AAUW NYS     Equity for Women and  Girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research     

District Council

AAUW-NYS Emerging Leader Award

Each New York State branch is asked to submit the name of an emerging leader to be recognized at the State Convention. This award is presented to branch leaders who are first term board members or officers or AAUW members who demonstrate leadership potential through their enthusiasm, creative ideas, and commitment to AAUW’s mission.

Every year we recognize new branch leaders who worked on branch projects, chaired events, raised money for various causes, planned programs, served on board positions and were involved in their communities.

Applications for 2015 are now available HERE.


Mary Lou Davis
District Council Director


See below for our recent emerging leaders!



Leslie joined the branch upon relocating to the region from the west coast. She immediately accepted the position of Publicity Chair to help increase awareness about AAUW programs and membership. She is especially proud of the National AAUW’s endeavors to encourage branches to partner with local colleges to expand awareness about AAUW and increase membership among young women.
As an active member of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, Leslie is re-establishing her organizational development consulting firm here. She participates on the Chamber’s Business Awards Council and is a speaker at their Network of Entrepreneurial Women on topics of interest to women, such as change agent skills and problem solving. One of Leslie’s goals for the branch is to develop local programs designed to help young women enhance leadership and business skills. Leslie is also a graduate of the Chamber’s prestigious Leadership Adirondack Program where she and classmates recently raised over $15,000 for a multi-county child abuse prevention center. Leslie serves on the board of directors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks, volunteers at the Glens Falls Feeder Canal Alliance, and supports the Glens Falls Symphony.
Leslie retired from education after serving as a teacher, administrator and consultant for schools districts and the California Departments of Justice and Education. She is an avid canoer and a model railroad enthusiast.

Darcelle joined the branch in 2011. As a staff member at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FM), she has assisted our branch in keeping a strong connection with the college. Darcelle was part of our branch team that gave the “ConnectingWith Colleges” presentation at the AAUW-NYS 2012 AAUW NYS Summer Conference. She has helped with the recruitment of e-student affiliates, works with the AAUW Student Organization, and participated in the selection of our branch NCCWSL scholarship recipients.
In 2013 she volunteered for the nominating committee and currently serves as branch Program Vice President. She organized our October Jamaican themed meeting and led us in line dancing at our February meeting.
As a member on the Tech Savvy Summit for Girls committee, she has encouraged FM faculty and staff who were past presenters to return and recruited four additional workshop facilitators.

Marian joined the Buffalo Branch in January 2011 – just over three years ago. She brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years of active service in the League of Women Voters, plus her career as an educator at Buffalo State. She immediately agreed to take on the Public Policy position and has written monthly informative columns for the Advocate ever since. But more than that, she has taken the lead on committees and programs, worked on the scholarship committees, and in general is there whenever we need a cool, calm knowledgeable head. We are grateful to have her and proud to honor her in this way.

Karen Hempson is a valued member of the Cortland Branch and one that can be counted on to volunteer for a job and see it to fruition. Karen is Vice-President for Membership. She is the committee chair for the Scholarship Committee and has worked to confirm TC3 as a college AAUW member as well as starting an AAUW scholarship at SUNY Cortland. Karen is an AAUW buddy to a Meyer's Flyers 5th grader and communicates with her about the importance of education. Recently, Karen has joined the STEM committee and hopes to involve the college students with community girls in an effort to spark interest in the STEM areas. Patient and soft-spoken, Karen's input is always valued by the branch and she is accepted by all as a Cortland Emerging Leader.

Gabriela Hoover, a native of Brazil, joined Jefferson County AAUW in the summer of 2012 and within months had stepped up to become editor of the branch newsletter. She soon introduced a special feature of the bi-monthly publication by writing profiles of branch members. Gabi produces a professional, interesting and attractive communication for the branch and is also a prolific contributor of pictures and articles for the Branch Blog.
Gabi has a BA degree in social communication/journalism from UNAERP University in Brazil. She has worked in communications, public relations and broadcasting for UniFEOB (University) as well as for the office of the Governor of Sao Paulo. Gabi was named as a member of the Editorial Council for the Brazilian Association of Community Colleges where she developed projects that involved students and the community. Since coming to New York, Gabi has been an active member of the leadership team for the Jefferson County Branch of AAUW and a full-time mom to her young son. A strong advocate for the mission of AAUW, Gabi believes that "Education is the most powerful tool for people to understand their roots, and fight for their rights. Education is the base of democracy and freedom."

Dr. Rani is an assistant professor of computer information systems at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. She received her BA and MA in mathematics from SUNY New Paltz and her PhD in computer science from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She worked as a programmer/analyst at IBM Corporation as a programmer in Geometric Design Processor, which managed three-dimensional modeling design technology for manufacturing computer hardware. She has many years of service in private industry. Dr. Rani gave seminars in the field of data compression techniques and net-work security at CUNY as well as in India. Her research interests include information retrieval, database management, wireless networks, network applications of telemedicine, and network security as well as compression techniques as applied to cryptography. She is a member of AAARI, ACM and IEEE. Dr. Rani’s hobbies include cooking, walking, photography, movies/plays, number puzzles, and travel.

A member of the Fairport Area Branch for the past 8 years, Karen originally joined the branch based on a recommendation from her mother, a long time AAUW member in Iowa. In 2012, Karen accepted the role of Membership Chair. She has redesigned the branch membership brochure and been actively supporting the executive committee projects, including a lobbying initiative that will launch in the second quarter of 2014. Karen is employed by IBM Software Group on the worldwide software channel sales team. She is also active with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, serving on the Research Grant Committee and coordinating volunteers for the Coalition’s largest fund raising event, the “Artrageous Affair”.

Angela Clark-Taylor lives the AAUW mission in her personal and professional life. She has been volunteering at the branch for the past five years in support of various projects, programs, conferences, International Women's Day events, and the Seneca Falls Dialogues.
Angela has her BA in American studies and media communications from the College at Old Westbury, an MA in women’s studies from the College at Brock-port, an MS in educational administration from the University of Rochester, and is expected to receive her PhD in educational leadership in May 2016 from the University of Rochester. Since 2010 she has been the program manager at the University of Rochester, Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies where she teaches, advises students and student clubs, and oversees all operations and fiscal activities at the Institute. In 2013, Angela received a two-year Community Action Grant from AAUW.
She has done extensive research on violence against women on college campuses and presented her findings with Dr. Barbara LeSavoy at our 2013 AAUW District 2 conference.

Candy Johnson has an associate’s degree in paralegal sciences from Kaplan University and has worked in the legal field for 22 years. She joined the AAUW Jamestown Branch in 2010 and has served as the branch’s Legal Advisory VP for one year and is currently completing her second year as Program VP. Candy also helped organize Pay Equity Day activities (a rally in 2012 and a restaurant discount program for women in 2013), as well as chairing The Gingerbread House in 2013 for the branch’s important event, the ‘’What’s New? Fair”. Candy is a willing enthusiastic AAUW member and steps in to help when asked. She always thinks creatively.
Candy has volunteered for many organization including the former AIDS Community Services, the Reg Lenna Civic Center, Southern Tier Legal Secretaries, Girl Scouts, PTA, and the American Heart Association, to name a few. In 2003, she received the honor of being chosen as the “new bear artist of the year” for Broadway Cares - Equity Fights AIDS. To showcase her hometown of Jamestown, she created a one-of-a-kind Lucille Ball bear depicting Lucy as she appeared in her Broadway role as Wildcat. The bear brought a top price at the auction, resulting in $2,000.00 being donated towards AIDS research. In 2003, Candy received an award from the Chautauqua County Youth Sled Hockey Association in appreciation for her work in establishing their group.

After joining the branch in April 2011, Maryann immediately began to support our activities, faithfully attending our Meet-n-Eat meetings and joining us on many of our trips. Before retiring, Maryann taught math at Saugerties High School and is the author of several high school math review books. She loves to read and loves to travel, having been to many places around the world. Maryann is committed to AAUW’s mission and has recently assumed the position of chair of our scholar-ship committee. Our membership is very pleased that she will the liaison between our branch and our local college, Ulster County Community College.

Bernadette Bluett Hevican grew up in Massapequa, NY. She graduated from Queen of the Rosary Academy in Amityville and from Hunter College in New York City, receiving both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. She taught second, third, and fourth grades in Eastplain School in the Plainedge School District for almost forty years. She married John Hevican in 1972 and has two daughters and two granddaughters. Since her retirement, Bernadette has gone on several cruises and has continued taking yearly trips to Ireland to visit relatives. She is active in active in her church as well, as a Eucharistic Minister, and volunteers in the “Innkeepers” in her parish. In addition, she is a Financial Secretary in Court Mother Seaton of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Bernadette has been an AAUW member for three years and is now the Membership Vice-President of the Massapequa Branch.

Bettine Bakacs (called Betsy) was born in 1948 in Flushing, NY, one of four children of a pediatrician, and as she says, “I married the boy next door in 1969 and have never left.” Of her siblings, she is the only remaining Flushing resident. Her passions are family and friends, being in her home and cooking.
Betsy graduated from Adelphi University in 1969 with a BS in education. She and her husband raised three children, and she was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. In 1984, she began work at the Shield Institute for People with Disabilities. The Institute works with families and communities to enable children and adults with developmental challenges to lead full, meaningful lives that include a chance to work and contribute. She helped individuals from preschool through adulthood. After 28 years, at the Shield, she retired in 2012.

Ellen Winkler met AAUW at an outreach discussion of women’s issues which we did at Queensborough Com-munity College and promptly joined. She was born and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens. She attended Nassau Community College, Brooklyn College, and has a masters in social work from Adelphi University as well as a post-graduate degree in counseling. She is a Certified Social Worker who loved her work. Ellen loves dancing, swimming, sailing, and travel. She does volunteer work, attends classes at local colleges, and loves to visit her family in other cities. She has not only served as co-chair of travel this year, but as a director on the North Shore board. In addition, she brought us her travel co-chair, Betsy, as a member.

When Mary Lou Davis tapped Susie Becker to join the AAUW and take the position of Co-Chair of Membership Programs at the same time, Susie said “yes”. In a way, that is all you need to know about this dynamic, thoughtful, and capable woman.
Susie regards the monthly programs as an expression of the AAUW’s mission. Of her last year at the helm with her much-admired Co-Chair, Mary Coiteux, Susie says, “I feel like I’m doing something on a broader scale, something that could effect a positive change for women everywhere.”
Educated at Florida State University, Susie worked in rural schools in central Florida and Georgia when segregation was still widespread. She taught children during the day and coached their parents at night so they could pass their GEDs. These experiences were life-defining, and not surprisingly, she is still in touch with two of her students from those years. Susie wants to continue working in a leadership role, saying “I see the AAUW as an opportunity to educate people to look beyond their own lives. It’s been a great year, and I’m looking forward to the next.” So are we, Susie.

JoAnn Rogers joined the St. Lawrence County Branch three years ago and was elected as Education Opportunities Fund VP. In 2013, she became branch Member-ship VP, bringing energy and passion to the job. She has organized events at three of four local college campuses in this past year and reached out to people across a broad spectrum to join AAUW. She participates in our video news collaboration with WCKN, North Country Matters. As an assistant professor of humanities and social sciences at Clarkson University, she introduces her students to a broad array of social issues including poverty, the environment, and human trafficking.

Stephanie Lemnios, a STEM education specialist and consultant, has been a member of the AAUW Westchester Branch since the summer of 2013. She brings with her significant experience in running a variety of STEM programs. In her short time at AAUW, she has shown tremendous leadership, especially in the branch's STEM pro-grams. She has taken on the challenging role of Co-Director, Tech Wise Summer Camp, which will run its first STEM camp in the summer of 2014.
Stephanie is also on the Planning Committee of our annual Explore Your Opportunities STEM Conference as the Workshop Assistant Coordinator. In addition, she volunteers to provide hospitality at the branch meetings. Looking ahead, Stephanie will join the branch board as the Programs Co-Vice President for 2014-2015. We are very pleased to have Stephanie in our branch and look forward to her many contributions.


Adirondack - Doris Stoll
Doris’ hometown is McKeesport, Pa, once a booming steel town, now a part of the “rustbelt” of western Pennsylvania.  She graduated from McKeesport High School and completed both nursing and nurse anesthesia education at McKeesport Hospital working there at clinical and educational positions.  During this time she completed her baccalaureate degree at California University of Pa and a Masters degree at Duquesne University.  She and her husband moved to Chicago in the 1980s where she completed a PhD in administration and policy studies at Northwestern University.  After retiring to Saratoga Springs NY to be close to family, she happily found the Adirondack Branch of AAUW

Alfred Hornell - Daneen Wassink
It is with great pleasure that I nominate Daneen (Dani) Wassink as the Alfred-Hornell Branch recipient of the Emerging Leader Award.
Dani joined the Alfred-Hornell Branch in December of 2010, under the “Shape the Future” program. She quickly showed her willingness to help by accepting the nomination as Branch Secretary and Communications Director for the 2012-2013 year.
Dani has enthusiastically filled this position in a myriad of ways. She has been writing thorough, interesting, and inspiring news articles about our events for the local newspapers. We are delighted that she took on this job because her articles relate AAUW’s events in such a detailed, well-written, and inspiring way. Her articles serve a dual purpose by being informative, but also by raising interest in our group for readers potentially joining us in the future! Several new members were inspired and did join our branch as a result of Dani’s articles and photos. Her articles are published in local newspapers, The Hornell Evening Tribune, as well as The Alfred Sun.
Dani has served on our board this year, offering many constructive ideas related to membership, program and finances. Dani retired from teaching after 31 years, and has been involved in the Teachers’ retirement group, as well as a member of AAUW.  We are proud and thankful for her contributions to the Alfred-Hornell Branch.

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown - Catherine Julius
Catherine Julius joined our branch in September 2011. She is serving as co-chair of our  Pancake Breakfast fundraiser for the second year.   Last spring she audited  our  books. She carried out both tasks efficiently and with great care to detail. She exhibited her interest in AAUW by attending the NYS AAUW Leadership Conference last summer in Cazenovia. In addition, Catherine has become an avid AAUW recruiter and currently serves as co-Membership VP.   She updated the branch membership brochure, writes the new member biographies  for our branch newsletter and has single handedly recruited 4 new members to our branch. We are proud to recognize Catherine Julius as our Emerging Leader.

Bath - Elfriede Tompkins
Elfie is a recent member of our Bath Branch and has always been involved in community services.  She has an infectious laugh and is always willing to be helpful.  In our Branch’s latest, creative fundraiser, Elfie will be portraying “Rose the Riveter” in our Hysterical/Historical Women on May 18th.


Buffalo - Taylor Page
Dr Taylor Page came to the Buffalo Branch of AAUW through our Tech Savvy program.  She is a technical service representative at WTS, Inc, an environmental consulting company, and one of the company officers who read about the program urged Taylor to get involved.  She jumped right in during 2009 and has been on the steering committee ever since, lending her technical expertise and organizational skills to that award-winning program. She was recruited into branch membership during that same year and accepted the position of secretary for 2010-12 and then again for 2012-14. Her dedication, attention to detail,  and willingness to help in any way have been much appreciated by the branch.  We applaud Taylor and are proud to name her our Emerging Leader for 2013.

Elmira Corning - Mary Beth Frederick
Mary Beth is a very active member.  From being Secretary of our charter to help with fundraisers to accepting the role of doing a local web page, her interest and energy to work for the principles of AAUW is always there.

Fairport Area - Mairéad Hartmann
A 14-year member of the Fairport Area Branch, Mairéad is employed as a Program Officer at Rochester Area Community Foundation.  Her responsibilities include grantmaking in support of high quality out-of-school-time programs.  In previous roles at the Foundation, Mairéad handled grantmaking for Women & Girls and support for the Rochester Women’s Giving Circle.  Mairéad worked at nonprofits throughout the country and as grants coordinator for Mount St. Mary’s College, a women’s liberal arts college.  Mairéad served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer.
Mairéad holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Gettysburg College and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the State University of New York College at Brockport.  Mairéad has served as Fairport branch AAUW newsletter editor since 2006.

Greater Rochester Area - Amanda Jackson-Jacobs
Amanda joined GRAB AAUW in 2009 and has become the chair and champion of our Women Helping Women Program.    As the chair of a program, Amanda sat on our board
of directors and has helped plan many programs and retreats.
Amanda began WHW with setting up a series of 6 week workshops at the Sojourner House with women in need of help with personal finances. Amanda helped develop the Progressive Way to Better Credit Program at a local Community Development Credit Union and brought that program to GRAB AAUW.
Women Helping Women has also taken on developing a path and a tuition scholarship program to grant high seniors, who qualify and choose to go to Monroe Community College, tuition scholarships for the 2 years.  This scholarship project was done in collaboration with staff at MCC.  Amanda was also chair of our 2013 ROC the Day
scholarship fund raising event with the United Way of Rochester.
Amanda has served on our Educational Loan Fund Committee for 4 years and has brought many new members, outside events and guests to the AAUW House.
 There is no doubt that Amanda Jackson-Jacobs is a great Emerging Leader and deserves the title at our Branch in 2013.

Jamestown - Barbara Russell
Barbara Russell joined our branch at the end of our 2009-2010 year.  She immediately became Raffle Co-Chair.  The raffle is one of the important elements in our annual major fund raising event, the What's New Fair.  Barb did that for two years. 
She also volunteered that first year to work on the newly formed Membership Committee and helped with our renewal campaign, the membership table at different programs throughout the year, and our annual Membership Social.  After two years on the Committee, she stepped up to become Membership Vice-President this year.  Barbara is reliable, organized and contributes good ideas in our board meetings.

Jefferson County - Janice Brown
Janice Brown is a counselor for soldiers and family members at Fort Drum, NY and became a member of the Jefferson County Branch of AAUW in July 2011. She is currently the branches’ Educational Opportunities Fund Chair.  She conceived, compiled and published the Jefferson County AAUW recipe book, “Empowering Women at the Table”, as a branch fund raiser for 2012.  Janice is always one of the first to volunteer for anything that needs to be done.  She is on the planning committee for the 2013 Lake Placid NYS AAUW Convention and is the lead in planning/organizing the EOF fund raiser for the convention.  Janice is committed to the mission and goals of AAUW and a wonderful member of our organization. 

Kingston - Jennifer Mayfield
AAUW Kingston Branch is proud to nominate Jennifer Mayfield for our 2013 Emerging Leader Award.  Jennifer transferred to our branch from Boston and immediately took on the International Chair position and has done an outstanding job with this task.  Jenn’s first project was organizing and hosting a well attended screening of Miss Representation at a local theatre.  She continues to work on reaching out to get the theme of this documentary to other venues in our area.  Jenn recently attended the CTAUN conference at the UN in NYC and reported back to our branch about the importance of educators to teach about advancing social justices.  Jenn‘s enthusiasm and commitment to AAUW’s mission is most commendable. Jenn accomplishes all this while working full time and commuting back and forth from Kingston to NYC (80 miles each way). We are very fortunate to have Jenn on our Board. 

Massapequa Area - Doris Reynolds
BS Elementary Education from James Madison University
MS Elementary Education from Queens College
Taught 5th and 6th grades at Notre Dame School New Hyde Park, Long Island
Currently Recording Secretary Hidden lake Estates Co-op Amityville NY
Corresponding Secretary Amityville Historical Society and Co-chair of the Historical Society’s 44th Annual Heritage Fair
St Martin of Tours R. C. Church Lector and Eucharistic Minister, member of the Consolation Ministry and brings Communion to the Homebound
Doris is to become President of the branch after only a few years as member of the branch. Previously she was a Member at Large.

North Shore - Cynthia Katz      
Cynthia Gusowsky Katz has won the fond admiration of the members of North Shore Branch for her steadfast support, her amiability and her gracious willingness to jump in wherever she is needed.  Formally she serves as our recording secretary, but in addition she has piloted the refreshments for our NCCWSL Victorian Tea last summer which earned $1,000 to support students attending NCCWSL.  She planned the summer board picnic while the president was unavailable and the recent March Scholar’s Luncheon.  Whenever she is needed, she is there.
Cynthia was born on Staten Island, moved to the Bronx for high school and college before moving to Long Island.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lehman and her master’s and CSW from NYU.  She has worked as an elementary teacher, as a social worker in foster care and as a therapist.  She has a step son and three grandchildren.
Cynthia joined North Shore branch after a music group program.  In addition to AAUW she is active in her synagogue as Kiddush chair, chair of the sisterhood book group, and assistant editor of the weekly bulletin.  She is treasurer of the Heart chapter of the Devorah Hospital foundation, a life member of Hadassah and a member of the Meadowbrook Women’s Initiative, Audit Committee and Student Loan Fund Committee

Poughkeepsie - Linda Roberts
Linda Olsen Roberts was an elementary school teacher for 30 years at The Noxon Road School in Dutchess County, New York.  She has been very active in retirement, volunteering with many different organizations.  She has been a volunteer at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City for many years, working in programs for Alzheimer's patients and blind and partially- blind adults.   She has been a very active member of AAUW. Poughkeepsie Branch; serving in many capacities. She is on the Board and is the Vice President of the Educational Fund.  She also is the co-chair of the annual Author's Tea and the chair of the Silent Auction, an event that has raised a considerable amount of money, enabling the Poughkeepsie Branch to continue to carry out many of its programs.  Presently, she is the Treasurer of the State Convention.

St. Lawrence County - Betty Connolly
Betty Connolly has been a member of the St. Lawrence County Branch since 2012. She joined the Branch Board in 2012 upon election as Program Vice President. She has very ably chaired our Professional Clothing Fair Committee for several years. Professionally, Betty is the Assistant Vice President for Administration and the Affirmative Action Officer for SUNY Canton, an AAUW C/U member college.
Betty is our go-to person for all things programming: she organizes meetings, hosts Board events, collaborates with other institutions in our county, and brings to her AAUW work boundless energy, professionalism, good cheer, and a can-do attitude that is infections (not to mention, the best Trifle in the world!).
Betty has raised the profile, the appeal and the impact of AAUW on the SUNY Canton campus. She brings new people – faculty, staff and dynamic students - to every meeting and event. Her outreach is legendary and the branch is benefitting from new ideas, new people and new enthusiasm, all thanks to Betty.
The St. Lawrence County Branch is proud to honor Betty Connolly as our AAUW Emerging Leader for 2013!

Schenectady - Linda Rizzo                  
Linda holds an ED.D from SUNY Albany.  She was a Spanish and English teacher, middle school administrator and deputy associate Superintendent of Schools.  She is currently an Educational Consultant for parents who have children with special needs.  The Schenectady Branch is honored to select Linda as our emerging leader for 2013.  Linda serves as public policy chair for our Branch.  She regularly attends County Board and Town Board meetings, keeping the Branch up-to-date on current issues before them.  Linda is a strong advocate for the Paycheck Fairness Act and mad a spirited presentation at both Boards.  As the result of her efforts, the Niskayuna Town Board adopted a resolution in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act which they submitted to the New York State Legislature.  She also writes letters to the editor in support of AAUW policy. Linda is active in our community, by co-chairing the Niskayuna Parade Committee for the town celebration in May and is active in the political arena.  Her enthusiasm and creativity have added much to our Branch and has made the community more aware of our Branch and the issues that AAUW supports.  She is a strong advocate for women’s rights and has brought these issues to the attention of our local government and branch members.

Westchester - Mary Logan
Mary Logan joined AAUW-Westchester in 2012 soon after she retired from her career of 25 years in banking. Mary came to our branch at the enthusiastic encouragement of her mother, a longtime AAUW member on Long Island. Mary earned BA and MBA degrees from San Diego State University. Mary is married and has two sons. At AAUW-Westchester she has taken on responsibility for the Funds Chair overseeing donations for the annual funds drive. Mary has been an enthusiastic worker in the Pay Equity Group, promoting and facilitating Start Smart Workshops. This spring she organized outreach to schools for the joint venture project with the League of Women Voters, “Running and Winning” to be held in April.

Yates County - Ruth Benedict
Yates County Branch of New York State AAUW is proud to announce Ruth Carolyn Benedict as our 2013 Emerging Leader.  From the time she joined, Ruth has energized our Branch with her ideas, her enthusiasm and her willingness to step in wherever needed.  Ruth is a gifted public relations person whose press releases have informed the community of the many good works of AAUW.  For the past three years she has co-chaired our annual book sale, working tirelessly to organize and publicize it, resulting in a successful fundraiser for our interrupted studies grant.  This spring, Ruth has stepped in as interim co-president, with the goal of growing our membership.  To this end, Ruth has helped plan programs, bringing in notable speakers from the community to speak on a variety of timely topics.  Ruth has become a valued and esteemed member of our Branch, and it is a joy to put forth her name as our Emerging Leader for 2013.


Adirondack - Ann Mathewson

Ann Mathewson, a native of Syracuse and graduate of Syracuse University, is the 2012 AAUW NYS Emerging Leader selection of the Adirondack Branch.

Ann officially joined the Adirondack Branch in June, 2011.  Since 2009, while vacationing in our area, she had attended some meetings of the Adirondack Branch. 

Ann was a member of the Yates County AAUW for several years.  While there, she was Membership Chair for a few years and Co-President for one year.    She currently serves as Co-President of the Adirondack Branch.  Ann   helped   Regina Hillier in setting up a booth to promote    AAUW   at the Adirondack Balloon Festival last September.  She assisted with the 5th Grade Annual Essay Contest last April, the Comedy Night Fundraiser and “Childhood for Sale”   programs in October.  She is helping with this year’s 5th Grade Essay Contest, the STEM Project scheduled for September 29, 2012, and the Golf Tournament, May 19th,   our major fundraiser for the year.  She also serves on our Budget Committee.    We are very fortunate to have Ann as a leader in our Branch!

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown - Ella Ryder

Ella Ryder is our assistant treasurer. She agreed to audit our books and now manages the Sister to Sister Summit account. She serves on the branch finance committee working to develop a budget and reformat the branch financial reporting system. Ella draws on her experiences to quietly make suggestions for new approaches. She attended the NYS  Leadership Conference last summer.  Ella has made many “visits” to the AAUW websites. She introduced her fellow employees to the AAUW website and provided them with AAUW brochures. She volunteers to represent AAUW in the community. “I’ll go, if you need me to.” We are thrilled with her quiet yet considerable contributions to our branch and dedication to AAUW during her less than 3 years as a member and see in her great potential as a future leader.  We are proud to recognize Ella Ryder as the 2012 Emerging Leader of our Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch.

Bath - Becka Kirch

Becka and her three sons, ages 12, 9, and 6, live in Bath;  she is  an accountant/bookkeeper/service provider for an agency called Arbor Development, which helps low-income families obtain housing, and income guidance (among other things).  She received the ”Mature Woman” Scholarship from our Branch two years ago and used the funds to help her complete her degree from Geneseo.  She and her boys enjoy music and also actively participate in Civil War and other historical re-enactments.  Becka is active in local theater;  in fact her acting skills are very important in the production of “Momoirs”!  She brings a high level of enthusiasm to the efforts of our Branch, and, lucky for us, she has agreed to be co-President of Bath Branch next term!

Buffalo - Michelle Norris

The Buffalo Branch is proud to honor Michelle Norris as our Emerging Leader at the 2012 NYS convention.  Michelle has been a member since 2004 and has jumped right in to help in a wide variety of positions.  In her short time as a member she has chaired one of the scholarship committees, co-held the position of membership retention vice president, acted as treasurer for our scholarship loan funds and is currently our very first chief financial officer, a position which was just created in the past year.  In that position she has directed the audits of the various treasurer accounts, has dug into our insurance needs and brought us up to date on those, and will be taking on the budget process for the next year.  She has been an invaluable resource for the branch and we are delighted to honor her in this way.

Cortland - Sara Earl

Sara Earl joined AAUW last April.  In June she agreed to chair a committee to explore the possibility of creating an award program to honor strong fifth grade achievers in Cortland County who face unique challenges. Her November report-out to the Branch was very well managed and received.   The Branch approved a pilot program for 2011-2012. 

Sara is equally effective in committee settings.  There she displays skills that complement her ability to make and manage large group presentations and discussions.  

There are few limits to the leadership Sara is capable of providing.  We are fortunate to have her in AAUW along with her mother.

Elmira-Corning - Janet Winfield

Janet Winfield is the 2012 Emerging Leader for the Elmira-Corning Branch. When approached to be Co-President last year she was reluctant but accepted the challenge. In July, she attended the Leadership Conference and came home enthused and ready to meet the challenges of the position. With the assistance of our dedicated members, she chaired a very successful fashion show. She attended the District II Fall Conference and volunteered to help at the NYS Convention in April. Her enthusiasm for the organizastion and dedication to the goals of AAUW has made her a wonderful person to work with. We look forward to her continuing leadership.

Fairport Area - Janice Meyer Volpe

Janice Meyer Volpe is the 2012 AAUW-NYS Emerging Leader selection of the Fairport Area Branch (FAB).  Janice has been the leader of one of our special interest groups, the Lunch Brunch, for three years.   Lunch Bunch meets monthly for a social outing with fun, good company and food.  Janice sends the invitations to our membership electronically using EVITE software which ensures that our members all use new technology and have fun using it.  Holding a Ph.D from Northwestern University, Janice was a member of the SUNY Geneseo faculty for eleven years (1973-84).  She joined Xerox Corporation in 1986, after completing a MBA.  She worked there for 15 years in various administrative and financial management functions.

Greater Rochester Area - Barbara E. Le Savoy

Barbara E. LeSavoy, Ph.D., Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at SUNY Brockport, has an impressive list of leadership accomplishments.  She has chaired the GRAB AAUW College University Partnership and Education and Equity committees; organized and lead the AAUW/Leadership Academy for Girls; established and developed the AAUW Internship Position; authored a historical map of AAUW for the Encyclopedia of Women; led the linking of area colleges to the AAUW/International Women’s Day 100th Anniversary and Call for Change postcard signing campaign; chaired the Women’s Partnership Committee, Linkages Rochester NY Sister City Program with Novgorod, Russia; and coordinated Brockport’s annual Take Back the Night March and Clothesline Project supporting activism to stop violence against women.  At our branch luncheon meeting on February 11, 2012, Barbara will present “Looking Back, Thinking Forward: An Overview of International Women’s Day.”

Islip - Lynn Perry

Lynn Perry joined Islip Area Branch in 2010. This year she assumed the position of International Affairs Director. Lynn, an RN, has an abiding interest in global affairs, especially health issues.  Last June, she gave a moving branch program, about the effects of depleted uranium on women in war. This topic she also presented at a UNESCO forum. She participated in the Commission on the Status of Women and attended AAUW NYS UN Day and the CTAUN Conference.
Lynn is an officer of the LI Council for Prejudice Reduction and instrumental in organizing their annual conference at SUNY Stony Brook. She is a real asset to our branch.

Jamestown - Shirley Sanfilippo

Since 2009 Shirley has been actively involved in our branch leadership and activities. She assumed the role of Corresponding Secretary, then V.P. Legal Advocacy Fund, and currently she is serving as Treasurer. In addition, she served two years as Sweet Shoppe Chair for the "What's New" Fair, the annual two-day fundraiser for the scholarships we offer. She is always ready to help whenever called on. We appreciate her hard work and are looking forward to her continuing leadership. We are delighted to name her our Emerging Leader! Congratulations Shirley.

Jefferson County - Katherine FitzGerald

Katherine FitzGerald joined the Jefferson County AAUW in 2009 and immediately began contributing to the vibrancy of our local programming.  In March 2010, she presented a program titled “A Global Perspective on the Oppression of Women: Stories of Strength and Suffering from Sierra Leone” which drew on her semester-long teaching experience in Africa.  The following fall, she joined the AAUW delegation to Cuba. At about the same time Katie began working with a small group of Jefferson Community College students to form the JCC/AAUW Student Organization which has won a Campus Action Project (CAP) grant from AAUW to film a documentary chronicling sexual harassment in grades 7-12 based upon the research paper, Crossing the Line.

Kingston - Ruth Bean

Ruth Bean, our membership vice president and branch administrator, deserves our recognition and thanks for many things, but especially encouraging and welcoming new members. She connects personally with every new member, ensuring that each finds something they will enjoy and value in the branch. She steps up to handle many administrative tasks for the branch, like mailing paper newsletters to members without computers, despite a busy schedule caring for grandchildren for her physician-daughter. She models the warmth and excitement that we hope characterizes our branch. She is our terrific Emerging Leader!

North Shore - Barbara Aitken

Barbara Aitken is a graduate of Queensborough Community College where she studied for eleven years taking courses in “everything,” and after working for eleven years and accumulating a hundred and fifteen credits (for a degree which requires only sixty-five), she was award an AA degree.  She studied psychology, art, and music among other things.  She has two daughters, one of them handicapped.  Because of her handicapped daughter, she served on the Committee of the Handicapped of the local school district and when later asked if she would like to work for the Board of Education commented, “I’m here every day.  I might as well.”  She then worked for the Board for twenty-five years In addition she worked with the handicapped in many ways such as leading Scout trips where she remembers pushing wheel chairs through the snow.  Her daughter continues to require much attention as an adult.  Barbara is an artist who gives her paintings away, an ardent horsewoman, and a mah jong player.

At her first AAUW meeting, Barbara volunteered to co-chair the music group where she has served faithfully procuring some outstanding musicians to perform for us and the seniors at a local senior citizen home. Some people are honored for doing many things.  Barbara is nominated becaus she has done thing extremely well despite facing personal challenges and winning many friends along the way. 

Poughkeepsie - Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

Born in the Philippines, Cecilia Dinio- Durkin lives in Poughkeepsie, NY. She has worked at Random House, Scholastic, and MTV Networks, and has written and published nine educational books as well as many articles. Inspired by her stay in Botswana, she started Women’s Work, a fair-trade store to help women artisans from developing countries. She had served on the Executive Board of the Fair Trade Federation, has visited Pakistan with USAID, been invited by the Guatemalan government to an expo for Central American crafters. She serves as International Chair for the Poughkeepsie AAUW, co-chairing its program My Sister’s Keeper and is a leader in organizing the county’s annual International Women’s Day walk.

St Lawrence County - Michele Pinard

The St. Lawrence County Branch is pleased to nominate Michele Pinard as our Emerging Leader for 2012. Michele, who joined the branch in Dec. 2006, has been an active branch member who has contributed as a leader and as a member and through her professional work to AAUW. Michele currently serves as the combined EF-LAF Vice President to our Board, after serving as LAF VP for a term. Michele has taken our branch fund-raising to new levels since her election. She has become an innovative and master basket builder and is now enthusiastically taking on the challenge of Susan B. Anthony’s purses!

Professionally, Michele works as Clinical Faculty in Curriculum & Instruction at SUNY Potsdam, where she oversees the preparation and placement of student teachers. She works diligently with them to ensure they understand the value of an equal and an excellent education. Her latest efforts to connect her students to AAUW includes working to set up a $tart $mart workshop and to provide motivation and help for her students to attend the March 3 “Bully Culture” District 7 Conference featuring AAUW’s Holly Kearl. In addition, she is organizing a pre-event workshop session for her students with Holly on campus so they can hear directly from Holly about bullying and harassment and the toll it takes on students.

Michele is an outstanding ambassador for AAUW and a pleasure to work with as a colleague and a sister branch member.

Schenectady - Elise Russo

The Schenectady Branch of AAUW is pleased to recognize science educator Elise Russo, EdD, as our emerging leader.  Elise’s work with the International Center for Leadership in Education as Program Director brought her back to our region 3 years ago, and our branch has benefited.  In her work experience, Elise exerts an important influence on international education, particularly in the Caribbean Region.  As Educational Equity Chair, Elise has supported and encouraged collaborative efforts with other service groups in promoting educational equity.  Girls, Inc. and Business and Professional Women are two organizations who collaborate with AAUW in our efforts to improve education for women and girls.  STEM initiatives have been supported and encouraged in the articles Elise writes for our newsletter “VISIONS.”.  Elise’s clear thinking and supportive reasoning have enriched discussions at our Board meetings.  Our Branch looks forward to more and better educational equity initiatives with Elise as a key player in the future effectiveness of our AAUW NYS Schenectady Branch.

Skaneateles - Fran Rotunno Fish

Fran has held the position of Branch Treasurer for the last two years. She has gone above and beyond in that position, and in other areas. She publicized a program on Matilda Gage, so that we could meet the requirements of a grant to reimburse the speaker and then paid for four eighth grade girls to attend. Another of our programs featured a woman CEO o f a local high teach medical devices firm. On her own, Fran called the high school and paid for interested girls to attend. This event was very well covered in the local press, which emphasized our efforts in STEM education and outreach to girls.

Fran is a nurse and upper-level nursing administrator, but her input has not been confined to those fields. She contributes strategic thinking and always offers assistance to whatever project or program we undertake.

Westchester - Adelaide DiGiorgi

Adelaide is currently on our branch Board, serving as Program Co-Vice President.  She is also our Tech Consultant for Branch meetings.  Adelaide has shown a commitment to serving the AAUW mission, is always available to step in to lead branch meetings, and contributes ideas and follows up on plans to produce excellent programs.  As a past president of the League of Women Voters, she is well connected to women of leadership in our county.  Adelaide is reliable and a responsible member of our branch.

Yates County - Judy Wiltberger

Our choice for the Emerging Leader Award for 2012 is Judy Wiltberger.   Judy has been an enthusiastic member from the start and currently holds the office of Program Vice-President.  She is also Public Policy chair person and is an active participant in our monthly book discussion group.  Judy also has been a valued volunteer for our annual book sale and a hard worker for our annual turkey dinner, both of which  are our major fundraisers for our Interrupted Studies Grant and our Educational Fund.  She has hosted meetings at her winery on several occasions.  Judy is a hard worker, an advocate for the mission of AAUW and an informed communicator of AAUW’s public policy.  It is with pride that we have selected Judy Wiltberger for this year’s Emerging Leader Award.


Adirondack - Amelita Phelps

Amelita Phelps is the 2011 AAUW-NYS Emerging Leader selection of the Adirondack Branch.  Lita joined AAUW in April of 2008.  In 2009 she agreed to fill out the last year of a 2 year term for Recording Secretary and then accepted the nomination and was elected to a full term position of Recording Secretary.  Lita volunteers and helps with many projects, including our 1st Annual Golf Tournament this past year, the major fundraiser for our branch.  We are proud and fortunate to have Lita as a member.

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown - Linda Bumpus and Patsy Suydam

At our membership meeting last September both Linda Bumpus (left) and Patsy Suydam (right) approached me about taking on the responsibility for our Sister to Sister Summit. Linda was a prior member who was returning to us and Patsy was a brand new member.  What a fantastic team they have become!  They complement each other perfectly and have brought many new ideas and boundless energy and enthusiasm to their duties. 
I must tell you that both of these ladies are actively involved in many other things in our community as you will see from their bios.  Yet, any time you even mention the possibility of trying something new or needing something done they are both the first ones to say “Of course we can do that – when do you need it!” 
Needless to say, our branch is very fortunate that both of these ladies decided to join us (in Linda’s case rejoin us).  It is always exciting when you have members who are as enthusiastic and positive as Linda and Patsy.  We are thrilled they are part of our group and, personally, I am delighted to name them as our Emerging Leaders!  Congratulations Patsy and Linda!

Bath - Debbi Deats

Debbi has lived in Bath, NY for virtually all of her life, and is one of the local "movers and shakers" in town and in the surrounding community.  She taught English for 20 years, and then became a High School Guidance Counselor for the next 12 1/2  years before her retirement in 2005.  Her husband, Jim, is also retired from his work at the Bath VA.  Daughter Megan will graduate in May, 2011, from Nazareth College and hopes to work as an Elementary Inclusion Teacher.  Debbi obviously loves people;  she is active as one of the "Bath Bubbles" Red Hatters , the Corning Area Retired Teachers' Association, and Pro-Action of Steuben-Yates Counties.  Currently she is working with some friends on a "Revitalizing Bath". project.  Bath Branch is especially pleased to have Debbi Deats as our Emerging leader, not-to-mention our MEMBERSHIP VP!

Buffalo - Maria Coppola

Maria Coppola joined our branch in 2009. She has been an active member since joining. She is chair of Public Relations, editor of the Advocate, our Branch newsletter, and a member of the Board of Directors. Maria is a creative, proactive member of AAUW. She works with the chair of our scholarship committee, which is strategizing our scholarships for the future, to develop the best ways to reach out to the community members who can facilitate spreading the knowledge of our scholarships, grants and loans to those who can most benefit by receiving them. Maria chaired our Holiday event in December, and sought out the venue which would be most accessible to our members, in cost and physical accessibility. She chose a program which brought music and camaraderie to our members. What a winning way to show the benefits of joining AAUW. She has shown versatility in the skills that she brings to our Branch. We are pleased to be able to nominate Maria as our Emerging Leader for 2011.

Dunkirk-Fredonia - Carmen Rivera

Dr. Carmen S. Rivera, Chair of Modern Languages and Literature at SUNY Fredonia, joined the Dunkirk-Fredonia Branch of AAUW two years ago.  Initially, she assisted the liaison between the branch and the university.  She now serves as liaison and is part of the branch board. 

Carmen has established a strong relationship with the faculty and students of the Women’s Studies Program on campus.  Thanks to her, the branch hosted a successful September event on the campus, presenting a wonderful local actor in a one-woman show as Eleanor Roosevelt.  Carmen made all the arrangements with the university and assured that the event was advertised on campus.

Carmen’s input, her insight and connection to the students and the various resources of the university, is invaluable in board and branch meetings.  We are glad that Dr. Rivera is part of AAUW, and she is certainly a role model for young Latina women!

Elmira-Corning - Rosemary Kolynich

Rosemary joined our branch in the Spring of 2010. Shortly after that, we found ourselves in need of someone to chair our Hospitality Committee, which provides refreshments for all of our meetings and arranges the meal for our Annual Meeting. The woman who was slated to chair this committee had abruptly resigned and, when asked to step up and take on this responsibility, Rosemary never hesitated. Even though she had only been a member for a couple of months, she jumped right in, met with her new committee, and began to work together with our Program Committee to plan our 2010-2011 year of events. Needless to say, our branch is very thankful for her willingness to serve and take on this role at a time when we were not sure if we would be able to find someone. I’m sure this is just the beginning of Rosemary’s involvement with our branch, and if her work on this committee is any indication, she will shine.

Fairport Area - Judy DuPre

Fairport Area Branch (FAB) is pleased to honor our new and enthusiastic member Judy DuPre as an emerging leader. Judy retired from the Fairport Central School District Social Studies Department in 2005 and has embraced the chance to involve herself in many activities locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Extensive travel has expanded her view of the world and allowed her to incorporate her experiences in discussions in Great Decisions and book group, bringing a new fullness to conversations. She is currently serving as chair of the FAB Great Decisions group and her contributions to the topic discussions have built the group to new levels. Her knowledge and informed opinions along with her educational history have resulted in her service as president of the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Council for the Social Studies and she was also honored as recipient of their RACSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher Award. She also serves on board of directors of the NYS Council of Social Studies and received their NYSCSS Distinguished Educator Award. Continuing her commitment to education Judy remains the Monroe County representative to ED #6 NYSUT Retirees Board. She is currently employed as an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College where they benefit from her many years of travel (including her time in China and Japan as a Fulbright Scholar), her publications, pleasant manner, sense of humor, leadership, and educational attributes. What an tremendous addition to FAB AAUW!

Greater Rochester Area - Carleen Meers

Director of the Rochester City School District School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports scale up project, Carleen has over 22 years of successful teaching and administrative experience. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership, Thought and Policy from the University of Rochester. Carleen has held a variety of leadership positions in the RCSD including her last position as the administrator of the Work Experience Program for students with special needs that was featured in an interview on the NewsHour. Carleen’s vita specifically related to SWPBS is extensive, including accepted nominations for the AERA Special Education SIG Outstanding Student Researcher Award 2008 and the Carol S. Weinstein Outstanding Paper Award in Classroom Management 2010 for her doctoral research in positive and proactive behavioral support. Carleen studied under the intellectual advisement of Dr. Rob Horner receiving a courtesy faculty appointment at the University of Oregon while on sabbatical leave from the District in 2004 to fulfill her residency. (Her training related to SWPBS includes SWIS facilitation, SET and I-SSET evaluation tools, Therapeutic Crisis intervention, and Advanced Multivariate Statistical analysis.)

Jamestown - Mary Lee Talbot

Since joining branch in the Fall of 2008, Mary Lee has been actively involved in our branch activities.  She served as Co-Chair for the "What's New" Fair, the annual two-day fundraiser for the scholarships we offer. She is always ready to help whenever called on. She worked the registration table at the District one conference and has attended all the program meetings helping out on a moments notice. I have no doubt that Mary Lee’s involvement in AAUW will only increase over time. We appreciate her hard work and are looking forward to her continuing leadership. We are delighted to name her our Emerging Leader! Congratulations Mary Lee!

Jefferson County - Tiffany McLallen Fadel

Tiffany joined the leadership team of the Jefferson County Branch AAUW this past year as Membership Committee Chair. Increasing membership is an initiative of our Branch Strategic Plan and Tiffany has embraced the challenge wholeheartedly. She is enthusiastic in her follow-up with prospective members and has many new ideas to attract and retain membership. She recently started a campaign to personally invite high profile women in our community to join us. Tiffany is an active and engaged member of our Board and will be attending the AAUW national convention in June.

New York City - Lydia Williams

Lydia Williams is the Legal Advocacy Co-Vice President, Woman of Achievement Co-Chair, Nominating Committee member, a past Black History Committee Chair and office manager of New York City Branch.  She coordinates the design and production of our branch face book, She Touched Me publications and Courier newsletter.  She believes in the mission of AAUW, as well as, to improve and promote self-reliance, economic independence and leadership opportunities for all.  Her motto is “Beyond Boundaries, Soaring Towards Higher Goals.”  As a breast cancer survivor, she never gives up hope and is a role model for women going through similar situations.

North Shore - Leslie Hammer

Leslie Hammer is an exceptional woman who has been a dynamic presence in the North Shore Branch since joining in 2009. She has used her musical talent to perform at our music meetings, has served on our L.A.F. fundraising committee, and assisted during our Holly Luncheon which benefits the Educational Foundation. She was elected recording secretary by our membership and is an active member of our Board of Directors. Her enthusiasm and her desire to work to achieve our mission make her an ideal candidate for Emerging Leader.

Poughkeepsie - Jacqueline Goffe-McNish and Kim Butwell

Jacqueline Goffe-McNish is a professor of English and Humanities at Dutchess Community College.  She has been a teacher since 1980 and has worked in both private and public schools at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary level in Jamaica and United States.   In her present job she is also the Chairperson of the Liberal Arts Humanities program and supervises the college’s concurrent education program in the high schools.  She graduated from St John Fisher College in Rochester, SUNY Brockport, and is ABD from New York University.  Recently she was awarded the SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Teacher and the DCC Orrcut Endowed Chair for Humanities.  She served as the New York State representative on the National Education Association Women’s Issues Committee for two three year terms and chaired the local branch of the American Association for Women in Community College.  She serves on the Diversity Committee of the American Association of University Women and co-chairs the group for personal and professional development.  She is the superintendent of Sunday school at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and teaches the Adult Sunday School class.  She is married to Lynford McNish.  

Kim Butwell joined Merrill Lynch in 2008. Before becoming a Financial Planner she was a consultant for the Office for the Aging, heading up the Long-Term care Education and Outreach program and counseling seniors on their Medicare insurance benefits. She is a long-term resident of the Hudson valley and is a member of the American Association of University Women. She is an avid tennis player and a member of the Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club as well as the United States Tennis Association. She is a patron of the Arts and is a member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC. Kim received a Master’s Degree from Marist College,  Poughkeepsie, NY and her Bachelor’s Degree from The new School in NYC.

Rockland County - Ann Mulligan

Ann Mulligan is the 2011 Emerging Leader for the Rockland County Branch. Ann’s enthusiasm, intelligence and willingness to help makes her an asset to the branch. Ann is also a thoughtful communicator. She currently serves as the Public Policy Chair and represented AAUW in the November candidate debate forum working with the League of Women Voters and the JCC. In addition, Ann has assisted the New York State Education Fund Vice President at the last state convention, actively participated in the Summer Leadership Conference in Cazenovia, and is a member of the branch’s nominating committee. Ann is a rising star and an ideal New York State Emerging Leader.

Schenectady - Arlene Maranville

In her third year as a member of Schenectady AAUW, Arlene Maranville has emerged as an important leader of our branch. Arlene has offered inspiring and creative initiatives that encompass service and fundraising.

Among her contributions are:
• A successful education forum entitled “Brightening the Future of Students in our Community.”  This program connected education initiatives with community service and helped our branch win a “special project” award.
• Service as Educational Equity Chair
• Service as Co-Program Vice President with creative and innovative topics, approaches, time slots and venues. Careful planning and attention to detail assured appeal to members with different interests and needs.
• Pieced and stitched a quilt that was auctioned as a fund-raiser in honor of a deceased friend and former AAUW member.
• Volunteered to teach Mah Jong, a new interest group, to a group of beginners.

Arlene is a wonderful contributor to meetings of our Schenectady AAUW Board, and her ideas and contributions are well-respected. She is certainly an emerging leader in our AAUW Branch.

Skaneateles - Judy Lindsey

Judy joined our branch last year and has taken the role of Vice President for Public Policy.  She is a busy working mom and wife.  Not only is she is a active community member, she works as a real estate sales person.  We consider her a valuable board member who contributes to our understanding of Public Policy issues.  She also has volunteered to assist many of our Branch programs.  Her cheerful enthusiasm and dedication to the goals of AAUW make her a wonderful person to work with.  We look forward to her continuing leadership of our Branch in the future.

St. Lawrence County Branch - Kathleen Stein

Kathy Stein joined AAUW in Oct. 2009. She joined the branch Board as Public Policy Chair thanks to her interest in our issues and her work with the local League of Women Voters. She was instrumental in getting the 2010 Conversations with Candidates project up and running for the Fall election cycle. In addition to helping coordinate a consortium of local organizations to sponsor the videotaped and broadcast Conversations with 11 candidates for office, she helped set up two candidate forums. The Spring Conversations are focusing on the issues around redistricting at local, state and federal levels.

Westchester - Jane Pendergast

Jane Pendergast has played a strong leadership role in getting $tart $mart pay negotiation workshops started at colleges in the Westchester area in a very difficult economic climate. Due to her efforts, we will hold our first workshop at Westchester Community College on March 23. A second workshop at Purchase College is also under discussion. During her one year with our Pay Equity Outreach group, Jane created a set of slides which we use regularly for presentations and advertising. She also contacted a large number of colleges, and worked closely with several of them. Jane is very organized, a hard worker, and a strong supporter of gender pay equity. She does not give up even when the going is tough, and brings a great deal of strength to our group.

Yates County - Kristine Pearson

Kristine Pearson is our nomination for this year’s Emerging Leader Award.  She has been an enthusiastic participant in all of our activities, contributing her time and expertise in both our book  sale and our community dinner.  She is active in our book discussion group, offering insight and ideas as well as titles for discussion.  Kris is also our Membership Vice President and has transferred our membership directory to an electronic format, saving the cost of printing.  Kris has helped us plan our meetings for the coming year and has brought speakers for special programs.  She even opened her home for a meeting.


Adirondack - Regina Hillier

Regina Hillier is the emerging leader for the Adirondack Branch of AAUW.  Regina joined AAUW in November, 2008. Since joining, she has been enthusiastic in promoting AAUW to the Community. 

  • Last fall, she organized information about our organization and set up and manned, along with help from other members, a booth for two days at the annual Adirondack Balloon Festival.  This involved getting permission to have a booth at the Festival and having a person available at all times to oversee the booth.
  • She brought a friend, who joined the branch, to our Shape The Future – Member – Get A Member Program at Wiawaka in September and is constantly bringing potential new members to our events.
  • Currently, she is this year’s chairperson of our Public Policy/Legislative Committee.  She periodically submits information regarding Public Policy for our newsletter publications.
  • Regina volunteered to write a biography about Charlotte Pruyn Hyde for the NY State “Women Making A Difference” Project.
  • Regina is quick to volunteer wherever needed and follows through on her commitments.  We are fortunate to have such an enthusiastic member in our Branch.

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown - Linda Hammond

Since joining our branch last fall Linda Hammond has been actively involved in our branch activities.  She is presently the chairperson for the 3rd Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Symposium, a biennial event that was originally organized by our own AAUW branch and the women faculty members at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in 2006.  Our members have been key participants involved in both the planning of and attendance at the Symposium ever since. Linda’s enthusiasm for AAUW is apparent since she recently accepted the request to become the new District IV Coordinator.  I have no doubt that Linda’s involvement in AAUW will only increase over time.
Linda is actively involved in the community and always ready to help whenever called on.  We are happy to have Linda on board, appreciate her enthusiasm and are delighted to name her our Emerging Leader! Congratulations Linda!

Bath - Martha Brown

Martha Brown first joined AAUW in the Fall of 2007, after being a guest at two prior summer picnic meetings of the Bath Branch.  She originally joined in order to find some local women with whom she might have common interests after relocating to Keuka Lake. Her previous life in the New York City metropolitan area was devoted to being a “pastor’s wife” and mothering her three now grown children, as well as teaching. 

We are nominating Martha especially for her creative and enthusiastic efforts to bring the readers’ theater play “MOMOIRS” to our community as the Bath Branch EF Fund-raiser for 2010.  After seeing the first performance of his new play, she says “I had a revelation! “MOMOIRS” would be a wonderful production for the members of (Bath Brach) AAUW to present for our local area and to raise money for our scholarships at the same time. The idea has taken off and I have loved working with many wonderful women in our Branch to make this happen on May 1 2010.

Buffalo - Yvonne Curry

Yvonne has only been a member for four years.  However, she has eagerly taken on big challenges in the branch.  She worked on several projects almost immediately, then agreed to chair the interest groups in the branch.  This biennium she has accepted the huge responsibility of  Program VP and has done a wonderful job of putting together a diverse set of monthly programs.  We appreciate her hard work and are looking forward to her continuing leadership.

Jamestown - Dr. Mary Lenda

Mary Lenda is the Emerging Leader choice of the Jamestown Branch. We admire her beautiful spirit and willingness to take on significant leadership roles, and we especially value her abilities to perform effectively within those roles. She has been our District I Representative on the State Nominating Team and is presently serving as our District I Coordinator. She is a member of our Scholarship Committee, interviewing and choosing our scholarship recipients from Jamestown Community College who will transfer to four-year colleges. She was the admissions Co-Chair for the "What's New" Fair, the annual two-day fundraiser for the scholarships we offer.

Jefferson County - Andrea Pedrick

Andrea Pedrick joined Jefferson County Branch AAUW in 2008 and very shortly volunteered to be Publicity Chairman.   Her background and experience in journalism have been a welcome set of information that she has shared with us, in addition to turning out polished press releases and advising us in this important area.
Andrea recently accepted chairmanship of the newly formed Communication Committee, following the Branch’s strategic planning session, which identified communication, inside and outside the Branch, as a challenge and an opportunity.
Among several projects that the committee is working on, she is working to complete the Branch website, and continues to manage Branch publicity. 
Andrea is a welcome addition to the board, with her willingness to work, her sharing of ideas and discussion, and her organization.    She is committed to the mission and goals of AAUW and Jefferson County Branch.   Our Branch is proud of Andrea and her contributions, and looks forward to her continuing leadership.

Nassau County - Lynn Glianna

Lynn Glianna is a retired teacher, primarily kindergarten. She's married with one son and lives in Garden City. She and her husband, Chris, enjoy traveling and entertaining at home.

Lynn joined AAUW Nassau County Branch in 2008. As of last year, she is on the Board as Recording Secretary. Over the past year, Lynn has helped organize our annual fundraiser, contributing her talents, time and finances to a successful event. She is presently on the committee for this year's fundraiser, offering her beautiful home to organize and assemble basket prizes.

In our latest efforts to work with the community, Lynn is part of a team to assist Bethany House, a shelter for girls and women. She is also on the ballot to run as co-president of the Nassau County Branch for the 2010-2012 term.

New York City - Warren Woodberry Jr.

Warren Woodberry Jr. is chair of the publicity committee for the American Association of University Women, New York City Branch. Warren joined the NYC Branch in summer 2008 to help the organization increase its visibility to draw new members and donors interested in moving its mission forward. As Publicity Chair, Warren disseminates media releases on Branch activities to the press. Releases have been posted online with various media websites, and the AAUW national web site. As an active board member, Warren has been involved in strategic planning of the Branch for improved organizational & financial management. He regularly participates in Branch activities and fund raisers such as seasonal open Branch house events, the annual Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration and the Explore Your Opportunities Conference. He is now working to promote the 125th anniversary of the Branch, the second oldest in the nation, and its 60th anniversary of ownership of its Branch house. A former 15-year, award winning journalist, Warren has written for New York Daily News, New York Newsday, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hartford Courant and Asbury Press. Warren earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts/Journalism from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia.

North Shore - Ronnie Heller

Ronnie Heller is just the kind of member AAUW is looking for.  She is intelligent, enthusiastic and a dynamic worker.  Since she joined The North Shore Branch she has demonstrated leadership qualities.  Ronnie has been an integral member of the Let’s Read Math team.  This year she organized an outreach program to assist women and girls at the Westbury Neighborhood House. She collects food and clothing and works there as a volunteer.  As Co-Vice President of Membership she has done an excellent job. Ronnie Heller is certainly deserving of the Emerging Leader Award and The North Shore Branch is proud to nominate her.

Poughkeepsie - Liz Moesel

Elizabeth Moesel joined AAUW in 2007 and is currently the Assistant Treasurer for our branch.She serves on the  Membership  and Nominating Committees and has been an active participant with two of our branch projects, “Leading to Reading” and “Girls’ Conference”. She updates membership information on the Association website and worked last year on the Association bylaws. She has helped each year with the packets for the state convention and has taken an active role in general membership meetings. Liz displays enthusiasm for our branch and is an energetic participant in many activities.

Rockland County - Bijal Jani

Bijal Jani exemplifies leadership.  As Diversity Director for the Rockland County Branch of AAAUW, Bijal has led a diverse team of women to plan and execute successful annual celebrations; published relevant newsletter articles; and actively recruited community support.  Bijal demonstrates community leadership throughout active participation on the boards of the Rockland County Family Shelter, Asian Women’s Alliance for Kinship & Equality, and Asian Women’s Safety Net project of the NJ coalition for Battered Women.  She has earned accolades for pro-bono work by the Empire Sate counsel of the NY State Bar.  The Rockland Economic Development Corporation awarded Bijal “Forty Under 40” in 2009.

St Lawrence County - Jennifer Ball

Jennifer Ball is the newly elected co-treasurer of the St. Lawrence County Branch. She has brought to that position her not-for profit experience, her technical skills, and her understanding of group dynamics to transform the way we are doing business as a branch. Additionally, she has worked closely with the branch in her position as an Assistant Professor of History at Clarkson University to strengthen our collaborative bonds at CU. She worked closely with the branch to develop her successful two-year AAUW Community Action Grant, Value. U., which will be presented as a workshop at the 2010 AAUW-NYS Convention.

Westchester - Barbara Hirschman

The Westchester Branch takes great pleasure in nominating Barbara Hirschman for the AAUW-NYS Emerging Leader Award.

  • Is a member of our coordinating council
  • Is a member of our board of directors
  • Holds the elected office of corresponding secretary
  • Is a member of our Expanding Your Opportunities -The Sky is The Limit committee and volunteers on the day of the conference
  • Attends our scholarship luncheon and Pay Equity event and volunteers to hand out “pay day” bars to students at Westchester Community College as they come into the cafeteria
  • Is an insightful member of our Southern Westchester literature group
  • Is an active member of our Art Interest group
  • Is a generous hostess who volunteers to have meetings in her home
  • Is friendly, good-humored, responsible, conscientious and committed to AAUW

Yates County - Dr. Cynthia Shepardson

Dr. Cynthia Shepardson is our choice for the NYS Emerging Leader Award for 2010.  Cindy is currently an assistant professor of Education at Keuka College, specializing in creativity in the classroom.  Her special interests are creativity, creative and critical thinking, creative problem solving, creative classroom climate, rubric development, authentic instruction and assessment, Multiple Intelligences, and enrichment programming. 

Cindy has shown enthusiasm and support of AAUW ideals and our local branch ever since she became a member of AAUW.  She has accepted the office of Secretary, has offered to do a program for us on creative problem solving, and helped in the formation of our book discussion group by providing us with a list of titles as suggested reading.  Cindy has nearly perfect attendance at our meetings, and she is an eager and willing participant in anything she is asked to do.  We are proud and please to present her with this award.

Return to Top


Below are the wonderful women who were nominated by their branches as emerging leaders in 2009.

Adirondack – Kathleen Redpath

Kathleen Redpath is a second year member of the Adirondack Branch. She is currently the Membership Co-VP and has been very active in the recruitment of new members.  Kathy helped in updating our branch directory for 2008-2009.  She also assisted in updating our branch brochure for 2008-2009. An additional duty that Kathy has taken on is caller for our branch calling tree.  Kathy is quick to volunteer wherever needed and follows the project through to completion.  She is a valuable asset to our branch.

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown –  Helen Martin

Helen Martin has been an integral part of our Amsterdam Gloversville Johnstown Branch for the last couple of years.  In her first few years Helen has served as Chairwoman for the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium.  She is also currently serving as VP of Program and was one of the organizers for the 7th Annual Antique Show and Sale sponsored by AAUW to raise funds that will be given to our local scholarship recipients during the upcoming year.  She volunteers within our branch and our community and proves to be an asset to both.  Congratulations, Helen!

Bath - Janet Mishook

Janet Mishook (Jan) is currently a Co-Vice President for EF. She was a member of the Nominating Committee in 2007. In her job as VP – EF she has been a chairperson for the annual Garage Sale Fundraiser; she sells gift cards which benefit the Educational Fund; she is working with her co-VP to design and distribute applications for the 2009 H.S. student and Mature Woman Scholarships awarded by our Branch; she does consciousness-raising among our members with regards to the EF; and, most of all, she has maintained her interest in, and support of, our Branch activities during the three ears of her membership. I know we can look forward to Jan’s continued participation in the affairs of the Branch.

Buffalo - Ruth Fierro-King

Ruth is new to AAUW, but not to community service in Western New York. She is the President of the board of the Risk Management Association, is a member of the loan committee of the Community Preservation Corporation – Buffalo Region, and she is a board member of the AAUW Buffalo Branch, taking the finance committee under her wing - and running for state office this year. In the past she served on the board of HOME Front Inc., was a committee member of the United Way of Erie County in the funding allocation team, served on the Buffalo Sacred Heart Academy advisory committee, served on the board of Canisius College Women’s Business Center, and recently left the Girls Scouts of Buffalo and Erie County board. We are lucky to have her!

Dunkirk-Fredonia – Brenda Hayes

The Dunkirk-Fredonia Branch is proud to nominate Brenda Hayes for the Emerging Leader Award.  As a new member of AAUW, she spearheaded our Advocacy Project.  Brenda organized and chaired a committee of AAUW members who worked with the staff of the Dunkirk Boys and Girls Club to design a program that targeted middle schools girls and the barriers they face that hinder their academic success.  The culminating activity was a field trip to Jamestown Community College.  This successful program really highlighted Brenda’s leadership qualities.


Elmira-Corning – Dorothy (Dotti) Wenzel

Dotti joined right after retiring from teaching.  She was quite proficient with computers, thus, I asked her if she would work on our local branch directory.  She happily took on the job and completed the directory for that year and now has taught another new member to collect the information and print the directory.  Dotti has chaired the last three fashion shows, our major fundraiser.  She attends most of the board meetings and contributes good ideas for activities.

Jamestown – Donna Carroll

After retiring, Donna Carroll found that she admired the goals of AAUW and joined the Jamestown branch looking for like-minded people. Donna is in her first year as a member, and has ambitiously jumped straight into leadership roles.  We applaud her responsible participation, her abilities, organizational skills, and creative ideas.  She was a very effective volunteer in our Voter Registration campaign, initiating signage and being very encouraging to potential registrants.  She took charge enthusiastically and efficiently as the Admissions Chair for our annual What’s New Fair which is our 2-day major fundraising event for scholarships.

Jefferson County - Kerry Young

Kerry Young became a member of AAUW and Jefferson County Branch AAUW in 2006. Upon joining, she immediately accepted nomination and election to the post of Branch Secretary. She has since been reelected to that position in 2007 and 2008.
In addition to contributing at every board meeting and carrying out the duties of her office, she frequently volunteers to help at programs. Kerry Young is an emerging leader who was attracted by the mission and is making it her own mission to share her efforts with Jefferson County Branch AAUW and its members.

Kingston - Janine Fallon-Mower

Janine Fallon-Mower, R.N. works in the Fern Feldman Anolick Breast Center, Benedictine Hospital, Kingston, Mowers Flea Market, Woodstock Farm Festival. She ran for political office (lost by only 150 votes). This fall she co-produced/hosted a ten-part public TV show, also streaming, on "WOMEN-TO-WOMEN, Get Out the Vote" and operated the TV studio after learning how. Now the same duo (Garnette Arledge, President) presents GET FRESH, buying locally and seasonally to support local jobs, save fuel consumption and feed the family for less with fresher nutrition. Further, Janine gave a monthly program on Running for Local Office and writes for our newsletter. Plant a project with a busy, talented woman like Janine so AAUW branch grows!

New York City –Dayra Bernal-Lederer

Dayra Bernal-Lederer is a licensed counselor in the State of New York and is nationally certified in the counseling profession.  She is also a certified holistic stress management instructor.  Dayra received a double Master of Science degree in both Rehabilitation Administration & Services and in Counseling from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota.  Dayra is an active member of numerous, professional and women’s organizations, including the American Association of University Women-NYC.  Dayra is a Director at-Large for the AAUW NYC and she is very involved with Explore Your Opportunities Conference for 7th grade girls held every year at Barnard College. Congratulations, Dayra!

North Shore Branch – Jean Stern

Jean has served on the Board of Director of the North Shore Branch for two years. She has been the Co-Chair of our Art Study Group and has arranged for speakers and trips. Her interest, ideas and leadership qualities are evident in the thoughtful way she communicates with others. Jean has assisted the president in formulating plans for our Branch and has been selected to serve as a member of our Steering Committee. She is an asset to the North Shore Branch and deserving of this honor.


Poughkeepsie - Sherre Wesley & Wendy Maragh Taylor


Sherre and Wendy are two dynamic, young professional women who joined our branch approximately two years ago when our Diversity Committee sponsored a "Global Gathering" reception to encourage greater diversity in our membership. They subsequently joined the committee and became very involved in planning a major conference on multiculturalism which included large segments of our community and which was attended by well over 200 people. Since that time, Sherre and Wendy have become co-chairmen of the committee and they have continued to plan monthly events to promote diversity in our community at large. For our branch, they envision facilitating the involvement of people with a wide range of differences in AAUW activities. Wendy has, in addition, contributed an historical biography to the NY State AAUW project on a woman of prominence from our area: Jane Matilda Bolin, the first African American woman to graduate from Yale University School of Law. The membership of Sherre and Wendy to our branch has added a richness and depth to all that we are doing in Poughkeepsie.

Rockland County – Melissa Guardaro

Melissa Guardaro joined the Rockland County Branch in March 2007.  Her initial interest was Great Decisions which she began to facilitate in its second year of existence.  In September 2007, she agreed to chair the International Affairs Committee and immediately attended the United Nations November session. She has research the new international connections and has written articles for the newsletter connecting members to these issues.  Melissa has also assumed the position of Coordinator of Great Decisions program, moving it to a new location for better exposure.  The group size has quadrupled and she has brought in three new members.

Schenectady Branch – Robin Eddy

Robin Eddy has been a remarkable addition to the Schenectady, NY Branch this year! To say she has jumped right in, in her very first year, is an understatement! Some of her accomplishments include:

  • She serves as our newsletter editor of Visions, and she has done an exceptional job with this very time-consuming job.
  • She is a very active member of our Board, frequently offering creative and fresh insight to our planning.
  • She was a very valuable member of our major fundraiser, our garage sale, at which she both volunteered to sell and established a link with Craigslist that generated a number of additional sales.
  • She volunteers weekly in a new project for our Branch this year, mentoring in the Schenectady Schools.
  • She collected books for our drive to supply a new school with library books.
  • She has spoken about initiating a program to connect our Branch with local colleges (specifically Union College and Schenectady County Community College) to publicize AAUW’s EF scholarships and LAF legal support of women.

The Schenectady Branch is thrilled to have such a dynamic, enthusiastic new member as Robin Eddy. We hope you will consider her a recipient of the Emerging Leader Award. She certainly deserves it!

Skaneateles Area – Kathleen Gorr

Kathleen Gorr is a first year member of our branch, coming to us from Chicago where she was a practicing attorney, and despite being a newcomer she has enthusiastically taken on responsibilities normally assumed by more veteran members. For this we are extremely grateful.
Kathy became our board secretary last June and performs the job diligently. She has also volunteered to be the Chairperson for the upcoming District 3 meeting in October which our branch is hosting here in Skaneateles. Overseeing the planning of this day, recruiting committees for reservations, meals and speakers, and seeing to it that the day runs smoothly requires organizational skills and boundless energy, which Kathy certainly possesses.
Her cheerful enthusiasm and dedication to the goals of AAUW make her a wonderful person to work with and I'm certain she will continue to take an active part in the leadership of our branch.

Smithtown Area - Jennifer J. Maertz

A demonstrated leader and grassroots organizer, Jennifer J. Maertz is a practicing trial attorney who is deeply involved in our community and neighborhoods. After graduating from St. John’s University and Touro Law, Jennifer received an MBA with distinction from New York Institute of Technology.

A lifelong resident of Suffolk County, she serves as an active member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, AAUW, NOW, and the Brookhaven Democratic Committee. In furtherance of Jennifer’s commitment to her community, she intends to run for a local political office in the near future. Her proven track record demonstrates consistent success as an attorney, community leader, and political change agent.

Westchester – Roli Wendorf

The Westchester Branch of AAUW is nominating Roli Wendorf for the AAUW NYS Emerging Leader Award.  Roli is a member of our Board of Directors. She is our Chair for EF and LAF.  She oversees a mailing campaign, request contributions at each branch membership meeting, writes a monthly article for our newsletter updating status of the funds and asking for donations, helped run a 50/50 raffle for EF at our holiday luncheon, maintained a record of EF and LAF receipt and sent required materials to AAUW NYS. As a member of our Expanding Your Opportunities Conference Committee, Roli recruits Mystery Women, writes bios for each woman, manages the EYO website, volunteers the day of the conference.

Yates County - Jean MacAlpine

Jean MacAlpine has shown enthusiasm and support of AAUW ideals and our local branch since week one of her membership.  She immediately accepted the responsibilities of the Secretary position when we needed it filled on short-term basis and has since accepted the nomination for Secretary in our upcoming election.  Her dedication is demonstrated through almost perfect attendance at meetings, hosting of meeting in her home, active participation in our book group and support of the program committee through suggestions of ideas and presenters.  She volunteers to help with anything that needs doing and has already increased Branch membership by bringing in a new member.  You couldn’t ask for a better nomination for this 2009 AAUW NYS Emerging Leader Award.

Return to top


The Emerging Leader awards are presented to branch leaders who are first term board members or officers or AAUW members for less than 3 years who demonstrate leadership potential through their enthusiasm, creative ideas, and commitment to AAUW’s mission.

Following is a list of the women honored at the New York State Convention in 2008:  

Adirondack – Kathy Black

Kathy Black developed a PowerPoint presentation on the history of AAUW and the Adirondack branch to kick off the membership drive in September. She is the co-program chairperson for the branch. She hosted the program development meeting, secured locations for programs and obtained ads for the newsletter. She was Equity Director in 2006 and she also served on the Human Trafficking project committee. Kathy initiated a project making quilts for South African children through Skidmore’s Edu Program.

Alfred-Hornell – Rebecca Shick

After joining in the fall of 2006 Rebecca Shick accepted the position as Secretary and Communications Director. Becky set up a website for the branch, wrote articles for the newspaper, and took photos at meetings. Becky works with the Director of the Woman’s Center at Alfred University on an AAUW grant to educate college women about the gender pay gap and financial management. The student team is working on a documentary to be release in April. Becky was also involved in raising money for the fight against cancer in the Hornell Community Relay for Life.

Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown – Dianne Kierpiec

Dianne is a second year member of the branch. This year she is co-chairing the Sister to Sister Summit and presenting at the event. She brought new committee members and sponsors to the event. Dianne is also involved in the planning and coordination of the monthly programs and she plays an integral part of the community donation project which benefited soldiers serving in the Middle East. She is an enthusiastic and motivated member and is always willing to give of herself.

Bath – Virginia Murphy

Victoria Murphy won the branch’s Mature Woman’s Scholarship in 2006. As a first-year member, she contributed program ideas and participated in several program presentations. Last year she was Program Vice President.

Buffalo – Dr. Susan McClary

Dr. Susan McClary became Program Vice President within a short time of joining the branch. She chaired the Velma Cobb Scholarship, took on large responsibilities for Tech Savvy and is always willing to help.

Elmira-Corning – JoAnne Krolak

JoAnne Krolak organized the branch’s Equal Pay Day activity under the sponsorship of Elmira Business & Profession Women at the Community Book Store. She gathers and prints packets for the Unhappy Lunch Hour. She has tweaked the membership brochure, revamped the website, and prints fashion show flyers and tickets for fundraisers. She is the newsletter editor, printer and mailer.

Fairport Area – Dr. Mary Palamar

Dr. Mary Palamar collaborated with the United Nations Association of Rochester and the faculty at Nazareth College to develop a community awareness presentation on Human Trafficking. She is the Public Policy Chairperson and is on the State Public Policy Team. She chaired the District 2 Fall Conference last October. She also organized a theatre trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake for Fairport branch members.

Greater Rochester Area – Heide S. Parreno

Heide Parreno is the leader of a new interest group, Women Helping Women. The group is connected to the Sojourner House, a home for women in transition from area shelters. Women who have been helped by Sojourner House identified their most pressing needs as mentoring, tutoring and visits to area colleges. Heide is the guiding force in helping to advance the lives of these women.

 Islip Area – Rose Passannante

Rose Passannante contacted Adelphi, St. Joseph’s, Farmingdale State and NIT in regard to the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders. Islip Area raised funds to send a college student to Washington. Rose is the liaison to these colleges. She also sold chances on a quilt for a fundraiser, registered participants for branch events, registered voters at Dowling College and assisted with LAF fundraisers.

Jamestown – Brenda Johnson

After retiring Brenda Johnson became completely involved in the publicity for the Jamestown major fund-raiser, “The What’s New Fair.” She is currently Membership Co-Vice President. She was instrumental in helping her branch to have the second highest percentage increase in membership.

Kingston – Ruth Wahtera

Ruth Wahtera served as newsletter editor and created the Communications Committee. A former hospital administrator, she used her leadership skills and technology expertise to become the web consultant. The web/blog has 700 unique visitors from 158 countries, a calendar, essays and community enrichment.

Mid-Island – Mildred Becker

Mildred is treasurer of the Mid-Island Branch. She handles the account professionally. Mildred initiated some changes in the way events are booked and keeps records that the branch can easily follow. Mildred is also on the New York State Convention Committee.

New York City –Dr. Chigurupati Rani

Dr. Chigurupati Rani, an IT Professor at City University of New York, is a director at large for the AAUW NYC and the Communications Chair. She publishes the monthly newsletter, the Courier.

NorthShore – Jill Hackett

After Jill Hackett retired as a second grade teacher she joined AAUW. Within two years she recruited ten other retirees from her North Shore school district. She is co-chair of the Music Study group and a member of the program committee. Her second grade students artistically designed two quilts in her honor and their parents assembled the squares. .

Poughkeepsie – Geeta Desai

Geeta Desai volunteered to be the Diversity Chair shortly after joining AAUW. She planned “A Global Gathering” which was attended by 75 diverse women. Partnering with the Catharine Street Center, the Diversity Committee assists with learning experiences for intercity children. At AAUW NYS Convention 2007, Geeta presented a workshop, “The Real Digital Divide: How the Information Age Has Widened the Equity Gap” and spoke on “Globalization and Women in India” at the Bina Roy breakfast. She is planning a Diversity Conference for next fall.

RocklandCounty – Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is the Corresponding Secretary. She started The Rockland Readers, a daytime book club which meets once a month at Barnes and Noble. The program which serves AAUW members who don’t want to drive at night is growing. It has resulted in a new member for the branch and others who are interested in joining.

St. Lawrence County – Innam Dajany and Maureen Sayles

Innam Dajany and Maureen Sayles established a High Peaks satellite of SLC branch. They organized two AAUW membership and programming events in their area and hosted the 2007 District 7 Fall Conference. As a team, they enrolled eight new members in the Saranac Lake area. They have done exemplary work to expand AAUW’s impact in Northern New York

Skaneateles Area – Mary Beth Bronk

Mary Beth Bronk initiated the first International Women’s Day. Women administrators from a shelter spoke and AAUW members and friends read their poetry and essays. The second year she collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce. Two hundred people attended the function. The third event was held in March. Mary Beth also developed a database for visitors to the “Celebrating Women in Art” show. She encourages others to join AAUW as she serves the PTA, the Symphony Guild, and a writers’ group.

Smithtown Area – Nancy Ellis

Nancy Ellis, an attorney and professor at Suffolk Community College, joined the branch because she was supportive of the accomplishments and goals of LAF. She was instrumental in 2007 Pay Equity Day, handing out Pay Day bars at the railroad station. She is a member of the Public Policy Committee. She spoke at the District 6 Fall Conference about her personal experience, emphasizing the research in “Behind the Pay Gap.”

Southern NY – Catherine McGowan

Catherine McGowan is the representative to the Status of Women Council, a networking organization for local women’s groups. She encouraged people to attend the AAUW honoree awards dinner, organized a new member mixer, and volunteered to work with the program committee this year. .

Staten Island –Edwina F. Martin

Edwina F. Martin accepted the position of Program Vice President to fill a vacancy. She has very creative programming ideas and has worked hard to obtain outstanding speakers such as Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council. She arranged a collaborative program with Staten Island Out LOUD, a local arts group, and Vive Voce, a musical quintet, in recognition of Coretta Scott King. She is planning other programs on domestic violence and pay equity.

Syracuse – Mary Buckley

Mary Buckley, a retired social worker, volunteered to research stored archives at Syracuse University to find the court decision on the Hazel Clark endowment. She also provides transportation for non-driving members to branch meetings.

Westchester – Barbara Sarver

Barbara Sarver is a member of the Board of Directors and the Branch Record Keeper. She maintains a data base for each member. As Yearbook Coordinator she designs, edits, proofreads and supervises the printing of the Yearbook. She also helped to update the strategic plan, policy sheet and goals. As a part of the Expanding Your Opportunities Committee she designs and edits the Journal, writes thank you notes for contributors and volunteers on the day of the conference.

Return to top