Monterey Peninsula
Volume 69 Issue 2
Monterey Peninsula Branch
Nov./Dec. 2021

Calendar of Coming Events

Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 PM - AAUW Fund Event via Zoom. Hear from the women who received fellowships and grants from AAUW. Article below has registration link.

Monday, Nov. 8, 1:00 PM - Webinar by AAUW National on Women in STEM. Article below has registration link.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 - AAUW celebrates 140 years of action. Details TBA.

Saturday, November 13, 10:30 AM - November Branch Zoom Meeting. Housing Equity in the Monterey Bay Region. Speaker Rafael Hernandez.

Sunday, December 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM - December Holiday Party, home of Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Place, Monterey.

Saturday, January 22 (?) - 2:00 PM - January Branch Zoom Meeting. AAUW Fund, scholarship recipients. Details TBA.

Saturday, February 19 - Annual Inter Branch Council (IBC) Meeting. Normally a luncheon for the Monterey Peninsula and Santa Cruz branch members. This year it is hosted by the Santa Cruz Branch and may be a Zoom event. Details TBA.

Saturday, March 12, 2:00 PM - March Branch Meeting. Story of an Immigrant. Hear Anna's story of moving to America. Details TBA.

Saturday, April 30, 2:00 PM - April Branch Meeting, on Pesticides in Monterey County. Details TBA.

Saturday, May 14, 2:00 PM - May Branch Meeting. Details TBA.

Saturday, June 4, 5:00 - 7:00 PM - June Branch Meeting. Art and Local Scholarship. Bringing together AAUW members, featuring those who are artists, to share an evening of wine and appetizers. Details TBA.

Housing Equity in the Monterey Bay Region

Date: Saturday, November 13
Time: 10:30 AM
Speaker: Rafael Hernandez, MPA, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Workers are needed to maintain Monterey County's healthy economy, but how do we assure those workers can find housing they can afford? According to the US Census Bureau, 24,475 workers commute onto the Monterey Peninsula each day but only 7,361 commute out, and 3,219 work and live on the Monterey Peninsula. Rafael Hernandez will address issues that affect housing equity, such as supply, types of housing produced, cost of production and policies. He will present policies that can make a difference in our region, improving housing affordability.

About the speaker: Rafael Hernandez, Housing Program Associate.
From community organizing, filmmaking, teaching, consulting work and volunteering, Rafael has over 20 years of experience working for immigrant and underserved communities throughout California and multiple countries abroad. He's taught grade school as well as at Harnell College and Rancho Cielo. He now focuses his work on housing policy, education and advocacy because he sees housing central to people's lives.
Rafael graduated with a BA from UC, Berkeley, and a Master's from Middlebury Institute. He is an Education Pioneer's Fellow, award-winning documentary filmmaker and speaks four languages.

To Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 822 7864 6081
Passcode: 767421
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,82278646081#,,,,*767421# US (San Jose)

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Program VPs


Date: Sunday, December 12
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Place: Home of Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Place, Monterey (Click here for map.)

Let’s get in the spirit of the holidays! We welcome fully vaccinated members, partners, and prospective members to join us for our Holiday Party at the home of Pat and Peter Fletcher. Please bring a mask and watch your email for any COVID related updates closer to the party.

Attendees are asked to bring a bite size appetizer or dessert according to the information below as well as wine or other beverage to share. As our party will be in a private home, we will not have table seating so please plan your special treat accordingly.

We invite you to bring a new or gently used unwrapped book to be donated to local children for the holidays. Books for any child’s age are good; bilingual books are especially appreciated. Gift wrap would also be appreciated.
Last names A-F and M-Z: Bite-size appetizer
Last names G-L: Bite-size dessert
RSVP by Wed, Dec 8, to Pat Fletcher at 408-373-5800 or [email protected]. Let her know if you need to reserve a driveway spot due to mobility issues.

Parking is on the street, which is hilly. Plan on carpooling, if possible. Drop off your dish/beverage in front of the house before parking, if you wish.
AAUW Fund Event
The traditional AAUW Fund Luncheons have been rechristened as Fund Events. They are used to recognize recipients of the 2021-2022 fellowships and grants. Due to covid, they are now held as Zoom events. There were two in October. We hope you could attend. One remains, a Sunday event at 1:00 pm on November 7th. All you need to do to get the Zoom link is to register online at
The Event will present 12-13 Fellows and Grant Recipients showcasing their personal stories and fascinating AAUW-funded projects about incredible topics.
If you have donated to AAUW Fund throughout the years, here you can see what your contributions make possible. If you are impressed by what you hear, you can renew your donation to AAUW Fund right on the same web page where you register for the Fund Events.
Gabriele Simbriger-Williams, AAUW Fund Director, Monterey Peninsula Branch

The times, they are a changin'; no one is sure how but a few things seem clear. As we move into in-person gatherings, we’ll once again share the joy of spontaneous connections and impromptu plans. Our programs teams remain strong and we continue to attract new members. We’ll follow safety guidelines.

Four out of 14 girls who attended Tech Trek this summer presented at our fundraiser along with a former Camper who returned as a coach. Thank you to all who generously donated; you inspired these girls’ dreams. Our programs this year focus on equity. October got us up-to-date on Carr Lake, a new park in a crowded part of Salinas that’s been decades in the making. Soon, Romancing the Coast and our hiking group will be active.

Whether you’re brand new or a longtime member, we invite you to get involved. Chris Parmentier, who’s getting our hiking group back on the trails, wants a co-chair for her very informal committee. We plan to restart our StartSmart/WorkSmart pay negotiation workshops and deepen our ties with local colleges. As board terms expire next spring, we will need a new treasurer as well as other key positions. And, if you have an idea for an activity we could be doing, reach out to us. 

With assaults on voting rights, women’s right to choose and more, your voice is needed. Consider becoming a Two Minute Activist at You provide the voice, AAUW provides the megaphone to advance gender equity.

Lastly, we are so proud of our branch and of what, large or small, each of you do to further the vision of gender equity for women. 

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents
Thanks from the Tech Trek Team!
The Tech Trek fundraiser occurred on Saturday, Sept. 11, with wonderful support from Maureen Vieth, Fatima Dias, Joanne Webster, two former Tech Trekkers, four of our campers and our faithful committee members. Thank you to all who attended and supported our Tech Trek program; $2,350 was raised for our 2022 campers! Pictured here are three campers from John Gutierrez Middle School receiving their completion certificates.
One of the campers included the following in a thank you: “I just wanted to tell you what an amazing time I had while being in Tech Trek. I am really glad I decided to join. You guys showed me that I am capable of many things if I put my mind to it.”
All campers who completed camp requirements received certificates of completion for the robotics portion of the camp as well as for completing all other camp requirements. You can view the short videos made by most of our girls at:
Contributions are still welcome. Make checks out to ‘AAUW CA SPF’ and put ‘Tech Trek’ in the Memo line. Send checks to Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Place, Monterey, CA 93940.

Pat Fletcher, AAUW Monterey Peninsula Branch Tech Trek Director

As AAUW women, we have many issues to work for and thoughtfully consider in our society. The main Public Policy issues to keep in mind are Gender Equity, Fair Pay, and Protection of Reproductive Rights. Some of our members participated in the March for Reproductive Rights which brought attention to the Constitutional Right of Women to be able to make their own choices for their own bodies. Many of these issues are very emotional and there are many different opinions among us. I encourage you to learn the issues and give support as you see fit.

Two important AAUW-supported bills were introduced at the federal level by California legislators. Yep, California! That’s us! Keep an eye on the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R.3755) and Title IX: The Patsy Mink and Louise Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) (H.R.4097).

Finally, here is a link to an article from AAUW with an update on the gender pay gap and covid.

Marilyn Erickson, Public Policy Chair

Wanted: AAUW Artists who will exhibit 1 selection to share at our Art & Local Scholarship Wine and Appetizer Event in June. If willing, please contact Maureen Vieth, Karen Hall, Mary Conway, Noelle Hetz, or Maggie Pedersen. We really think this will be a wonderful way to share your talents and support our local scholars.

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Program VPs
Morning Books
(via Zoom)
Mon., Nov. 15, 10 AM
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing
by Jacqueline Winspears
Leader: Kathleen Stacey

Mon., Dec. 13
Holiday Luncheon

Kathy Poulson
Joy of Reading Books
(via Zoom)
Tues., Nov. 9, 2 PM
The Honey Bus
by Meredith May
Leader: Sharyn Siebert

Joanne Webster
Evening Books
(in homes)
Tues., Nov. 16, 7 PM
The Secret Keeper
by Alka Joshi
Leader: Barbara Zappas
Host: Lucy Campen

Tues, Dec. 14
Holiday Party

Miriam Lilley

In September and October we welcomed three new members, Jacki Horton and Jeanne Clark, both transfers from other in-state branches, and Jennifer Taylor, a transfer from a branch in Pennsylvania.

We have also purchased 50-year-membership pins for members who have recently qualified for this recognition. The most recent of these members is Susan Murphy, whom we will honor at our December meeting, along with the members who qualified in 2020; Melva Simmons, Sandy Grimmer, and Karen Snow.

We continue to distribute the new branch directory at meetings and will offer other means for members to receive it in the coming weeks.

We’ve always known that our members are our best recruiters and that has not changed. New member Anna Faith’s discussion of AAUW’s mission and successes with her co-workers has led a number of them to contact us and ask to attend a meeting. Remember that those who join at a meeting receive a 50% discount on national dues their first year, meaning the cost of joining is only $67 to be a part of an organization that continues to support and advocate for women on the national, state and local levels.

Debbie Hobbs and Ardith Peck, Membership Vice-Presidents
AAUW is aware of the need for protecting the information of our members. Therefore membership directory information about new members and changes for current members will not be shown in the newsletter. Instead, we will tell you their names and encourage you to go to the password-protected online directory (see the third column below) to see what is new, allowing you to make changes in your printed directory. This work being done by volunteers, those updates may not be immediately available, but will be done as soon as possible. - Editor
Directory Updates

Jane DiGirolamo
email address

Sharyn Siebert
email address

If there are errors or changes in your directory listing, please tell us so corrections can be made. - Editor
New Members

Jeanne Clark

Jacalyn (Jacki) Horton

Jennifer Taylor

Online Directory

The password to our password-protected online directory on our website in the Member Center is on the second page of your pink membership directory. (If you cannot find it, call Debbie Hobbs, 408-234-2436.) This is where all of our members' contact information is readily accessible.
New Member Bios

Jeanne L. Clark

Jeanne grew up in San Francisco, then San Jose. She graduated from UC Berkeley (BA/Literature and Writing) and University of Wisconsin (MS/Counseling Psychology, and Teaching Certification). She began her counseling career with middle schoolers, then used her communication skills for over 35 years in environmental advocacy, working for federal and state resource agencies and non-profit organizations as a professional writer, program developer and media specialist. She has authored a half-dozen books about nature and written/produced videos. She has been editor of magazines, newsletters and regional publications, directed numerous public relations campaigns, and served on several boards. She owned, rode and wrote about horses for decades. She spent many years in California wildlife capture, survey and relocation efforts, raising animals as diverse as deer, owls and cougars. She and her husband George recently moved to Monterey. She is an avid gardener and reader, and member of the Aquarium.

Jacki June Horton

Jacki grew up in Worcester, MA, and graduated from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, with a degree in English Literature. After graduation, she
worked first at a ski town inn in New Hampshire, then moved to Boston. After several years in hotel operations at Hyatt hotels around the country, she moved to hotel planning and construction for Hyatt, finishing at the Hyatt Del Monte in Monterey. After a brief stint in Manhattan as a project management consultant, she returned to California and worked for a developer in downtown San Jose. She spent 9 years in design and construction project management at Apple and 11 years at Sun Microsystems, Microsoft and Kaiser. Home was in Belmont with her late husband and daughter. She was a Belmont Planning Commissioner and volunteered at Filoli and the Belmont Public Library. She finished her professional career at Apple, managing the Design and Construction Project Management Group in the Americas. In 2016 she retired to Carmel Valley. She volunteers at Spirals and at the Center for Photographic Art. She is a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Museum of Art.

Jennifer Hilda Taylor

Jennifer was born and raised in the borderland region of El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She attended University of Texas, El Paso, where she earned a B.S. (Biology, minor in Psychology), MA (Experimental Psychology) and Ph.D. (Psychology, concentration Social Cognitive Neuroscience). At Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA, she achieved tenure and the rank of full professor. She served on numerous campus committees to address educational inequities, and worked with colleagues to establish the Latino Student Association and the AAUW student chapter, serving as faculty advisor for both. She continues her academic career at Hartnell College as a Psychology Instructor, eager to serve students and the local community. In a Send Love Campaign, she and two students contacted elementary schools for children to make Valentine’s Day cards for those seeking asylum in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In 2015, she was awarded the Spotlight Award at the Annual AAUW PA State Conference. In 2018, she was a presenter on the topic What AAUW Will Look Like in the Near Future: An Exploration of Diversity and Intersectionality for the Carlisle PA AAUW branch. She has been a branch officer in Programming and in Membership.
Save the Date: Celebrating 140 years of AAUW

AAUW couldn’t have made it to 140 years without members and supporters like you. As a small token of thanks, AAUW National invites you to a celebratory virtual event on November 17. We will honor our history and announce the 2021 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee—an outstanding fellowships and grants alumna! Stay tuned for details.
AAUW Webinar - Women in STEM

Monday, November 8, 1:00 PM (PT)

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields will account for some of the fastest growing — and highest paying — jobs of the future. But right now women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce. Gender and racial biases in education, lack of peer networks, workforce discrimination and the pay gap represent just a few of the barriers facing young women and girls in their pursuit of STEM education and career development. How can the STEM leaders of today support the growth of a more inclusive and diverse STEM community? What support can educators, parents and caregivers provide to young women and girls as they pursue their STEM dreams? This panel will feature women leaders in STEM industries for a conversation around the opportunities facing the next generation of women in STEM, demystifying the pathways to success in these fields and network-building towards a more inclusive national STEM community.

Leshell Hatley, Director of STEM Programs at AAUW (Moderator)
Rebecca Winkel, Senior Economic Advisor at API
Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at MIT
Marla Wilson, Executive Director of the STEM Careers Coalition with Discovery Education

To register for the webinar, click here.

AAUW National
Board Meetings
(via Zoom)

Nov. 4 at 3:30 PM

No meeting in Dec.




Jan./Feb. Messenger

Please email articles for the Jan./Feb. newsletter to
Caryl Rojas by Dec. 15.


If you paid the full $98 AAUW yearly dues, $59 of that is tax deductible. In addition, any donations to our charitable funds will be tax deductible for a tax year if paid by December 31st of that year and if you itemize deductions. Note that a donation to any of these three areas can also be made in honor or in memory of a friend or family member.

More information and a donation form (optional) may be found at this link to our website. If making a donation directly from an IRA as a qualified charitable donation (QCD), consult your tax advisor or for further information.
Tech Trek

Make check payable to "AAUW-CA SPF"
with Tech Trek in the memo line.
Send to Pat Fletcher
6 Overlook Place Monterey, CA 93940-4106

Make check payable to "AAUW"
with AAUW Fund in the memo line.
Send your check to Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
880 Newton Street Monterey, CA 93940-1210
or donate at, including your member ID for credit to our branch.
Local Scholarships

Make check payable to "AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships".
Send your check to
Jeanne Krener
25180 Pine Hills Drive Carmel, CA 93923-8965
Newsletter Schedule

Newsletters are published around the 1st of the months of September, November, January, March and May. There will be short "eblasts", containing reminders or special announcements. If you do not receive a newsletter, please contact me so we can fix the problem.

Please note that newsletter content will relate only to AAUW and branch matters, a policy of AAUW National.

Caryl Rojas
Newsletter Editor
(831) 899-9141