AAUW-NJ President's Message
April 2015

This is my first communication to you since the final copy of the Garden Statement.

The Annual Meeting is behind us now, but the message lingers on and compels us forward.  Our theme was ALL Aboard...All One AAUW


I realize this is long. Thanks for reading further.


I would like to thank Susan Buccellato, Program Chair and Jane Baus-Niemeyer and Batsheva Salberg, Tech Team, for all of their hard work.  


Malinda Gaul presented the National agenda emphasizing that AAUW Is One. The branches, state, nationally and globally the mission is the same: to help girls and women succeed. 


April is Sexual Harassment month. Susan Burke was our speaker from the Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) explaining that the judicial system in the military follows a different set of rules than the civilian system to which we are accustomed.  The sexual harassment cases that she has tried rarely favor the victim, primarily because the perpetrator could be her commanding officer and her judge.  


Sally Goodson, on the National Board of Directors, encouraged us to apply for National committees and task forces. The deadline to apply is May 1. The Legislative Watch Chairs, Sally Goodson and Adrienne Lesser, are tracking bills related to Earned Sick Leave and Sexual Assault on College/University Campuses.  

Michelle Douglass had a fabulous presentation explaining Tech Trek.  Congratulations to her, her team and Atlantic County and Cape May branches for all of their work on this National Project. 


A special Presidential Award was given to Marion Ingram, a dual member of both Atlantic County and Cape May branches, for her work signing up 268 college e-members on three campuses of Atlantic County Community College in three months.   


The Eleanor Roosevelt state bus trip to Hyde Park is full thanks to Barbara Williamson. Joan Monk spoke about Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The "tomorrow" emphasis will be on Malala Yousafzai, the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.  Janice Jackson created an Eleanor Roosevelt Journal for each one of the attendees and the Tech Trek girls. In it are 11 pages of quotes and writing space to journal a meaningful journey that has impacted your life. I think I'll use mine at the AAUW National Convention in June. 


I know this is getting long, but...YOU WON'T REGRET GETTING MORE INFO.......


Antoinette Gingerelli, a NCCWSL attendee sponsored by the Freehold branch, is now a UN Youth Representative. What an opportunity for an empowered girl!


Arlene Smelson, Freehold branch, discussed the "Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education," Rwanda, and "100 DAYS OF SILENCE", which she created as a student involvement display.  It was then displayed in the Rayburn Building in Washington DC. The new exhibit is the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. It will be open through May. For her work, she received a Woman As Agent of Change Award. 



The Woman as Agent of Change Award was established to spotlight women who have made a difference in the social, educational, political or philanthropic enhancement of the lives of girls/women and ideals are in line with the vision and mission of AAUW.


Other recipients of this award were Elizabeth Krawczuk from the Madison branch for her involvement in STEM and her commitment to AAUW and Anne Pompelio, an attorney, from the Sussex branch for her involvement with low-income families and crime victims.


Special thanks to Doris Stewart, Woman As Agent of Change Award Chair.  The plaques were outstanding.  Doris is stepping down from that position, which she held for many years.  Thank you so much for your dedication. 


There were displays from the Greater Wayne and Sussex branches. Kudos to them for publicizing the AAUW to their communities.


In the future, if you would like to display a branch accomplishment at the Annual or Fall Focus meetings, please let me know.


Thank you to all the branches for the Annual baskets.  We collected $900.00 for the Educational Fund (EF) and unrestricted funds, which support Tech savvy, LAF, NCCWSL, the convention, and research - all programs that we, in NJ, support. 


The Charitable Trust has been very busy awarding money to 7 Start Smart programs on the college campuses, branch STEM programs, 2 teen tech programs in Essex County Community College and Stockton University and Tech Trek at Stockton University. 




Our state Board will have some new faces: 


Many thanks to Jessica Pierson, our past Garden State president and Northern District Coordinator, who has moved to Arizona.  The new Garden State president is Joan Odud and the new Northern District Coordinator is Mary Graves.


Also, thanks to Karen Brown for all of her hard work as Finance Chair, Jane Baus-Niemeyer as Secretary and Beth Forman as Public Policy Director.


The new officers are:


Finance Chair: Jane Baus-Niemeyer

Secretary: Annette Benanti 

Public Policy Director: Beth Forman 


Reaction to the meeting: 


In the words of a new member:  


"I would like to congratulate you and your team on the amazing job you did for the AAUW-NJ annual meeting.  The program was engaging, inspirational, informative, and relevant! I feel so happy to be part of this awesome association!   Ania Mesa


Many of us will be attending the National Convention. If you are going, please make sure that you send me your cell phone number. 


We are looking forward to be empowered and inspired at the convention.  We will be bringing home AAUW news.  Please join us October 17th for Fall Focus. 


Carol Cohen, President
AAUW of New Jersey

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