a new audit committee and restructured nominating committee also comprised the bylaw changes. Finally, all references to the International Federation of University Women have been struck from the bylaws except for the acknowledgement of international reciprocity.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July Board Meeting

Yesterday the branch board met for the July meeting. I filled in as recording secretary for Louise Flood but I forgot to ask whether I could post the minutes here so everyone could stay up-to-date. If it's okay, I'll post a pdf of them when they're finished.

But, as you can see if you scroll down or click on the 'Member Profiles' label, I took lots of pictures to help get the members' profiles underway. (These are my descriptions and I'll gladly change the picture and/or the text when you send me your own profile.)

The board got their first look at this blog and a lesson in how to post events on the calendar and make comments. I'm waiting to see how good my teaching is.

Susan Holland - A bit of everything

Susan Holland has been Kingston AAUW's webmaster. She's joining forces with Ruth Wahtera to develop a communications committee. Would you like to join us?

Our challenge? To integrate the web and written communications, ensuring everyone can stay posted whatever their preferred method of communication.

Susan is a technical writer for IBM. We guess all that training at U Mass and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute paid off!

  •  Public Policy Chair, 2010-11
  • Interim Co-president, Winter 2010
  • Recording Secretary, 2008-09, 2007-08
  • Web master and co-chair, Communications Committee, 2008-09, 2007-08
  • NYS District 5 Coordinator

Kathy Pauker, Corresponding Secretary

Kathy Pauker joined AAUW because she found kindred spirits -- people who share an interest in the world around them and especially the issues confronting women today.

Kathy will serve as our corresponding secretary this year.

Jeanne Townsend, Liaison with the World

Jeanne Townsend keeps the branch up-to-date on AAUW's international work.

Traveling must be in her blood. She has served as the Trip Treasurer for some time.

She hails from upstate New York and attended Cornell University.

Elaine Hammond, Always Ready for a Challenge

Elaine Hammond stepped right up to the plate to help out. She's a new member and a new officer.

Elaine is a retired clinical nurse specialist (RN). She may be retired, but she's busy. In addition to AAUW she volunteers at Meals-on-Wheels, for the ACLU, and SERVE.

Elaine likes a challenge -- she has decided it's time to master the computer. We expect to see her posting to the blog in a month or two.She spends her quiet time painting in oils and reading. She also loves to travel.

AAUW leadership activities:
  • 2008-09; 2007-8 Elaine shares the membership vice presidency with Polly Langer.

Denise Springer -- Ooo-La-La!

Dennis Springer still speaks to us with a bit of a French accent. She grew up in France, attended the Sorbonne, and continues her career teaching French as a foreign language.

She is passionate about music and the great outdoors. She supports the Ulster Chamber Music Society and the John Burroughs Society. She swims, gardens, and walks to be outside.

And, like most AAUW members, she loves to read. You'll find her at our book discussion group each month.

She adds an international perspective to all our discussions.

AAUW leadership activities:
  • 2008-9 - Corresponding Secretary
  • 2007-08 Hospitality Chair

Meet Bette Nitzky

Rumor has it Bette knows everyone in Ulster County. She broke records as our membership VP because she never hesitates to reach out to people. She picks up the phone and makes you feel welcome.

If Bette isn't at a meeting, she's off to some exotic spot around the world. Or maybe in Albany grading Regents Exams. Or having her knees replaced.

  • President, 2009-2011
  • VP for Programs, 2008-09
  • VP for Membership, 2006-07
  • NYS AAUW Hall of Fame for Membership

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Kingston AAUW Newsletter Archive

Help More Women Manage the Cost of College

Update: On Tuesday, July 10, the White House threatened to veto the bill. Despite the 47 Republicans who joined the 226 Democrats who voted for the bill in the House, the bill fell 17 votes short of the amount needed to override a presidential veto.

Higher education has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity in the American economy. The cost of college escalates each year. Women are more likely to borrow for their education than men and will make less on average after graduation. As a result, female graduates are more likely to struggle with their loan debt.

AAUW believes access to higher education is imperative to helping women obtain financial security and economic independence. We ask you to take two minutes to support pending legislation that will make the cost of college more manageable.

Both chambers of Congress will soon be voting on bills that will substantially alter America's financial aid system. The College Cost Reduction Act (H.R. 2669) in the House and the Senate companion bill, the Higher Education Access Act (as yet unnumbered) seek to overhaul the student aid and debt relief system and make college more affordable for students and their parents.

The Senate is also considering the Higher Education Amendments (S. 1642), which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

Take Action!
Urge your members of Congress to pass these college affordability reform bills to reduce the barriers many face in attending college. Read more and use AAUW's Two Minute Activist to send a message to our elected officials.

Read AAUW's position paper on the HEA and our recommendations submitted to the House and Senate.
Photo by Lesliebyk